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 Beyond Our Mountains

A 2 Act play

A Brief Synopsis of Beyond Our Mountain

In 1929, the spirit of Josiah Royce (1855-1916) visits Royce Hall on the UCLA campus 3 days before its inauguration. He is prompted by a chance encounter with a young student to look back on his life in Grass Valley during the years of 1862-1866. The young Josiah lived with his mother, Sarah Royce, and 3 older sisters on a farm just outside the notoriously wild mining community. The father was mainly away during this period running a mercantile in Virginia City, Nevada. The play intertwines the Grass Valley events and eventual thought of the mature Josiah Royce who rose to eminence as an internationally known philosopher and chair of the Philosophy department at Harvard for 37 years. In the last scene, the young UCLA student visits Katherine Royce (Royce’s widow) in Cambridge In an effort to get some important questions answered about the spirit he encountered outside Royce Hall.

The staged reading, directed by Dinah Smith, is a work in progress. Ideas and questions from the actors, the director, and family members of the cast have been received and considered gratefully by the playwright, Robin Wallace. She would like to acknowledge especially Dinah Smith, (playing Katherine Royce), Marion Jeffery (playing Sarah Royce), John Bush (Josiah Royce, the spirit), and Camille Collings (Mary Eleanor Royce.)

The other characters are played by local young actors: Orion Molaro (young Josiah), Jozi Gullickson (Ruth Royce), Amalia Drummet (Hattie Royce), Patrick Moore ( Josiah Royce Sr, the father), and Graham Collings (the young UCLA student).