~ About Us ~
Our Mission
Our mission is to find new and innovative ways to keep theater alive and relevant in the computer age. We prefer smaller audiences and unusual venues that keep performances intimate and encourage the connection between actors and audience.
Our Name
When i read the quote posted on this site's homepage, the name clicked. The book i read it in is called "Home is the Hangman" by Roger Zelazny. This short story is about an A.I. called Hangman who is traumatized when his programmers send him on a joyride and he accidentally takes a human life. Hangman suffers a mental breakdown and disappears into space for years. When he returns, and appears to be on a rampage, the story's protagonist contemplates the nature of self:
"It had been designed along the lines of a brain and at least partially educated in a human fashion; and to further muddy the issue... it had been in direct contact with human minds from which it might have acquired almost anything- including the spark that set it on the road to whatever selfhood it may have found. What did that make it? Its own creature? A fractured mirror reflecting a fractured humanity? Both? Or neither? I certainly could not say, but i wondered how much of its self had been truly its own."
The Hangman is an example of how we all start out as clean slates, ready to learn how to be human by mirroring what we see around us. But over the years, our reflections can be skewed and distorted by what we are taught and how we are influenced by other fractured individuals. until one has to wonder: how much of who i am is truly me? And how much is my parents, my peer group, or society?
Some may view this in a negative light, saying that if we can never reflect humanity accurately, we shouldn't try to at all. To them i say, it's a good thing Picasso never listened to you.
Accurate reflection is not the point of art. The point of art, to me, is to give others a glimpse of what the world looks like through a different set of eyes. Or, through someone else's mirror.  Art is necessary for understanding and tolerance. Art is necessary for showing people how the world could be, or might be, or might have been. Artists challenge the realities we've been given.
In an odd twist, i have chosen to fulfill this message from a science fiction story by focusing on historic works. "Shades of Poe", our flagship piece, gives us a glimpse into Edgar Allan Poe's very fractured, and fascinating, mirror. Perhaps i feel that, before we look to the future, we need to know our true past.
Is Theater Relevant?
Absolutely. Big Broadway is trying to keep theater alive and relevant in the modern age by making it compete with film; by making shows bigger and more spectacular. This is certainly one way to go. However, the rest of us who don't have access to million dollar budgets need to return theater to its roots: storytelling. And a story doesn't have to be elaborately staged to be compelling.
But why schlep out to a theater when you can stay indoors and be told a story by your television? Why leave the house to eat when you can have everything delivered? Why go out to socialize when you can connect with your friends through a computer?
Because man is a social creature. We need contact. Physical, emotional, and spiritual connections. The connection an audience member develops with a live actor in real time is something that can never happen in film. If you want to see something breathtaking or abstract that cannot be staged, go see a movie. But if you want to connect with other human beings, go see a play.
With all of our opportunities to connect with others being slowly taken away by the convenience of computers, theater is more important than ever to the human race.