Wellman came to Austin for the 9th annual Fusebox Festival. He brought “Muazzez” a play derived from a collection of short stories entitled “A Chronicle Of The Madness Of Small Worlds.” All of the stories in the book take place on various asteroids, and Muazzez is an asteroid that is home to an abandoned cigar factory. This cigar factory is in an existential crisis, this “twelve acres of crumbling brick and mortar” has always assumed he is human, or at least humanoid, but now isn’t certain. He has dug too deep, and “what I had taken for bedrock now seemed sand.” By the way, I’m not missing a word in there. That is the actual line, and in the hands of the wrong collaborator I can see how it would sound like a mistake, but it didn’t.
“Muazzez” features Steve Mellor, Wellman’s longtime collaborator, as the concerned cigar factory, sitting at a table, drinking water, simply talking with the audience. Wellman’s work is unique and precise in language, more than other writers I’ve come across, and his work goes in two different directions; either extremely good, or extremely odd, depending on the production. The result of Mellor on the asteroid is an intimate story, a good collaboration between a writer, an actor, and their audience.