The Neo-Futurists explore the world of "fate" in Analog. The show opens Monday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland.
In this exploration of "fate," Kurt Chiang relives his self-prescribed task of transcribing, by hand, the entirety of the 1954 novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Chiang explains the intricate details of the transcription-how long it took, where he performed the task, what color pen he used, the notebooks he wrote in-but the further he describes it, the more pressing the question, "Why does this thing exist?"
Chiang leads the audience into his thought process, first using text, and then through a space transformed to display the inside of his brain. The audience is placed physically beside his thought, a situation Chiang himself felt most acutely after being told he had survived cancer and during the years of tests it took to confirm this. Later in the show, the rest of the ensemble joins Chiang on stage to contribute their own voices, supporting or rejecting the thoughts that Chiang has laid out.
Analog drafts a map of where we go when we write. It describes the peculiar darkness the writer must inhabit to find the privacy to write, and after establishing one voice, culls others to turn that privacy inside out.
Kurt Chiang states, "Part of the inspiration for transcribing Lord of the Flies came from seeing an art exhibit the same year I was accepted into the Neo-Futurist ensemble. It was a collection of the minimalist and conceptual artists, including Sol LeWitt, Joseph Kosuth, Robert Barry, and On Kawara. It was awesome. These artists' work reminded me a lot of the Neo-Futurist aesthetic of immediate, non-illusory work. The conceptualists would plant words in their art, in plain sight, to jump into the viewer's brain and influence what they were looking at. While this show is more theatrical, more active, there's a similar wish in Analog, where I hope the writing, and the feeling of writing, is experienced by the audience in a visceral and surprising way."
Kurt Chiang (Conceiver) has worked with The Neo-Futurists since 2007 when he participated in the prime-time shows The Fool (Returns to his Chair), Contraption, and Picked-Up. Kurt became a Neo-Futurist ensemble member in 2008, and has since written many short plays in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. He has created work for Drinking & Writing Theater, Paper Machete, West Side School for the Desperate, the Chicago One-Minute Play Festival, Barrel of Monkeys (where he is a company member), and his visual art collaborative DEAD SQUIRREL. Analog is his first endeavor as a Neo-Futurist prime-time show creator.
Tif Harrison (Director) joined The Neo-Futurist ensemble in 2012 where she regularly performs in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. She has performed with Paper Machete and will be seen in The Miss Neo Pageant this spring. Tif attended Columbia College Chicago.
The additional writer/performers include: Jessica Anne who is a Neo-Futurist ensemble alumni and will also be seen this spring in The Miss Neo Pageant; Lizi Breit who is a puppeteer, designer and comic artist; Trevor Dawkins who is a Neo-Futurist ensemble member and has also performed with the Alluvium Group and at the Wild Party Hour; Tim Reid who is a Neo-Futurist ensemble member and has studied clown, buffoon, and dance with 500 Clown; and Hank Volger who makes his stage debut with Analog.
The production staff includes: Anthony Courser (Scenic Designer), Matt Baye (Lighting Designer), Maggie Fullilove-Nugent (Production Manager), and Victoria Johnson (Asst. Production Manager). Jacob Brown serves as Stage Manager.