SACRED FOOLS | MAINSTAGE 1998 - THE FICTIONIST!: Details Page


Poster by

September 3 - October 10, 1998


THE FANTASTICAL TRAGEDY OF DR. RUPERT ARTEMUS,
THE FICTIONIST!

A World
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Premiere

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Dr. Artemus (Adam Bitterman) & Dr. Mead (Daintry Jensen)
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Nellie (Jessica Thompson), Dr. Artemus and Dean Alfred Hochler (Danny Kon)
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Dr. Mead,
Queen Sessaly (Michelle Philippe),
Prince Sardinius (Martin Yu)
& King Corsicus
(Alexander Yannis Stephano)
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The Atlanteans
Bil Garrity, Gabby Anderman, Scott McShane & Aldrich Allen
Synopsis:
Recluse scientist Dr. Rupert Artemus is The Fictionist, a man who has mastered the ability to focus his thoughts into three dimensional physical things..."fictions."  Enter Dr. Morgan Mead, a female explorer of world renown who has run out of earthly challenges.  After striking a deal with Artemus, Dr. Mead embarks on a journey through the landscape of the mad scientist's mind.  Battling for her life against beings created by his imagination, Dr. Mead must make her way out of the Fictionist's mind, all the while trying to discover "The Secret to the Power of Fictionism."

Cast
Aldrich Allen - Sylvan Eisler / Ensemble
Gabby Anderman - Blue Girl / Ensemble
Adam Bitterman - Dr. Rupert Artemus
Amy Bryson - Leah
Brad Friedman - Knick-Knack, The Paddywacker
Bil Garrity - The Infibulous / Ensemble
Daintry Jensen - Dr. Morgan Mead
Danny Kon - Dean Alfred Hochler
Scott McShane - Soldier of Atlantis / Ensemble
Michelle Philippe - Sleeping Woman / Queen Sessaly / Ensemble
Alexander Yannis Stephano - Hanson / King Corsicus / Ensemble
Jessica Thompson - Nellie / Ensemble
Martin Yu - Messenger / Prince Sardinius / Ensemble

Production Staff
Produced for Sacred Fools by David Oliver Holcomb & Adam Bitterman
Written by Robert Previto
Directed by Jonathan Goldstein
Stage Manager - Catia Salvadori
Original Score by Peter Nissen
Dramaturge - Joshua Rebell
Lighting Designer - Peter Falco
Costume Designer - Nicole Lee Thomas
Sound Design by Wav Magic
Set Design by Dave, J.G. & Adam
Movement Choreographer - Tina Kronis
Fight Choreographer - Alexander Yannis Stephano
Video Production - Gene Lushtak
Prop God - Rik Keller
Graphic Design by Stacy Lauren / Lauren Design
Mural Designed & Painted by Jennifer Wolf
Artemus’ Hoop Designed & Built by
Mike Peerys/Metal Maddness

 

Reviews

  • BACKSTAGE WEST / DRAMA-LOGUE

    Ten feet tall on stilts, Rob Crites weaves without mishap through the pre-show crowd on the sidewalk while downing an occasional fiery blast from one of the flaming torches he juggles. These Sacred fools are cool and anything can happen.

    And it does in this boldly imaginative play by Robert Previto Esq. The playwright (also a New York lawyer) is in town to witness the world premiere of his lengthily titled play, as directed by the Sacred Fools' Jonathan Goldstein. Previto's play is allegorical, metaphorical, somewhat metaphysical, and a labyrinthine honeycomb of allusions--literary, literal, mythical and theatrical.  It's clear that Previto loves the language of Shakespeare and Shelley, using it with such glee that he sometimes can't help breaking into verse.

    The house of world-famed "fictionist" Dr. Artemus is hidden deep in Germany's Black Forest (shades of the Brothers Grimm) , so presumably it is Hansel and Gretel sleeping there at the doctor's door. But never mind that--they have nothing to do with the story. Peter Falco's canny, tenebrous lighting send a chill as it frames the doctor's brooding face in an upstairs window. The spooky, twitchy-faced woman in black who opens the door (Jessica Thompson) isn't a witch, though she's a ringer for Young Frankenstein's Frau Bluecher. The eager young pilgrim seeking admittance to the doctor's shrine is the well known explorer Dr. Morgan Mead (Daintry Jensen) an amalgam of, let's say, Margaret Mead (if portrayed by Jodie Foster or a young Jane Fonda), Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy in Oz, Amelia Earheart, Shirley MacLaine, the Woman Warrior, etc. She is in fact the Ultimate Woman: She is Eve! And this is the playwright's homage to her. But out of his fictionist's head, the doctor, poor wretch, has created Leah (Amy Bryson), who is no longer content with being mere fiction and demands to be the doctor's real live woman. She wants to come out of "The Loop" of his imagination.  The doc thinks this is a bad idea, and Leah gets nasty. If Morgan is Eve, Leah is now Lillith. The creature becomes her creator's nemesis. But not before a lot of things happen. While Leah wants out of the Loop, Morgan wants in. Clever as she is fearless, she indeed gets in and finds herself in Atlantis in the company of a cheeky jester, Knick-Knack the Paddy Whacker (a kinetic Brad Friedman, who juggles several balls as he speaks in rhyme). The Atlantean court he serves is headed by an addled king and bossy little queen (Alexander Yannis Stephano and Michelle Philippe), whose petulant prince (Martin Yu) falls for Morgan. She bests him in a duel and slays a ferocious dragon with a whale of a tail (Aldrich Allen).   So it goes in this phantasmagoric excursion into terra incognita. Morgan manages to emerge from Atlantis' deluge, though not unscathed (amusing visual effects here), and since Artemus is a good guy at heart, he sees to it that virtue triumphs over evil, more or less.

    We have gone too long without acknowledging that the professorially authoritative, egg-bald Adam Bitterman fits impressively into his role as the fictionist as if it were tailor-made for him, which maybe it was. And his pal, Dean Alfred Hochler (Danny Kon), with his spats, goatee and accent, evokes early hypnotist Dr. Mesmer and certain Dracula moments.

    David Oliver Holcomb has created a setting, complete with "The Loop", which is both functional and cosmological.  Costumes by Nicole Lee Thomas are most colorful as worn by Atlantean royalty. Original Score is by Peter Nissen and sound by Wav Magic.

    -Polly Warfield,
    1998 Backstage West/DramaLogue