In Foxy Populi, Foxy (Megan Ahiers) and her asset manager
Jett Alamo (Alex Garnett) feel each other, while Sam Wilson
pedals for power. Photo: David Baum for Annex Theatre.
To keep spirits high after a world-changing catastrophe, a small group of hardy survivors have put together a theatre troupe to entertain their community. This evening of three new plays is presented using only the electricity created by two human-powered generators operated by the actors.
Each of the three scripts in Keep the Light On takes a different approach toward entertainment in a disastrously changed world, offering a variety of ways “to remember, and to forget”:
1001 by Scot Augustson celebrates the act of storytelling as a young delivery boy falls into the path of danger and has to talk his way out of it. Tales fold in on each other like origami, featuring sudden kisses, pearl-handled revolvers, dust on the ceiling of a Thai hotel, and a Mexican widow with a Castilian lisp.
Foxy Populi by Elizabeth Heffron is a wild musical that looks back to the extravagent days before the apocalypse when we all had iPods, SUVs, and stock options.
ElectriCity by Bret Fetzer and Juliet Waller Pruzan takes us on a journey with a mother and her daughter as they visit the last amusement park on earth.
Keep the Light On began as an experiment in human-powered lighting. The show’s creator, Max Reichlin, wanted to discover what could be done on stage when all electricity is provided by actors pedaling custom-made generators. It will provide a total-immersion experience in the world of the future, according to director Ellie McKay:
“Our dream is to take Annex Theatre ‘off the grid’ for each performance,” she said. “This means that the moment the audience enters our space, there is no outside electricity entering the building. To light the hall, we will hook up a car battery to some lights. Actors will be riding the generators on the stage to light the audience’s seats. Bathrooms will be lit by the users providing light with hand-crank flashlights. Instead of programs we will have a wall with hand-written information on recycled paper for people to read.”
In ElectriCity, Aggie (Pamala Mijatov, center) arrives
at the Freak Show to visit with one of the circus performers
(Alex Garnett). In the background, Ciara Griffin pedals for power.
Keep the Light On is the second show of Annex’s 4-show season.
It plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. through March 8.
Tickets are available online and at the door.