Deus Ex Machina
by Whirligig Productions
Jan. 03 - Jan. 18, 2015
Deus Ex Machina is live, choose-your-own adventure performance that yields total control of the play's storyline to the audience. Written and directed by Liz Fisher, Deus Ex Machina rips characters from Greek mythology and throws them into the gladiator ring. Through the power of Zeus, audience members are transformed into gods and battle it out amongst themselves (think: Clash of the Titans) to determine, by voting, the fates of the most infamous characters from the House of Atreus: Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra, and Orestes. But no matter the audience’s choice, there are consequences to their actions and not all characters will make it out alive.
Deus reformats the epic Greek tragedies of The Oresteia, giving the audience unprecedented theatrical power to control the very trajectory of the narrative through real-time digital interaction. This malleable roller-coaster of a narrative tracks to 12 potential storylines, and with even more opportunities to exercise omnipotence for 12,288 possible discrete experiences. (Seriously. We’ve done the math.) Need more control? Dig a bit deeper and find a few easter eggs that allow audiences to invoke the power of Mount Olympus to change the physical environment of the performance.
Aside from pushing the boundaries of traditional theater, Deus interrogates modern democracy in this country and abroad. In the same manner that ancient Greek playwrights used plays as case studies for democracy, displaying fictional criminal cases that “citizens of Athens” voted on, Deus seeks to serve as an examination of 21st century democracy - specifically the voting paradigms of simple majority, oligarchy, and secession. Earlier this year, the world watched Scotland struggle with the question of secession, while a study released from Princeton political scientists earlier this year argued that the US is no longer a democracy, but rather an oligarchy. And with the results of the mid-term elections revealing their impact, what better moment than now to discuss this “big question,” and where better than in the theater?
Deus stars an award-winning, critically acclaimed cast of Austin favorites: Cami Alys, Lowell Bartholomee, Chase Brewer, Dany Casey, Katherine Catmull, Hildreth England, Judd Farris, Kelly Hasandras, Jessica Hughes, Rebecca Pearcy, Matt Radford, Justin Scalise, and Robin Grace Thompson.
And with a production team made up of Robert Matney & Tim Thomas (Technology Design), Justin Smith (Scenic Design), Megan Reilly (Lighting Design), Jamie Urban (Costume Design), Lowell Bartholomee (Video Design), Kenneth Mockler (Composer & Sound Design), Kelly Hasandras & Robin Grace Thompson (Choreography) and Joseph Garlock (Violence), the actors aren’t the only members of this production team with an impressive set of laurels.
This world premiere is a one of a kind integration of art and technology. We’ve yet to find anyone doing something quite like this. Let’s rewrite history. Part real world video game, part Tarantino revenge flick, you’ve never seen Greek drama like this before. When was the last time you played god?
WHIRLIGIG PRODUCTIONS combines classic storytelling with live interactive media and data, creating new forms of performance through integrations with technology. Founded by Liz Fisher and Robert Matney, Whirligig seamlessly blends digital and wetware performance spaces, while raising questions about the social and political implications of technology and myth making for our world and culture.
FUSEBOX champions artists exploring fresh terrain from a variety of different backgrounds and perspectives. We present contemporary theater, dance, film, visual art, music, literature, and everything in between. This cross-disciplinary approach is central to our understanding of creativity, innovation and meaningful dialogue.
Championing unique perspectives and emerging artists, SHREWD PRODUCTIONS is focused on women's voices, new plays, and work developed through a collaborative artistic approach. We are committed to creating high-quality theatrical experiences that are thoughtful, provocative, and entertaining, featuring the work of female and LGBT artists as we seek to provide a broader array of voices in American theatre and for Austin audiences.
701 West Riverside Drive
Austin, TX, 78704
January 3 - 18, 2015
Wednesdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m.
Pay what you can Preview on January 2; Industry night Monday January 12