Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fringe Festival: "To Mars With Tesla or The Interplanetary Machinations of Evil Thomas Edison"

Day: 8

Show: 23

By: English Scrimshaw Theatrical Novelties

Created by: Adrienne and Joshua English Scrimshaw

Location: Intermedia Arts

Summary: A silent film style play that explores the real and imagined life of scientist Nikola Tesla, and his real and imagined enemy Thomas Edison.

Highlights: A few months ago, nimbus theatre did an original play called Tesla about the fascinating and brilliant scientist (best known for developing the alternating current motor). The first half of this piece tells a similar story about Tesla immigrating to the US and working for Edison, and his OCD-like quirks. The second half diverges into an imagined tale of Tesla and Edison travelling to Mars to... well I'm not quite sure why. I find Tesla's real life more interesting that the made-up parts, but it does provide an excuse for some interesting Martian choreography (they speak only in movement). The silent film aspects of this piece are very well done, with expressive silent acting telling the story along with title cards displayed at the back of the stage. The funniest bits include a static electricity fight and a chalkboard brainstorm session about how to get to Mars. The six-person cast all perform well in this style, especially Joshua Scrimshaw as Tesla and Kelvin Hatle as Edison. It deserved its placement among the top 15 shows in attendance.