Script Details

About the Author ...

Author Name(s)
Ken White
Nominated Charity
The State Theatre

About the Script ...

Early Morning Light
Drama, Historical
Short Description
The controversy between big wall rock climbers Royal Robbins and Warren Harding over bolting on El Capitan's Dawn Wall in California's Yosemite Valley.
Plot Synopsis
Royal Robbins, a pioneer of American rock climbing, was instrumental in changing the climbing culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s by encouraging the use and preservation of the natural features of the rock. Warren Harding was one of the most accomplished and influential American rock climbers of the 1950s to 1970s. He was nicknamed "Batso," a reference to his remarkable penchant for spending days living on vertical cliffs, as well as his exuberant and iconoclastic character. He was known for his doggedness, drinking, and farcing, as reflected in his motto Semper Farcisimus! Harding was controversial because he was more willing to utilize artificial aids which become a permanent part of the environment, especially expansion bolts. These take a long time to put in, but are not removable, and as they can be put anywhere, take some of the skill and the risk out of rock climbing. This controversy reached a high point when Harding's chief rival, Robbins, began the second ascent of his Early Morning Light route, hanging in Harding's bolt and bat-hook holes, and then cutting off the hangers, declaring he wished to restore the rock to its pristine state – and making a third ascent unlikely. The irritated Harding called Robbins a "Carrie Nation" of rock climbers, and felt vindicated when Robbins eventually decided the climb was harder than it looked and then respected it by not cutting any more bolts as he and Don Lauria completed the second ascent.
Cast Age Range
25-40, 40-60
Cast Ethnicity
Reqd Performance Skills
Set, lighting et al
Set Build Required, Lighting Required, Recorded Music/Sound Required
Script in PDF Format
Score/Notes in PDF Format
Cover/Flyer Image