The art of storytelling takes center stage when the Department of Theater and Dance at the State University of New York at Fredonia presents “Mr. Burns, a post-electric piece” as the next offering in the Walter Gloor Mainstage series. The production runs from February 25 to March 5 at the Bartlett Theater on the Fredonia campus.
“Mr. burns” is described as a “The imaginative black comedy takes audiences forward nearly a century, following a new civilization stumbling toward its future.” After civilization collapses, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of “The simpsons” episode “Cap Fear” entirely from memory. This storytelling format becomes the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society struggling to hold on to its past.
Daniel F. Lendzian, a member of the Theater and Dance faculty, is the Mainstage Production Manager. He hopes “Mr. burns” will create an appreciation for storytelling.
“‘Mr. Burns asks the question, what are the stories we tell and tell, and how do those stories evolve and change over time?? What will survive us?? Why have we need to tell stories? “And how do yesterday’s myths create tomorrow’s stories?” said Lendzian. “These questions make ‘Mr. Burns’ a compelling sight.
“Mr. burns” is presented in three acts, which, according to Lendzian, are very different in tone and style.
“The first act is contemporary realism. The third act is a musical. I think there is something for everyone.” said the director.
While the iconic television series “The simpsons” is at the center of “Mr. burns”, Lendzian said you don’t have to be a fan of the show to enjoy this piece.
“No one needs to be a fan of The Simpsons to appreciate the work. Washburn does a great job of preparing audiences to fully understand the references,” he said. “Coincidentally, the episode of The Simpsons samples elements of popular culture, particularly the movie ‘Cape Fear.’ Regardless of your familiarity with “The Simpsons,” if you see “Mr. Burns, you’ll enjoy it.
More than 50 students take part in the Theater and Dance production and the highlights are numerous.
“We have an incredible cast, incredible designers and an amazing storyline. I don’t want to give away too much, but I’m blown away by the design. said Lendzian. “I’m thrilled to be working with James Welch from the School of Music Faculty of Music and student Nik Dahlen on the music for the show. Our students have worked so hard on the production and I can’t wait to share what we created.
Tickets are available at the Fredonia Campus Box Office at the Williams Center, by phone at 716-673-3501, and online at fredonia.edu/tickets.
Show dates and times are February 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m.; February 27 at 2 p.m. and March 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.