The Road to the End: The Beauty in Memories 


The world premiere of The Road to the End from Mason's School of Theater and the Mason Players was performed in TheatreSpace on Mason's Fairfax campus from April 20-23, 2023.

The play by Bella Panciocco is a magical and thought-provoking journey through the power of memories. The production was directed by Megan Gray Lederman, assistant directed by Darren Badley, original music by Brett Womack, and performed by the talented Mason Players. 

Director Megan Gray Lederman is a senior at Mason pursuing a double major in both Theater and English with concentrations in Theater Studies and English Literature, respectively. She is highly involved at Mason, currently serving as Company Manager of The Mason Players, the Student Leader of The Kilroys Playreading Club, and a member of Alpha Psi Omega, Alpha Zeta Upsilon Cast. Here is how Megan brought the script to life: 

megan lederman
Megan Lederman

“When I first read this script, a moment that spoke to me was when Steve reminds his son Henry, ‘Your memories are your receipts. Don't lose them.’ Memories are our own past experiences, the folklore passed down through generations, the tangible moments just out of reach, and the thoughts that engage all our senses. My concept for the show emphasizes the importance of sensing the beauty in the melody of the memories that we all hold within us.  

Loss is an experience that many may see as something to reject and ignore, but as Henry notes, ‘Omitting the bad things makes the good things less sweet.’ Accepting loss helps us grow and reach catharsis. It is a universal experience that each character, performer, company member, and viewer can relate to, no matter how different. There is an intentionality to the way this story is being told on this stage and who is telling it. Although the play focuses on one family's experience, it spans different bonds, cultures, and generations.  

This is what The Road to the End is all about. The show reminds us to hold our loved ones as tightly as we can and to never forget the moments we share. Often there are experiences in life that we want to remember forever, while others we would rather forget instantly. This production explores both whimsical and bitter memories and attempts to bring them to life. 

To accomplish this, we focus on being abstract and challenging reality to be more magical. The use of memories and how they manifest differently for everyone is an integral detail of this production. We can see how memories impact each character and how vivid they are. This aspect of magical realism plays into all facets of the show. The play spans many locations and points in time. It has been a fun challenge to create these moments and tie them together using abstraction, props, intimate lighting, original compositions, subtleties in costumes, and the minimal fringe set. Our amazing team of designers and coordinators have worked tirelessly to turn these abstractions into reality. It has been an honor to work with this amazing and dedicated company composed entirely of fellow student artists, alumni, and their mentors.” 

Support new voices in theater by viewing the recorded digital performance of The Road to The End available on Mason Arts at Home from June 1- July 31. Come along for this ride of deafening silence, erupting laughter, immense yearning, and wistful nostalgia.