GREG AND EILEEN storyline
One facet of our research was to talk to people who lived through the earthquake in 1964. One of our performers, Angela Colavecchio, brought her grandmother Jeanne Brenner to tell her story to all of us and to answer questions we had about what Anchorage was like in 1964, what the experience of the event was, how she lived through the aftermath, etc.
Her interview formed the basis of one major storyline in the final performance. Angela shaped a story around facets of her grandmother's life, and as it grew and developed (and, frankly, moved further and further away from true life) we gave her character a new name: Eileen.
One of the most compelling things that Ms. Brenner told us was that her husband was often to be found taking a bath: "he was a very clean man," she said. That one detail inspired all of the bathtub references in the Greg and Eileen storyline.
In our production, Eileen has been in a relationship with Greg (played by Jake Beauvais) for several years, though he has been repeatedly reluctant to commit to marriage. Before the earthquake occurs, the two fight and separate. The trauma of the disaster brings them back together. We see a wider picture of their lives, including friends like June, the bartender of the bar Greg frequents; Eileen's sister Tracy; and Eileen's co-workers George and Pam.
Part of the development of this storyline included the incorporation of musical numbers and dances. This was born from the work of Becca Padrick, who had begun creating songs that explored places you wouldn't want to be or things you wouldn't want to be caught doing during an earthquake. Those songs were adapted to fit into Greg and Eileen's story. Becca's character Benny the Dog became Greg's dog, and other characters including June (played by Paitton Reid) also wound up as part of Greg and Eileen's stylized world.