Mim Granahan's wildly chaotic yet fascinating script Making History follows Patrick Tyler as he develops a time machine that actually works and severely alters the lives all he touches when he gets stuck in the past and amends his future. Patrick, who has a family in the present, ends up starting a family in the past. When he is finally able to return to the present, he discovers that the only way to make his life right is to travel back and forth to the 80s to keep both families. Granahan has a script that is engaging but to put it bluntly, it’s in the wrong medium. Making History is a script that requires attention to detail and a budget that will allow for the nuances to shine. And for that, Making History wants to live on film. Transform it into a screenplay and it becomes endearing and Patrick can jump from world to world with the magic of cinematography. In its current state, the time travel doesn't quite land and comes off as lackluster. Granahan has a brilliant conceit by blending the parallel times, but with the limitations in production, it looks messy. Regardless of the medium, the script needs a little clarity. The timeline was quite complicated and took time to comprehend. The rules of the world seemed ever changing. Perhaps it takes that keen sci-fi mind to quickly grasp, but finding a simple way for the average person to catch on could work in the pieces advantage. The morals that Granahan offers is something that is heart-warming, but with a cheesy execution, it doesn’t quite resonate.
|photo courtesy of Cary Davis|
Director Eric Chase took a giant script and did everything possible to simplify it due to limitations. Chase had some brilliant moments in staging where the two time periods existed simultaneously. But due to the limitations of the set and lighting capabilities, all of the pieces lived in all the worlds taking away from the time travel aspect. It was a smart choice to keep the momentum consistent and slamming into each scene, but maybe a slightly mobile set would have been a dynamic addition. The sound design by Justin Plowman fit the world brilliantly. From the soundtrack of the 80s that brings you into the start of the play to the insanely important sound effects with the time machine, Plowman’s work was a huge factor into keeping the piece together.
There’s something special about Making History. With a little bit of tightening and a cleaner vision, Making History could be a fun sci-fi piece. But without the magic of theater, Dysfunctional Theatre Company’s Making History doesn’t quite theatrical make history.