Theatre wraps up season with ‘Mr. Burns: a post-electric play’

Published: April 09, 2018
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For the final performance of the academic year, Auburn University’s Department of Theatre presents "Mr. Burns, a post-electric play." This play will be performed in the Telfair Peet Theatre Black Box, and runs from April 12-22. Due to a few instances of adult language and some intense scenes, this show is recommended for a PG-13 audience.

"Mr. Burns, a post-electric play" features an apocalyptic event where the world has lost all electrical power. Out of the literal darkness, survivors gather together to tell stories, find loved ones, and create community. In search of a common cultural language, people find solace and sustenance in sharing memories of a certain yellow animated family, specifically, an episode of "The Simpsons" called, "Cape Feare."

"Mr. Burns, a post-electric play" was written by New York playwright Anne Washburn. Washburn’s brilliant dark comedy combines music and text to argue for the enduring power of storytelling and the vital role it plays in telling our history and creating our future.

Over the course of three acts, Washburn’s play challenges audience members to imagine a world, stripped of electricity and engaged in the process of rebuilding society from the detritus left behind. Survivors from the immediate aftermath, 7 years later, and then 75 years, into the future employ the language of popular culture to express their hopes, tackle their fears and chart a way forward. The play resonates for both fans of Fox’s animated series "The Simpsons," as well as those who may never have seen the show before.

"It was just musing, in the subway, about what would happen to pop culture after a sudden fall of civilization, wondering what would survive, and how it might be useful. I wondered what would happen if you took a TV show and pushed it forward in time, and then forward again, what different needs it would serve, and how serving those different needs would change it. I thought maybe ‘Friends ‘ or ‘Seinfeld’ or ‘Cheers,’ anything which had been beloved or popular, and I ended up hitting on ‘The Simpsons,’ a bit at random…I think people would remember really enjoying it. And it’s a show in which the humor is so verbally precise that lots of people enjoy the act of remembering it even now, and so I think chunks of it would be in readiness. More than that it’s a show about family, and about community, and I think that focus would seem resonant in a time of deep crisis," Washburn said.

For the Saturday, April 21 performance, the Department of Theatre encourages all fans of "The Simpsons" to attend in their best "The Simpsons" attire—either in costume or in an item of the bountiful array of "The Simpsons" commercial attire.

The artistic team for "Mr. Burns, a post electric play" includes direction by Chase Bringardner, music direction by Collin Lowrey, costume design by Tracy Oleinick, scenic and lighting design by Fereshteh Rostampour and choreography by Jeri Dickey. The cast includes: London Carlisle, Lauren Vedder, Cate Rasco, Jackson Whiting, Noel Dudley, Hudson Hubbard, Teyonna Johnson, Jessi Rogers, Grant Lackey, Andy Gibson, Logan Pace, Ian Downes, Peter Strickland, Kaylie Horowitz and Falan Buie-Madden.

This performance runs approximately 2 hours, with a 10 minute intermission.

Talkback Thursdays

To engage in discussion around the production or learn more about the production, make plans to attend "Talkback Thursdays" after the performance for a discussion with the director and company members.

Buy Tickets

The Department of Theatre continues to take advantage of its new ticketing system. Features include the ability to choose seats online (for mainstage productions) and a new season subscription package, along with a larger range of purchasing options. For more information, go to https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=aubrn.

Box Office Hours

Box office: 334-844-4154
Tuesday-Friday, from 1 – 5 p.m.
On weekday performances, from 1 – 8 p.m.
On Saturday evening performances, 6 – 8 p.m.
On Sunday matiness, 1 – 3 p.m.

Showtimes:

Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 15 at 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.
*Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m.

*Talkback Thursday

Ticket Prices

General $16
Senior Citizen $12
Faculty and Staff $12
AU student with ID: Free
Non-Auburn University Student $12
Find more information online.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.