THE SALAMANDER'S TALE
synopsis & info graphics
DRAMA - Not Yet Produced
CAST OF 7 (6 men, 1 woman) Unit Set.
FINALIST FOR THE WOODWARD/NEWMAN DRAMA AWARD
Workshop and Reading, Salt Lake City, October 12-16, 2015
NEW YORK Reading, 13th St. Repertory Theatre, February 22, 23, 2016
The Salamander’s Tale is a true story of fraud, forgery, murder and the Mormon Church.
Mark Hofmann, on the surface a faithful, mission serving Mormon, forged and sold hundreds of documents to collectors all over the country. His creations included letters and autographs of Washington, Lincoln, Mark Twain and even an “unpublished” poem by Emily Dickinson. All were authenticated by acknowledged experts in their fields. Principal among his forgeries were documents relating to the early history of the Mormon Church, some of which were embarrassing to the Church as they cast doubt upon the motives of its founder, Joseph Smith, and the official origin stories. Church leaders purchased some of these documents in an attempt to conceal their contents from the public. Hofmann had found the perfect victim, an institution so defensive about its past that it sought to acquire and bury, almost without question, any document that seemed to contradict official beliefs. When Hofmann’s schemes began to unravel, he killed two people with pipe bombs in an attempt to conceal his crimes. This play is part “who did it"; part “how he did it”; but mostly “why did he do it"? At its core it is a play about the relationship of faith to fact, the very nature of religious faith itself and an investigation into the psychology of an individual who is utterly without faith while wearing all the outward trappings.
BY KENNETH JONES:
A Mormon Murder Story: Playwright Charles Morey Talks About His True Crime Drama “The Salamander’s Tale” February 26th, 2016
A lurid chapter in the recent history of the Mormon Church is dramatized in playwright-director Charles Morey’s new play The Salamander’s Tale, seen in recent developmental readings in New York and Salt Lake City. At once a police procedural and a rumination on institutional and personal ego, the drama tells the story of continue reading→