THE MORE BEYOND is an intimate examination of personal wreckage, survival, and recovery set against a defining moment in global economic history. A man and woman piece their lives back together after their divorce. A Cuban immigrant crosses the ocean for the hope of America. A Spanish shipwreck leads to the death of an empire, and changes the course of international finance forever. Told in sweeping, intersecting arcs, it uses theatricality, spectacle, and storytelling to ask questions of a grand, yet personal scope: What do we treasure? Why do we seek glory? And, if lost, can it ever be found?
THE MORE BEYOND tells the parallel stories of a Spanish treasure galleon that wrecks off the coast of Florida in 1622, and the search by a modern-day treasure hunter to find the fortune in ancient silver and recover his lost glory.
The Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Señora de Javea launches from Havana harbor bound for Old Spain. In her holds she carries more than 30 tons of silver, sapped from the mountains of Peru, and stamped with the mark of King Phillip IV, the 16-year-old monarch of a dying empire. This shipment marks a vital infusion for the Spanish economy, and the captain knows without this silver, more than his job will be lost.
Meanwhile, in 1980 Key West, a middle-aged treasure hunter named Tip spins yarns of the glory days, but hasn't found a single coin in years since his divorce. When his business partner and ex-wife, Annie, brings him a letter written by one of the survivors of the wreck, Tip knows he will have to turn the ocean upside-down to find it. But is that really what he is looking for?
In another part of the ocean, a Cuban immigrant in a tiny rowboat gambles his life for the hope of finding America. Tip and his team search for the treasure but the State of Florida forces an injunction to stop the disastrous environmental impacts of their salvage practices. As September storms roll in, the captain and crew of the Javea struggle to keep the ship afloat. When Tip gets an unusually strong sonar reading, he must decide how far he will go to find what he has lost.
In the final act, the Javea wrecks against the reef and sinks, killing all but a handful of those aboard. The immigrant must make a decision about how much he will give to reach his goal. Tip watches it all happen and wants to know why: why it went wrong with Annie, why the ship sank, why his life has become a wreck. He knows he must dive deep to find the answers. But what he experiences below is more than he ever could have imagined, and he brings something with him when he comes back up.
Cast: 33 characters played by 17m, 4f (plus chorus and a guitarist)
Running Time: Approx. 200 min (two intermissions)
Development and Production History
THE MORE BEYOND was developed at The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, MN as part of their Kennedy Center / ACTF Core Member Apprentice program, where it received workshop time and readings.Workshop development and reading with The Puzzle Festival at Marble Collegiate Church, NYC Developed in residence thanks to the generous support of The Studios of Key West, FL