Sean Benjamin and Andy Bayiates back during “43″
As you might guess, the writers of 44 Plays for 44 Presidents did A LOT of research in the process of drafting the original script. Every play was based on a slew of facts we collected about the man, the time period, etc. – and the play has undergone a series of revisions in the past ten years.
Each writer had their own process for data collection – and with hindsight, I wish I’d kept better records of why I made certain choices in plays, the links I was using, books I had referenced, etc. If you asked me about a particular play, I could absolutely tell you what nuggets of information inspired the eventual draft in the script, what form the revision process took, what each element in the scene means or represents, and why I chose the facts I did. But I don’t necessarily have careful lists of all the sources I used, nor can I always trace the direct path that lead to the decisions I made.
What is funny – and sort of amazing – to me is that even after ten years, we’re still finding things we need to tweak. Not only do certain Presidents and presidencies look different over time, but also certain facts or common knowledge become refuted, challenged, debunked. Or in some cases, we just got it wrong and all the fact-checkers up to that point happened to miss the same thing we missed.