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Jeffrey M Jones

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Virtually all of the dialogue in this play has been constructed out of source material dating from the year 1950, and what it reveals is an America in which perception and reality are frequently at odds.

Production Info

Cast: 6 total (3 female, 3 male)
Full Length Drama (about 90 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Even paranoids have enemies, goes the old joke; Jeffrey M Jones’s TOMORROWLAND is a ninety-minute incarnation of that line. The second of his projected trilogy, ‘A History of Western Philosophy,’ this piece is a logical sequel to Jones’s first installment, DER INKA VON PERU, which romped through colonial history and western literature, juxtaposing a Harlequin romance with a William Prescott adventure tale on a peephole stage: a blank wall with a hole in it revealed an upstage wall with a smaller hole. TOMORROWLAND tightens the focus implied by that telescoping set, concentrating on postwar America in a suburban living room with an upstage window. Beyond it stretches the Moon’s surface, full of promise, and the earth rises in the distance. Like DER INKA, TOMORROWLAND is a verbal collage; its dialogue, says a program note, ‘was constructed from source material all dating from the year 1950.’ Movies, TV game shows, advertisements, H-bomb descriptions, the Fuchs spy trial, Korean war reports, and McCarthy’s charges of communism in the State Department are the found objects from which Jones sculpts his ominous image of American anxiety. Three interweaving plots-a western in which Jimmy Ringo hunts down an outlaw, a sci-fi thriller about extra-terrestrials spying on earth, and a family sitcom-depict the exuberant optimism of the American Dream at the advent of frozen orange juice, television and suburbs. Guided by Television Star Shannon Malleson, we visit the Wilfred family in their Delray Beach, Florida, home, where Jason complains from his easy chair about his country’s wimpy defense. Carol makes Wednesday her casserole day and imagines creatures in her backyard, and their daughter, Divina, asks her dad about the Cold War and has a study date with Selden, the high school football star. The characters’ fears edge seamlessly into paranoia as the family scenes dissolve into the western in which Jason plays the gunman, Selden the outlaw, Carol and Divina their devoted girls. Shannon and her co-narrator, a health department doctor, provide an ironic point of view that deepens the play’s obvious connections between red scares and cowboy heroics. Doubling as the aliens who inspect Earth after its (presumably nuclear) destruction, Shannon and Dr Sinclair, always cheery, offer hysterical warnings of modern horrors: communism, polio, madness, radiation, and body odor. Daniel Moses Schreier’s relentless soundtrack underscores the intersecting genres with electronic music, homey Muzak, and cowboy arpeggios, all maintaining the same even rhythm. Jones has paced TOMORROWLAND, unlike the frenzied DER INKA, with uninterrupted smoothness, creating some lulls, but he gets textured performances from Barbara Somerville as Divina, Karla Barker as Shannon, and especially, as Jason, Zach Grenier, whose repellent charisma makes him the quintessential actor for Jones’ sleazy heroes. Near the play’s end, crazy Carol confesses her role in a spy scheme, describing her experience as ‘controlled schizophrenia,’ which could describe equally well Jones’s diagnosis of the US and his multi-focus dramatic form. If at times Jones’ ideas about theater and history rise to the surface of this play more than they issue out of its action, that’s a welcome improvement over similar experiments (even DER INKA, to some extent) whose complex issues are peripheral to their cleverness. Jones’s vision, alas, is as intelligent as it is bleak.” —Alisa Solomon, The Village Voice

“The essence of Jeffrey M Jones’s TOMORROWLAND, his second ‘historical-quotation’ play to be produced by Brass Tacks Theater, is collision … Cultural memory collides with present realities. Genres collide so hard they take on each other’s characteristics. The American dream crashes into the manipulative impulses and paranoias behind it. Conventional images careen into walls of tension, anxiety and neurosis. What seems to be real keeps banging into what actually might be real. It’s not pretty. It is very funny and unusually stimulating. TOMORROWLAND has been created totally out of found texts quoted from movies, pulp fiction, TV sitcoms and game shows, advertisements, political transcripts and journalism, all turned out in 1950, the salad days of the post-War period and the peak of American feel-good optimism. The stories are intercut and juxtaposed, each commenting on and influencing the way we see the others. They ultimately become so thoroughly mixed that they meld together becoming a fascinating, interwoven collage that shows American culture in ways we’ve seldom viewed it. There’s clearly a lot of play in this play, but Jones takes it far beyond the parlor game of spin the radio dial. His intertwining narratives are intelligent and insightful without losing the ironic wit and sense of play at the theatrical heart of the work … Jones’ work deals insightfully with the way language is misappropriated and used to create illusions … Jones has created an interesting arena for contemplating the often illusory ways we perceive our world.” —Mike Steele, Minneapolis Star & Tribune

“Moibius strips in which formal experiment twisted into and became satire …” —Alisa Solomon

About the Author


  • Jeffrey M Jones

    Jeffrey M Jones is the author of 70 SCENES OF HALLOWEEN, NIGHTCOIL, and A MAN'S BEST FRIEND; a series of collage plays: DER INKA VON PERU, TOMORROWLAND, and WIPEOUT; a series of "Crazy Plays": STONE MONKEY BANISHED (an adaptation of Monkey for Ralph Lee), 12 BROTHERS (an adaptation of the Grimm Brothers' tale, with Camila Jones); and two musicals: WRITE IF YOU GET WORK (score: Dan Moses Schreier) and J.P. MORGAN SAVES THE NATION (score: Jonathan Larson). His plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Playscripts, Inc., and Sun & Moon Press. Mr. Jones also is co-curator of the Obie-winning Little Theatre series, and holds an annual Pataphysics workshop at the Flea.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 11/1/2007
Pages 80
ISBN 9780881453010

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Tomorrowland is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC