WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
In The Earliest Known Photo of Men Drinking Beer, a farce gone awry, a troupe of actors repeatedly attempt to reenact the historical photograph entitled Edinburgh Ale. The photograph, taken circa 1843 in Edinburgh, Scotland by pioneers in photography Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill, features Scotsmen Dr. George Bell, writer James Ballantine, and Hill himself, drinking beer. The play asks the question, "How will you be remembered?" and deals with the attempt by artists to immortalize their works (including the playwright himself) and the hypocrisy of the photograph (Dr. George Bell, known for his social reform in Scotland, who is holding a glass of beer in his hand in the photograph, was a proponent of prohibiting alcohol from the poor).