By Larry Larson & Eddie Levi Lee
Directed by Lisa Adler
Originally produced at Horizon Theatre Company, Atlanta, GA.
May 11, 2012 through June 17, 2012
About the Premiere Production: Waffle Chronicles: Smothered, Covered and Scattered 24/7/365, by Larry Larson and Eddie Levi Lee, is a play based on real events that have occurred at the Waffle House restaurants over the past decade into the present. From births to marriages to funerals to shootings, taserings, criminals on the run, and waitresses winning millions in the lottery, everything that can happen at 3 AM at a place where everyone is welcome is explored by the playwrights. The Waffle House is a southern icon where people of all persuasions meet, but it is in danger of becoming the victim of urban development. Music, humor, imagination, and real stories intertwine as John Pickett and his multi-racial Waffle Palace staff battle to keep the diner open against heavy odds. Eight actors play 20 roles as the visitors arrive with testimonials and new challenges to the life of the restaurant. The audience is also engaged as the fourth wall is broken by the actors, and everyone from ticket takers to concession people and ushers are part of the restaurant atmosphere. A play. An event. A place where everyone is welcome, regardless of their station in life or personal history. The only unforgivable sins? Throwing waffles and under-tipping.
Artistic Statement: As veteran dramatists of award-winning plays such as Tent Meeting, The Illuminati Or Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends, The Bench and other plays, Larson and Lee have matured into comic writers of substance. They are writing the kind of smart, ensemble-based comedy that many theatres nationwide seek, but which is now rare in theatre because of the lure of television. The subject matter Larson and Lee are writing about in this play is relevant to every community that struggles with how to define itself and shape its future as inevitable change occurs - and every community with a 24-hour diner.
The play brings our diverse community on stage in a highly theatrical story with song, dance, waffles and audience interaction. It is a tour de force for a fantastic ensemble of actors. The play is fun, topical and should enjoy a healthy life in American theatre. It is the kind of play that audiences and artists alike relish. As we revise the play, we are also looking for the places in the script with local/topical references that could be adapted to suit the community in which the play is produced.
In every meeting or event in which we have talked about the development of the play, we have received enthusiastic response from donors and audiences. Everyone has a Waffle House story that they are eager to share.
Grant Statement: Our typical budget would allow for 3 weeks of rehearsal, and funding from the Edgerton Foundation will support an additional two weeks of rehearsal. One week will take place this fall/winter and be used as a final workshop with the full cast, writers, director, dramaturg and designers. The goal is to bring the full ensemble into the development process and allow the playwrights time to rewrite before the start of the regular rehearsal process. A week will also be added to the production rehearsal process to ensure the play receives the necessary rehearsal time for the best possible world premiere.
Director: Lisa Adler
Additional Funders: A portion of our general operating support that is raised from government and foundation grants, as well as individual and board contributions will all be included in the funding for this project.