Big news brewing on the AntiMatter frontier: Coming in June, Phil Gates leads a Joint Stock-style developmental workshop for my next play about, you guessed it, the Donner Party. Featuring the research talents of American History PhD Maya Rook. Love, death, and dinner: add a liberal helping of excellent actors, blend on high, pour out thick, creamy, mythological dark comedy.
Huge, huge thanks to everyone who donated to Motherboard’s Kickstarter drive. We couldn’t have done it without you! The extremely generous amongst you (double mega super thanks) got one of these original drawings, but we wanted to present the whole set for public perusal – check it out! Thank you all again, and stay tuned for news on AntiMatter’s big 2013!
Robots! They build our cars, they sort our Amazon orders, they fight our wars, they explore our solar system. We’ve felt their indirect, mechanical touch throughout our whole lives, but we may be on the cusp of a robotic invasion. In personal computing years robots are in the late 70′s, being mostly used for large-scale, industrial and governmental applications, but creeping into civilian life through as toys and novelties, the domain of hackers and hobbyists. As the technology becomes exponentially cheaper and better, we’ll see an explosion of applied robotics across all areas of society. This will be supplemented by the current explosive growth happening in neuroscience, leading to better theories of mind and the creation of more powerful artificial intelligences. Soon they will be driving our cars, caring for our elderly, and playing our sports.
But we all know that robots have already been much more present in our lives. Some want to be our friends, like Wall-E, C-3PO, and Lieutenant Commander Data. Others want to destroy us, like the nefarious Cylons, Megatron, or the Nexus 6 Replicants. Going at least as far back as the Golem and Galatea, we have been preoccupied with stories of man creating life and dealing with its consequences. The means of their genesis, the roles that they play, and the questions that they ask vary across the stories, but taken en masse, some thematic broad strokes emerge: the boundary conditions between a something and a someone, a tool and a user; individual will versus utility to the collective; order versus chaos, logic versus instinct; hubris.
Which is why it’s the perfect subject for a theatrical treatment. The Robot Apocalypse (like the Zombie Apocalypse) is a potent modern Myth: a dynamic, polyvalent body of stories, themes, and images that distills our collective hopes and fears. We return to these genre stories again and again because they speak powerfully to our postmodern condition. Starting with the Greeks, our western theatrical tradition is built around gathering our communities together to ruminate upon our shared myths.
Less pretentiously, though, robots are awesome! Like he did with Death Valley, Adam has written a stirring, action-packed, heart-rending, hilarious script for Motherboard. And as with zombies, transposing science fiction to the stage presents a whole range of challenges for staging and storytelling. We think the solutions that we’ve been developing will surprise, amuse, and amaze you. Some of your favorite actors and designers from Death Valley will be returning, plus some new and extraordinary artists that will help us take this to a whole new level. We’re a few shows wiser, so this will be the most exciting AntiMatter show yet. Check out our Kickstarter page to see the trailer and maybe toss a few dollars our way to help make it even better.
Motherboard will be unlike any theater you have ever seen–get ready for the Robocalypse.
by Adam Scott Mazer
directed by Will Fulton
September 28th – October 14th
So who’s seen a good scary movie lately? I heard Cabin in the Woods is pretty cool, though I haven’t managed to catch it yet. What about a good scary play?
…Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Theatrical horror is pretty much an oxymoron to most producers (and probably theater-goers, too). I can count on one hand the number of plays I’ve seen that have been even slightly frightening. And shows that seem tailor-made to develop the form tend to get transmogrified into pure camp – Silence of the Lambs, for example, or Evil Dead. For good reasons too – theater simply doesn’t have the toolbox that film does. Special effects are much more difficult, for one, and it’s a hell of a lot harder to hide anything when everything is sitting in front of you. There’s no follow shot. No quick cuts. And everyone knows that knife isn’t really sharp (unless you happen to be this guy).
But just because it’s tough doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. Quite the contrary. Starting with DEATH VALLEY, one of AntiMatter’s primary objectives has been to “confront the chasm between the hysterical and the horrific.” Theater has been hysterical for a long time – since some Greek asshole strapped on a big ol’ phallus and swordfought some other asshole with it, if not far before that. On the other hand, though, theater these days seems to have lost its sense of the horrific. Which is where we come in.
Demonology, opening June 8 at Magic Futurebox, may not make you jump out of your pumps. Or pee your pants. Or run in terror. But also, it might. And it will certainly feed that darkness at the bottom of your soul, you know, the place where you throw all the things you don’t like to look at? And you know what? You’re going to enjoy every terrible, hilarious, unsettling moment of it. Or else.
I hear it’s a long way down.
As you’ve maybe seen from our main page, we’re working on a special project that will be going up in less than 2 weeks in Prague, as part of the AXA in Action festival.
The show is sixsixsix, a new play by Gregory S. Moss. We’re really excited to be working with Greg, who’s been behind some seriously excellent plays like Orange, Hat & Grace at SoHo Rep, punkplay at Clubbed Thumb, and House of Gold at Woolly Mammoth.
We’ve been deep in rehearsals in New York for the past 3 weeks, and are just about ready to take it across the pond. I’ll be sure to post some updates as I get to work transforming the space, and rigging up lighting and sound.
For those of you who can’t make it– worry not. We have some plans to put the show up sometime soon in New York. More info on this as soon as we get it!
Here, in its tiny entirety, is our adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dreams in the Witch House”, as performed on October 21st at The Brick Theater in Brooklyn, NY as part of the Tiny Theater Festival.
Hi all – if you donated $100 or over to DEATH VALLEY‘s Kickstarter campaign, one of these drawings by yours truly is on its way to your doorstep. Thanks so much to everyone who supported our first production – check out The Dreams In The Witch House in a few weeks, and stay tuned for more info on our next full-length!
AntiMatter Collective is pleased to welcome a new member to our producing staff: Courtney Fenwick (check out her bio on our About page). In addition to her excellent acting talents, she brings producing and project management skills to the table, which will be a big help as we try to build on the success of DEATH VALLEY with some upcoming projects (more info about that soon!). We’re very excited to have her on-board, and even more excited for the new projects she’s going to help us bring to you.
The DEATH VALLEY team talks to nytheatre.com editor Martin Denton about the show and the company.