written, directed, scenic design by Nancy Keystone
created in collaboration with Critical Mass Performance Group
from workshop presentation, 2008
APOLLO is an epic trilogy of America, exploring the U.S. space program, its relationship with Nazi rocket scientists, and the surprising intersection with the Civil Rights Movement. It focuses on America’s century of progress in the context of its legacy of slavery, and examines the moral cost of human aspiration. In Part 3, Nazi rocket scientists who have been brought to the US after WW2 are sent to work on the Apollo program in Huntsville, AL during the 1960s. Huntsville is the epicenter of two pathologically divergent impulses in the nation: the maniacal will to achieve the impossible goal of landing men on the moon, and the savage resistance to the equally impossible goal of integrating a lunch counter.
APOLLO PT. 3: LUNCH COUNTER SEQUENCE
* Depicts the daily routine at a lunch counter in 1960s Huntsville, AL, and the disruption from a civil rights sit-in led by Rev. Ralph Abernathy. The German rocket scientists are among the diners. It is a ritualized, physical expression of the event using repetition and variation. The full weight of the scene comes at the end of the sample.
TEXT SPOKEN: "If cursed, do not curse back; if pushed, do not push back; if struck, do not strike back; evidence love and good will at all times."
The Ensemble (selected roles noted):
ANGIE BROWNE: Vivian Malone
RUSSELL EDGE: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, NASA Engineer
RAY FORD: Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Hood
RICHARD ANTHONY GALLEGOS: John Doar
BRANDON FORD GREEN: David McCadden
LORNE GREEN: Dred Scott, Frank Fisher
ANDY HIRSCH: NASA psychologist, Robert Kennedy
JEFFREY JOHNSON: Wernher von Braun
NICK SANTORO: Thomas Paine
JUDITH SCOTT: Dolores McCadden
CHRISTOPHER SHAW: Jules Verne, Arthur Rudolph, George Wallace
VALERIE SPENCER: Southern Belle, Barbara Solomon