Page 1

In this issue:

Using This Guide, Page 2-3 The Story & The Writers, Page 4-5 The World of the Play, Page 6-7 Meet the Artists & Characters, Page 8-10 Enhancing Your Experience, Page 11-13 Resources for Educators, Page 14-15 Self-Guided Tour: Zany for all Ages, Page 16 A Thank You to Our Sponsors, Page 17


Margu d l a n o D y B MA

IL 15, R P A – 2 2 RCH


USING THIS GUIDE Welcome to the People’s Light and Theatre Discovery Guide for Shipwrecked! This guide will enrich your experience of the production and is a great resource for all theatre-goers, not just teachers and students. Each issue will include these regular features: THE STORY & THE WRITERS

Includes information about the play’s plot, as well as the writers who bring the story to the stage.


With many plays, it’s helpful to understand the larger world the play lives in. These pages help frame the story in a historical, cultural, or artistic context.


This section features the designers of the production, the artisans who bring those designs to life, images of the set, costumes, and other production elements. It’s a glimpse of the amazing work that happens behind the scenes.


Photos of the actors and synopsis about the characters in the show.


This is a great resource for theatre-goers who want to dig a little deeper. It contains a listing of books, websites, and video links we’ve encountered while preparing for the production, along with thought provoking questions for you to discuss with the actors after the show, or with your family and friends on the car ride home.


Written specifically for teachers and includes discussion questions, classroom activities, and ideas for continued exploration of the play’s themes and ideas.


These activities are designed especially for young people to explore the play on their own. (The Shipwrecked! Self-Guided Tour is recommended for grades 9 and up.)


An expression of our gratitude for the funders who support Arts Discovery programming.


We hope our Discovery Guide provides you with enjoyable reading and opportunities for exploration that make your theatre experience with us more rich. 

See you at the theatre! We’d love to hear your thoughts! E-mail us at with your feedback about our



THE STORY & THE WRITER THE STORY Louis de Rougemont has returned home to the civilized world with a tale which will amaze listeners young and old. He recounts how he, a sickly child, was raised by his loving mother who read to him the great adventures of Robinson Crusoe and Odysseus. Yearning for such a life, he leaves home and stumbles onto a pearling ship headed for the exotic South Seas. When a terrific storm leaves him shipwrecked, he learns to live with the only other survivor, a dog. Captivating the crowd, he details how he encountered natives of the area and eventually became their leader. Having lived a full life, he desires to return home. He treks to Australia, where British explorers discover him and take him back to London. Here, he is hailed a hero. His revels in celebrity are cut short as scientists then reporters question the accuracy of his story. Dragged through the proverbial mud, Louis, determined to prove his detractors wrong, reclaims his story.


PLAYWRIGHT DONALD MARGULIES Donald Margulies won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000 for Dinner With Friends. Other notable works include Time Stands Still (2009); Shipwrecked! An Entertainment — The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself) (2007), Brooklyn Boy (2004), Sight Unseen (1991) and Collected Stories (1996). In 1992, Sight Unseen won an OBIE Award for Best American Play, the Dramatists’ Guild/Hull-Warriner Award, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. Collected Stories was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1997. Margulies has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He won the 2000 Sidney Kingsley Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theatre by a playwright. In 2005 the American Academy of Arts and Letters honored him with an Award in Literature as did the National Foundation for Jewish Culture with its Award in Literary Arts. Margulies is an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild of America. He attended John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Purchase College where he received a BFA in visual arts. Margulies lives with his wife, Lynn Street, a physician, and their son, Miles, in New Haven, Connecticut, where he is an adjunct professor in the Department of English and Theatre Studies at Yale University.

Lead Charachter LOUIS DE ROUGEMONT Louis de Rougemont may or may not have been many things—traveler, explorer, survivor, fabulist, or liar—but he certainly was a celebrity in his heyday. As he told it, de Rougemont was born in or near Paris in 1844. He lived with his mother and at her encouragement traveled first to Cairo then to Singapore where he met Captain Jensen. Thus began his fabulous adventures which concluded with his arrival in London. His sensational story captured the attention of English and American society. Detractors, sniffing a very tall tale, challenged him. They claimed he was not Louis de Rougemont but Henri Louis Grin, born in 1847 in Switzerland. He had not sailed the Coral Sea in search of pearls, or trekked Australia’s rugged outback, living for thirty years as a god among a tribe of natives, but had spent his life living quietly in Sydney with a wife and child. M. de Rougemont responded simply, “Prove it.” Fact and fiction overlap in the histories of his life. He actually did, at the age of 70 in 1906, ride a sea turtle at the Hippodrome in London. But billed as “The World’s Greatest Liar,” he was booed off the stage in Australia. De Rougemont/Grin died a pauper on June 9, 1921. “Truth is stranger than fiction but De Rougemont is stranger than both.” The Wide World Magazine, June 1899, No. 14.


THE WORLD OF THE PLAY The world Louis de Rougemont left behind in 1868 to pursue his adventures around the world had changed vastly by the time he returned in 1896. He missed the publication of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, a story which surely would have appealed to his tastes, as well as H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine. While he was away, the telegraph took hold of Great Britain, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, and Henry Ford began manufacturing cars. The sweeping hand of the Industrial Revolution passed by him while he roamed the globe. Though much of the world had already been discovered, pockets were still largely unexplored, especially concerning Australia and the surrounding islands and ocean. Captain Cooke’s first voyage in 1768 set out in search of Terra Australis Incognita, and through his three voyages he would discover the eastern shore of Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii, which he dubbed the Sandwich Islands. Nearly one hundred years later, John McDouall Stuart made the first successful crossing of Australia from south to north. Around the world, similar explorers sought to claim the last remnants of uncharted territory. Thus Louis’ arrival may have been the first European on those desolate islands.


His return to “civilization” coincided with the rising popularity of newspapers. Not just a means of spreading important political news, this media outlet had expanded along with the rest of the industrializing world to cover everything from sports to women’s fashion to comics. In an effort to attract a greater readership, many ran sensational stories and smaller papers exclusively focused on such tales (both real and fictional). Louis’ extraordinary tale caught the attention of the editor of The World Wide Magazine. He reportedly advised friends to pick up his next issue, confident he had “just picked up the most remarkable man of the century.”



by Donald Margulies

Artistic Team Director Production Manager Stage Manager Dramaturg Fight Choreographer Scenic Design Costume Design Lighting Design Composer/Designer/ Music Director

Jackson Phippin Charles T. Brastow* Patricia G. Sabato* Lee Devin Samantha Bellomo Tony Straiges Rosemarie E. McKelvey Dennis Parichy Daniel Perelstein

Theatre Artisans Technical Director Scene Shop Foreman Scenic Painter Scenic Carpenter Master Electrician Assistant Master Electrician Costume Shop Manager Cutter/Draper Wardrobe Properties Master Assistant Properties Master


Joseph Franz Dylan Jamison Will Scribner Chris Wilson Gregory Scott Miller Stephen Dombkoski Marla J. Jurglanis Abbie Wysor Bridget Anne Brennan Elizabeth Stump Sarah Pierce

*Member, Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

Meet the Cast

Player #1 Mary McCool* Player #2 James Ijames* *Member, Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

Louis de Rougemont Graham Smith*



Louis’s mother--a devoted, protective woman who introduces Louis to adventures from famous books Captain Jensen--a salty old sea dog leading a pearling expedition aboard The Wonder World Yamba--an Aboriginal woman rescued by Louis and Bruno Fitzgerald-a magazine editor whose publication raises Louis to stardom PLUS: a Society Lady, Albert’s Mother, an Octopus Expert, a Map Maker, a Reporter, and a Librarian

Player #2:

A Pickpocket A Barkeep--a London barkeeper Bruno--a faithful dog belonging to Captain Jensen Gunda--Yamba’s father Bobo--Yamba’s little brother Albert--a young boy Dr. Leopold--an “alienist” PLUS: an Australian Prospector, a Society Lady, Queen Victoria, a Turtle Expert, a Wombat Expert, a Newsboy, a Reporter, and a Lawyer

Both Player #1 and Player #2 also play Pedestrians, Shipmates, Pearl-fishers, Children, Peddlers, Prospectors, Tribesmen & Women, Club Members, and Hecklers


ENHANCING YOUR EXPERIENCE LOUIS MEETS AMAZING CREATURES! It’s not very often that we get to research fantastic creatures as part of working on a play, and dramaturg Hannah Daniel found this to be the best assignment EVER while she was preparing the cast for SHIPWRECKED! Here are some of her top recommendations: Dolphins Great music and video clips from Nat Geo and Discovery Channel sewn together. Short clip (:50) of a dolphin interacting with a diver. Lets you see the silly side and hear how they speak. Sea Turtles (6:23) Begins with the algae growing and includes a segment/focus using a crittercam to see what the turtle eats. As well, just some great shots of what the coast/underwater look. Bonus, “turtle rodeo.” Giant Octopus (2:46) Shark v. Octopus. (May be too scary for very little eyes.) (1:43) Watching an octopus move through a plexi-glass obstacle course. Lack of bones is actually pretty cool. Jelly Fish (1:19) Cool intro to jellyfish in general. Owls (0:47) So, there are actually owls in Australia whose hoots sound more like barking. This is a good sound clip. (In the play, Louis references the sound of owls.) (1:36) This is a tawny frogmouth, which isn’t actually an owl (though perhaps Louis thought it was one.) Interesting in terms of how little was known of Australia at the time and how Louis could mistake one creature for another. Wombats (1:00) Wombats eating and walking round. These creatures are absurdly adorable! (:46) Cranky wombat. Still cute.


Flying Squirrels Great clip from the BBC. This was worth seeing, because in the play, Louis actually retracts calling them “flying wombats.” Great Barrier Reef (4:47) Great visuals from National Geographic that can really enhance what you imagine when Louis describes his dive. Too Good to Miss! The Planet Earth website has amazing video segments as well as more info on animals available: http://dsc.discovery. com/tv/planet-earth/

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING For further reading on Louis de Rougemont, check out: The Most Amazing Story a Man Ever Lived to Tell by Geoffry Maslen Donald Margulies credited this book, and a chapter from Sarah Burton’s Imposters, as “invaluable resources” when creating the play. The Fabulist: The Incredible Story of Louis De Rougemont by Rod Howard “The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont” from World Wide Magazine can be accessed at: (Choose what format you’d like to use to read Louis de Rougemont’s original account on pages 3-15 and 115-131.)

Other Books We Recommend… The Abernathy Boys by Laura Hunt Nine-year-old Bud Abernathy loves riding his pony, dreams of being a cowboy like is dad, and seldom pays attention to his little brother Temp. Together, they set off from Oklahoma for Goodnight Ranch, where their father was known for his ability to catch wolves live. However, they must cross the vast desert with all its hazards—natural, animal, and human—first. Might be a tall tale, but the author says family history proves it to be entirely true. Island and Dive trilogies by Gordon Korman In the Island trilogy, six teens—all taking part in a program to turn their lives around—are shipwrecked on a lonely island with no adults surviving the accident. Together, they must survive and find a way to escape when danger threatens their very lives. With the Dive trilogy, four kids on a marine expedition discover sunken treasure, but must work against the dangers of the reef and adults who want the money for themselves to secure what they’ve rightfully found. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell Twelve-year-old Karana abandons the rescue ship taking her to mainland and swims back to her island home. Alone, she clothes and feeds herself, making friends among the wildlife of the island. O’Dell based this tale on the true story of Juana Maria, a Nicoleño Indian left alone for eighteen years on San Nicolas island.


Hatchet by Gary Paulsen When the two-person plane crashes and the pilot dies of a heart attack, young Brian must survive the Canadian wilderness on his own, armed only with a windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him. Brian’s personal life before was nothing less than turmoil as his parents are entrenched in a bitter divorce. With winter approaching, can Brian survive? Surely a rescue team is out looking. But there may not be enough time. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George Miyax, a thirteen-years-old orphan stranded on the Alaskan tundra, has two choices before her. Is she Miyax, of the Eskimo? Or is she Julie, a modern girl rebelling against the old ways? When a wolf pack accepts her into their family, she must again rewire her brain to think like a wolf in order to survive. Life of Pi by Yann Martel Pi Patel’s family has run the local zoo in his Indian hometown all his life. But at sixteen, they emigrate with their animals for North America. The ship carrying them sinks in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Pi is the lone survivor— well, unless one counts the zebra, orangutan, and tiger also on the life boat. Utilizing all his gleaned knowledge of animal behavior, Pi survives for 227 days until landing on the coast of Mexico. The authorities who interrogate him refuse to believe his story, pressing him to “tell the truth.” After hours, Pi gives them a second, duller, version of events. Which is true? The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne Anything by Jules Verne will really throw your imagination into high gear. Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, five men and a dog land in a balloon on a mysterious isle. They must not only survive, but also uncover the secret of the island The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss Swept off course in a raging storm, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and their four sons set foot on an uncharted island. Working together, as a family, they must forge a new life for themselves. Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong Armstrong recounts the harrowing adventures of the ill-fated 1914 expedition to the Antarctic.

WEBSITES Full text of The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont on Project Gutenberg: Graveyard of the Pacific: The Shipwrecks of Vancouver Island This website, created by the Virtual Museum of Canada, explores the histories of shipwrecks, gives instruction on how to survive one, and includes a game a la The Oregon Trail of navigating your way around Vancouver Island. British History: Victorians Louis missed thirty years of life in the British Isles while he was shipwrecked. Explore all the advances in life, technology, innovation, literature, and change he didn’t experience, courtesy the BBC.


RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS Fun and Games for Educators This is a fun and easy way to introduce students to improvisation and some of the story-telling techniques used in Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (As Told by Himself)

Interview The Expert Participants pair up. Each pair chooses one Interviewer and one Expert. The pairs also decide what the experts specialty is, and should be encouraged to use their imaginations. Experts should be of the zany variety. Ex. Jellybean taster, dust mite researcher, cloud shaper, ghost psychologist, etc. Define Leading Question for the group. Encourage Interviewers to build a story by asking leading questions and by sharing in the Expert’s enjoyment of his or her area of expertise. Have the pairs interview each other for five minutes (or less). Ask for volunteers and have the pairs share with the group. For an added element of fun, open up questions for a particular Expert to the entire group. Or ask an Expert/Interview pair for a demonstration.


Liar’s Club

Participants sit in a circle. An interesting object is placed in the middle of the circle. To begin, the leader of the activity walks to the middle of the circle and makes up a story about the object, using as many different features of the object as possible, but not including the actual name or use of the object. When the story has finished, the leader places the object back in the center and takes his/her place in the circle. Another participant enters the circle, picks up the object, and tells a new story about the object. When the story has finished, the participant places the object back in the center and takes his/her place in the circle. This continues until everyone has had a turn.


SELF-GUIDED TOUR LOCAL ADVENTURES There are a LOT of fabulous places in the Greater Philadelphia to go have adventures! The Arts Discovery staff recommends the following places to visit for some exciting journeys! Crystal Cave Lost River Caverns Starlight Fleet Camden’s Adventure Aquarium The Da Vinci Science Museum Independence Seaport Museum Valley Forge National Park The Academy of Natural Sciences The Brandywine River Museum  


ARTS DISCOVERY SUPPORTERS These corporations and foundations receive our special thanks for their steadfast support in 2011-2012 of our arts education programs, Arts Discovery.

Arts Discovery Partners

Arts Discovery Producers

ACE Group The ARAMARK Charitable Fund at the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program Customers Bank The Engage 2020 Innovation Grants Program, supported by The Wallace Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts and The Philadelphia Foundation, a program of the Cultural Alliance’s research initiative Engage 2020 The Hamilton Family Foundation The John Lazarich Foundation The Marshall-Reynolds Foundation PA Council for the Arts The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Philadelphia The Pew Charitable Trusts PNC Arts Alive The William Penn Foundation

BNY Mellon Mid-Atlantic Charitable Trusts The Boeing Company Independence Foundation ING PECO Vertex VSA MetLife Foundation Arts Connect All Program The Wyncote Foundation

Arts Discovery Actors Anonymous Centocor, Inc. First Priority Bank The Elsie Lee Garthwaite Memorial Foundation Meridian Bank Rosenlund Family Foundation Sedgwick CMS

Arts Discovery Directors Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. The Barra Foundation Cephalon Conlin’s Copy Center Penn Liberty Bank Star Print Mail, Inc. West Pharmaceutical Services

Arts Discovery Playwrights AON Ernst & Young DNB First Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund Genuardi Family Foundation KPMG Marsh USA Inc. PepsiCo PNC Bank PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Safeguard Scientifics Towers Watson Willis -------------------------------------------------------------------Discovery Guide Content Developed by: Wendy Bable, Producer for Arts Discovery Programs; Hannah Daniel, Dramaturgy & Education Fellow; and Sara Waxman, Resident Teaching Artist Visual Concept and Layout: Royal Flush Consulting Show Logo & Graphics: Jill Margraff

Arts Discovery receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by annual state appropriation. Arts Discovery is also generously supported by hundreds of gifts from generous individuals.


SHIPWRECKED! Study Guide  

Study guide for the People's Light & Theatre production of SHIPWRECKED!

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