Wednesday, September 20 , 2017, 8:38 am | Fair 60º

 
 
 
 
Posted on February 26, 2017 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Mr. Burns’: The Simpsons in a Post-Apocalyptic Society

Source: Una Mladenovic for UCSB Department of Theater/Dance

The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance is back with its latest production, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, in the Studio Theater March 4–12.

As part of the 2016-17 season, Mr. Burns brings a self-reflexive perspective to the stage by commenting on popular culture and what it means to have live theater as part of a society.

In a play essentially about survival, eight actors come together to tell a story that speaks to the uncertain nature of the future and human survival mechanisms.

“The archetypical conflicts of survival carry us down the River of Time,” said director Tom Whitaker. “Washburn’s play is kind of like a cultural/anthropological dig.”

Told in three acts, the story honors current popular cultures while honoring tradition by bringing theater back to its ancient Greek roots. Ultimately, the play poses the questions of what will endure when the cataclysm arrives — when the grid fails, society crumbles, and we’re faced with the task of rebuilding.

Asked why he chose Mr. Burns, Whitaker said, “It has everything: singing, dancing and an amazing narrative journey. It boldly takes an audience from a nearly familiar place to the far future, a sort of new theater and finally the ritual organs of theater itself.”

A hymn to live theater and the resilience of pop culture through the ages, Mr. Burns is a theatrical exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.

As a collaborative production, the story comes to life with the combination of live music orchestrated by Jon Nathan, costumes by Lara De Bruijn, lighting by Michael Klaers, set design by Shaun Motley, and choreography by Christina McCarthy, all working to find a unique style for the show.

About the actors, Whitaker said: “It’s a terrific cast. All are great singers and strong actors. The play is largely about community, and the actors have formed a very strong ensemble.”

Performance dates and times are: 8 p.m. March 4, 2 p.m. March 5, 8 p.m. March 7-11, and 2 p.m. March 11-12.

Tickets are $17 general admission and $13 for UCSB student/faculty/staff/alumni/general student/senior/child.

For tickets and more information, visit www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu.

— Una Mladenovic for UCSB Department of Theater/Dance.

 
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >