For the past year, playwright and psychic Asher Hartman (Art MFA 03) has been developing his latest theater project Purple Electric Play (PEP). Commissioned specifically for Machine Project’s 17-seat underground Mystery Theater, the new work debuts on Oct. 30 and runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm until Dec. 13.
A show meant to both “delight and bewilder” audiences, PEP is described as an interdisciplinary performance exploring “the difficulties communities face when organizing for social change.” More from a press release from Machine Project:
Hartman wrote a non-narrative text regarding class politics that reveals our unconscious fears and desires about collective action. Hartman’s text contrasts the performance in which comedy, DIY magic, music and dance steps drawn from familiar entertainment tropes elicit strong emotional reactions. Performers, puppets and sets act as characters enticing the audience to interact in a total environment, primed for revolution. Using methods and forms of popular spectacles, Hartman breaks boundaries between performers and spectators to provoke reflection on state control and resistance.
“This is the most ambitious, over the top, production we’ve endeavored to date,” says Machine Project Executive Director, Mark Allen (Art MFA 99). “We have music, 70’s lighted disco wear, diapers, 50 yards of red sparkle fabric, puppets, mauve velvet, black lights, comedy, levitation, Black Art Magic and elaborate dance moves.”
The cast features Philip Littell, Jasmine Orpilla, Kalean Ung (Theater MFA 12), Joe Seely, Drew Thataussie, Chelsea Rector and Joseph Faragher. The creative team includes former CalArts staff member Caroline Kim, Director of Design and Production at CalArts Ellen McCartney, Orpilla, Littell, Ken Weiler, Seely, Nina Caussa (Theater MFA 14), Aubree Lynn (Theater MFA 16), Adam Frank (Theater MFA 12), Chris Candelaria, Carol Guidry, Patrick Ballard (Art MFA 14), Winona Bechtle, Candice Lin, Rose Strasen (Theater BFA 17), Aaron Hagen.
Above is a photo gallery of stills from the show. Tickets are available now, with only about 300 seats available for the entire run.
Asher Hartman: 'Purple Electric Play'
Oct. 30-Dec. 13 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm
1200 D North Alvarado, Los Angeles
Tickets: General $22, Machine Project members $17