Category Archive: 39 – Bonus Material

Jun 25

Character Profile: Clancy

Another cut character, poor Clancy didn’t even make it into the Yokohama show (though we did create a totally movement-based scene with him, and just couldn’t wedge it in).  But the old boy is still rattling around in my head, and despite the fact that he didn’t even get a mention in either of the two versions of the show, he is very dear to my heart, and he is still part of the story.


Here then, is the character description I prepared for Kim and Bridget (the director and production designer, respectively):


Clancy was born and raised on a working family farm in rural Manitoba.  Always an overachiever, he became an Olympic athlete at the age of 17, coming fourth in his weight class in Judo.

Fall, that same year, he lost both his legs below the knee in a tractor accident while working on a neighbour’s harvest.

There had been a recent advance in prosthetics, and Clancy’s family and community raised the money necessary to get these for him.

However, he was banned from competing in the next Olympics as his prosthetics were considered to be an unfair advantage.

The next two years were very dark.  Clancy worked only farm jobs and developed a dependence on alcohol.  He started moving around, because he began to burn too many bridges in his own community.  And then he started torching any bridges that were even under construction, wherever he went.

One night, while talking with a stranger in a bar about the best way to just get away permanently, the other man joked about becoming an astronaut, commenting, "but those guys are like Olympic athletes or something."

The next day, Clancy didn’t get drunk, and instead started training for the Space program.  As soon as the applications for Colony I opened up, he applied.

He places 7th in the Astronaut cohort (he had trouble with the classroom elements), but is passed up for the mission (Jarhead goes instead) due to the concern that his prosthetics will malfunction during the 6-year journey or later on the colony world.

Although Clancy is offered another orbital job, as are all the astronauts who don’t make the cut, he turns it down.  He does not attend graduation.

On 39’s return 39 years later, Clancy has replaced his entire body with prosthetics and is now totally post-human.  He can no longer even speak, but communicates through complicated movement.

Jun 25

Deleted Scene – The Waste of Space

This is the scene from the Yokohama version of the show in which Ms. Umqhat revealed herself to be an avatar for The Waste of Space.  Yes, the odd punctuation is deliberate.


Umqhat’s office


39 is here with Umqhat.

39:     And that’s when they kicked me out.

UMQHAT:     Shame.

39:     Is it? Look, you said something about going back into space.

UMQHAT:     On the orbital habitats?

39:     Deep space, you said. Don’t play coy.

UMQHAT:     I am putting together a mission.

39:     You? You’re the one who told me people were completely uninterested in space travel. How can you say that about people in general terms, and then exclude yourself? You’re people!

UMQHAT:     Not exactly.

Umqhat begins twisting her body and moving in strange shapes.



WASTE OF SPACE: She is, the avatar, a personality splinter of one of the AIs.

This AI is currently occupying a large, purpose-built spacecraft.

It has a name. I am called The Waste of Space.

39:     You’re a hyper-intelligent spacecraft. What do you need me for?

WASTE OF SPACE: A purpose? Fun? I’m just a bit weird that way. We all are.

In any case, we’re prepping for departure.

Umqhat returns to her normal self.


UMQHAT: So, are you in?

39: Darn tootin’.

Jun 25

Deleted Scene – Goodbye to Maya

Here’s a scene that was cut from the Fringe version of the show.  39 has snuck back to the 39th Luddite Micronation in order to meet his sister, and say goodbye to her for what he thinks will be forever:


The 39th Luddite Micronation. Maya’s bedroom.


39 is here, singing Spanish Ladies to his 8 year-old sister.


39: Shh! Don’t wake Mother and Father.
This used to be my room, you know.
That’s right. I’m your big brother.
It was the night of your birth I ran away
And I’ve missed you so much, and I’m so sorry, and no; I’m never coming back again.
I would, I would, I would take you with me if I could.
I’m going there; up there… yes, they say it’s the biggest sin, the highest hubris.
But it’s where I belong. Not here.
You’re the only family I have who hasn’t tried to stop me from being who I am.
Maybe. But you’re eight. You get the benefit of the doubt.


A noise.


39: I’ve got to– Maya… whatever happens: be who you want to be.
No. I can’t stay for breakfast.

Jun 25

Character Profile: Maya

Another character who ended up being cut after the Yokohama performance was Maya, 39’s sister.  Here’s the character description I wrote for our designer:


Maya is 39’s sister.  She was born the year he left the 39th Luddite Micronation, and thus is eight years old when he leaves Earth.  Before leaving, 39 makes a special, secret visit to say goodbye to her, even though they’ve never met before.

During the Corporate Wars (when Maya was 27), all the Luddite Micronations were destroyed, along with all her family and friends.

She survived the Wars and their aftermath, and after the AIs had rebuilt human society, she came out from underground and joined with the few survivors and converts remaining.  Together they rejected the new world as they had the old, and set up a new Luddite Micronation, called The Last Luddite Micronation.

The AIs, dedicated as they were to everyone having what they wanted, made sure that the Micronation had arable land and was undisturbed by other humans.

Of course, the AIs also secretly made sure that the colony was successful.  There were no crop failures, no livestock blights, or anything that would threaten the seeming independence of the Micronation.

The Luddites were only too ready to chalk up their successes to their skill and foresight.

When 39 returns to Earth, a message is delivered to Maya, his only living relative, and she decides to make the trek out of the Micronation to bring him back.  She is certain that once he sees the decadence of the new world, he will want to return to his roots.

She fails to persuade him: he tells her he left for a reason and that he refuses to live with his head in the sand.  However, he soon becomes overwhelmed by the new world and shows up to rejoin the Micronation.

She watches him work diligently, and chides him when he begins to slack off.  When he proves that the AIs are responsible for the great success of the Luddites, she agrees with the Elders that 39 needs to be thrown out.  The revelation changes her, but she makes the choice to live with a lie, and chooses the Micronation over her brother.

I really loved the character, and the fact that it gave 39 someone to interact with who he loved, but who wasn’t a lover of some variety.  I felt that the culmination of the scenes with Maya on the Last Luddite Micronation were also key for showing one of the key reasons that 39 can’t live in this future world: without the chance of failure, his life becomes meaningless.


Unfortunately, while rewriting the show for the Fringe tour, I realized that my changes were beginning to make the show too future-heavy, and I felt that there were already enough reasons for 39 to wish to leave future Earth (not the least how the supposedly enlightened future people treat Yuki), so Maya had to go.  I will bring her back someday.

Jun 25

Character Profile: Ms. Umqhat

I created a lot of characters for this show.  Some of them got cut even before the Yokohama show, and some got cut afterwards due to the major changes the show went through to become Fringe-ready.


One of the biggest character amputations was Ms. Umqhat, who was actually played by another actor (Dancer and Performance Artist Monique Van Kerkhof) in the Yokohama version, but was reduced to two mentions in the Fringe version.


Ms. Umqhat is hard to describe.  She was originally conceived as 39’s “Reintegration Counsellor” (a title which she loved).  She was there to help demonstrate just how alien the new Earth society was to what 39 knew.


In the originally version of the play, the scenes with her helped provide the structure of the piece, as well as giving 39 someone to talk to directly.


But Ms. Umqhat had ulterior motives.  As the avatar of the eccentric hyperintelligence The Waste of Space, she was tasked with recruiting 39 for another space voyage.  However, she first had to let him discover and realize that he could no longer fit in on Earth.



With Ms. Umqhat gone, the court-case structure that the play has now evolved.


I originally saw 39 as a constantly changing piece of Theatre that would use a new second actor, each playing a different character in each venue to which we toured the show (each show would emphasize 39’s relationship with a different character).  However, limited resources put the kibosh on that after Yokohama.  I still want to go back to that idea after the summer tour is finished.  My dream?  After touring and doing several different versions of the show, I’d like to collect all the other actors and do a 6+ hour version of the show (a la Seven Streams of the River Ota).  39 is a huge story, and even the 90-minute version we performed in Yokohama is just a tip of the iceberg.

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