Beckley: In our first workshop, in August of 2010, we used a lot of found text: speeches and communiqués and letters and essays and manifestos written by and about the Weathermen. We also did extensive structured improvisations. One of these, the criticism/self-criticism session, has remained in the show as improvised text. Though it is loosely structured, it's different in every performance. The energy of that scene tends to be very tense and very dangerous, and that's something we probably couldn't have done if we'd set the text. In general, these improvisations were used to generate text. We would tape them, watch the video, and consider what was and wasn't dramatically interesting.
Benacerraf: It is always a difficult transition to go from general collaborator into specialized artist, but it is a necessary one in order to achieve a shared collective vision. Even though the process was highly collaborative, towards the very end of the process we had to fall back into our "traditional" roles for the sake of efficiency. We all had to trust one another--and Jess in particular--to care for the idea we all created together, in various ways. This basically just required most of us to switch our brains over into a new kind of efficiency and detail.
I think the story is even clearer [now], and more personal than before. We got to rewrite major chunks in a way that's more dramatically compelling, without compromising factual accuracy. Each actor breaks out of character at some point to deliver a personal monologue about their relationship to the material, and each of those was changed or tweaked in notable ways--and I imagine they will continue to be as our individual stances on the play keep evolving. Also, this is the "tourable" version of the show, designed to fit into a van and driven around the US. Given the sense that you're within an immersive installation, this was a big task, and one we won't be able to fully assess until the show opens!