Astro Boy & the God of C1

a Company One rehearsal & development blog

Geek Theatre On the Rise!

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In their February 2014 issue, American Theatre Magazine published this article by Robert L. Neblett, titled “The Geek Shall Inherit the Stage: by mining science fiction, superheroes and RPG fandoms, geek theatre puts the outsider front and center.”

Neblett writes: “Astro Boy and the God of ComicsOf Dice and MenShe Kills MonstersTwo Point Oh! A Klingon Christmas CarolMacHomerA Very Potter MusicalMr. Burns, a Post-Electric PlayThe Intergalactic Nemesis. This is just a small sampling of the plays dotting the marquees of stages throughout the nation, each one representing a different aspect of geek culture, from RPGs (role-playing games), to science fiction, to Japanese manga/anime, to comic book superheroes—a selection of categories that barely scratches the surface of the wide diversity of the geek community. … What were once terms of contempt or ridicule have been reclaimed as self-referential monikers of empowerment.”

HowlRound hosted a twitter chat on “Genres in Theatre: Science Fiction, Anime, Fantasy, Steampunk, etc.” You can read the transcript here. Part of it is an interesting conversation around whether “anime” can be considered a genre of theatre or only an influence or aesthetic. It also includes a few shout-out to Natsu and Astro Boy!

For another take on the Geek theatre trend, read an interview with playwright Crystal Skillman on HowlRound. She thinks about Geek Theatre this way: “While all geek theater plays are very, very different—some plays put an original genre story on stage while others follow real characters who are actual geeks living in the geek community (as in this play)—both approaches are using genre for their characters to discover something greater. I think we are all excited to use genre to explore the story of the outsider, which we pour our hearts into because it is indeed personal. The story of the outsider longing to find their place in the world is one everyone relates to.”

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