We’ll take a week away from EX-GAYS and look toward next season. The Ravagers is coming in November, and creator Blake E. Bolan talks about working with SU while living outside the United States.
The story keeps changing. The questions change, and then the answers, and then the questions again. Working on The Ravagers with Savage Umbrella has truly been the longest artistic process I’ve been personally involved in, and feeling the story change in my mind and on paper as we add and subtract and push and pull each piece of the whole, it just feels so BIG.
And it is big. In a lot of ways. It utilizes mythology of three different plays, two of which are missing. It’s an attempt to look at control in the modern world through something ancient. It’s based on a story with more than 100 people in it, and we want to actually include enough people to imagine the breath of 50 daughters filling a room.
The play itself is complex enough to warrant us thinking about it in three parts. There’s Part 1 (a whole life), Part 2 (a wedding night), and Part 3 (what comes after).
And the project is so big it has also been broken up into three parts. There was Phase 1 (simultaneous workshops in Minneapolis and Seoul), now there is Phase 2 (cross-continental script development), and soon there will be Phase 3 (staging this EPIC).
(A note to the wary: I promise you this epic will feel epic but won’t last an epic amount of time. On my honor.)
So it’s big in every way. Here is one of the many things that I love about Savage Umbrella:
We get to dream big.
For us, big doesn’t mean a big theater, or a big-name star. Big means a big idea, or a big story, or a big challenge. And when one of us gets scared, staring into the face of something so damned BIG, there are other people alongside us who dare to do the same, and keep us open to all the possibilities that are out there. We get to dream big because we allow ourselves to do so, and, in fact, encourage it.
And so, I get to work on the biggest project of my life. And it’s scary. But it also fills me with awe, in the good way. There are so many incredible people working constantly to make this big thing work.
SU has grown every minute that I’ve been away, and I’m sure it could have done that without any influence from me on the other side of the world. However, I think I’ve done my part to expand that range of possibilities of what we can do by being so far away and working with others to figure out how to utilize that distance to make us stronger. I feel lucky for what I’ve been able to accomplish for SU from so far, and that makes me excited for our future.
I’ll tell you what, though. Distance does, in fact, make the heart grow fonder. I’m ready to see you, Savage Umbrella.
And Minneapolis: get ready for The Ravagers.