ANTHONY: You learn some crazy shit about those lighthouses. Been up there since when this was all basically England. Since this was all basically Yorkshire, or Shropshire, or some such shit. Like there’s this one out in the harbor? The space right beyond it right, you sail into it, and you can’t hear anything, it’s like a, like a black hole?
Anthony’s referring to the lighthouse in the Boston Harbor called the Boston Light that was originally built in 1716 and a part of the ocean past Little Brewster Island called the “Ghost Walk.” Many legends are connected to the lighthouse and ghost walk. Read this for more info:
Boston Light is the oldest lighthouse in America, originally built in 1716 on Little Brewster Island at the entrance of Boston Harbor. It’s no surprise that a number of legends are associated with such a historic landmark. After all, it has borne witness to countless
shipwrecks near the island as well as the drownings of its first two keepers
shortly after taking their assignments. Many believe that Boston Light is
haunted–and with good reason. Apparitions have been seen drifting through the
lantern room, feline mascots hiss at unseen presences, unexplained footsteps
are sometimes heard, and cold spots have been widely reported.Several miles east of Little Brewster Island, there’s a peculiar area of the ocean that locals call the “Ghost Walk.” Here
there seems to be some sort of atmospheric anomaly that prevents sound from
entering the area. Even the enormous bell from Boston Light cannot be heard in
the Ghost Walk. The phenomena received so much hype in the late 1800s that a
team of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology was dispatched to
Little Brewster Island for an entire summer to experiment with foghorn signals
in an attempt to reach the area in question. No signal–not even with the
largest horn or siren–was able to penetrate the mysterious sound barrier. It
remains unexplained to this day.
Source: Haunted Massachusetts: Ghosts and Strange
Phenomena of the Bay State by Cheri Revai, p
ANTHONY: I do got this show.
NICOLE: Like music?
ANTHONY: No jokes. Stories. Jokes really.
NICOLE: Yeah? Say a joke.
In addition to Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle, a comedian known for his self-titled comedy show, The Dave Chappelle Show (2003-2006), also dealt with complicated racial issues in his sketches, which created a complicated relationship with his audience.
Here are some bits from his show:
Our excellent dialect coach Liz Hayes sent along a series of videos as touchstones for the sound of the fictional town in which SPLENDOR is set.
Some are available for embedding here, but not all, so follow the links.
Let’s start with THIS ONE, which may be particularly helpful for Gloria.
Here’s a great one of Somerville’s Mayor Joseph Curtatone:
In general, the SomervilleCity TV YouTube channel is kind of a gold mine. Check it out HERE. (After all, it includes gem like THIS!)
FRAN: I’ll ask to be a Pilgrim next year so I can wear that dress: the Pilgrim dress.
NICOLE: I don’t wanna wear a friggin dress. How many times are we gonna do this same stupid thing over and over: the pilgrims come, the Indians put fish in the ground to grow the corn, the Pilgrims are happy—
NICOLE: Who cares? If I have to be in this same play over and over every year til I die wearing a dress made out of black construction paper please kill me now before Thanksgiving comes again.
Yup, a standard-issue Thanksgiving Pageant…
LISA: Go Trojans.
MIKE: Trojans is bullshit, we should be the chiefs, we were always the chiefs some people just can’t fucking leave well enough alone fucking troublemaker this is a good place, a good town, we’re the fucking Chiefs, fucking warriors.
Images of schools’ various chiefs logos:
Images of schools’ logos for trojans:
In the course of the play, water takes a central imagistic role — sometimes it’s a stand-in for peace and calm, other times it’s explicitly a marker of death by drowning. Director Shawn LaCount has said that all the characters in the play feel, at some point, the pressure and need for air that a person caught underwater would encounter. They are all looking for a way to swim, to succeed, to deal with the circumstances of their lives. Only Anthony finds his way to the surface; Fran and Nicole may reach it as well. There are moments where each character might have the potential to surface, to breathe again, and moments where the pressure nearly crushes them.
A selective list of water images evoked throughout the play: the Middle Passage; Davey’s drowning; Mike’s implied trauma in the water connected to Davey’s death; the feeling of invincibility in the water quickly transformed to mortality; Anthony’s love of the “black hole” in the harbor beyond the lighthouse; the way Lisa hears water sometimes; the way the lighthouse and harbor feel peaceful to Anthony and Nicole; the implication that the most expensive houses in town are the ones nearest the water; Aline’s feeling that the ocean is peaceful; Lisa’s Caribbean vacation….
Scenic Designer Cristina Todesco and Lighting Designer Jen Rock are also playing with the feeling of water, and of light filtering through water, as a component of the play in production.
The work of artist Jason De Caires Taylor is particularly evocative here. He creates concrete statues of people in everyday positions, installs them underwater, and waits for corals to create sculptural reefs. His installations change in shape and color over time, but the human forms remain.
On the feeling of drowning…
GLORIA: Katie showed me her Thanksgiving project and there’s stuff on it about the kind of soil you need to grow corn and which way Haddock swims off Cape Cod and I’m thinking: where’s the birds made out of hands like you used to bring home from school—
FRAN: It’s a different kind of school, Ma.
Thanksgiving arts & crafts…