PALM SPRINGS POSTMODERN
Taking the best elements of both low-budget independent filmmaking and live theater, “Palm Springs Postmodern” proposes a new aesthetic for serialized entertainment grounded in the beauty and thrill of live theater’s stagecraft (with all the smoke, mirrors and wires left showing around the edges).
So, for instance, if a character dreams about a Tsunami, they can be washed out to sea on their kitchen table on an “ocean” of blue plastic tarpaulin billowing above electric fans; snow (glitter confetti) could fall from stagehands on ladders who are clearly present in the scene; or something as basic as actors moving collectively in “slow motion.”
The intimate troupe of actors will play multiple characters – middle-aged adults will play children’s roles, even an infant – with the device of quick changes live “on “stage” during a scene. By having the main actors also play all the supporting roles and day-player roles, the momentary appearance of a waitress, busboy or delivery person can provide hilarious duel-realities. A small ensemble cast in this format takes off where Warhol’s Superstars and the early John Waters’ troupe, or even the Wooster Group, left off.
The show borrows the most compelling traditions from underground theater and cabaret. The genders of the characters and actors are “gender-blended and post-binary.” So a man can play a man, or they can play a woman, and a woman can play a woman or play a man… with this, a straight couple can be played by actors of the same gender, and a gay couple could be portrayed by a male actor and a female actor. This creates a new space for nonbinary and gender-nonconforming actors to bring their full authentic selves to the role(s).
The storylines combine comedy with tragedy, wrapped in social critique, and spiked with innovative send-ups of the traditions of both theater and television. The small town community is confronted with Twilight Zone/X-files-ish (is-it-really-happening) sci-fi and a Twin Peaksy murder mystery, along with a tangle of soap-operatic sexual shenanigans. In keeping with the spirit of the unexpected, there will be spontaneous outbursts of song and dance.
The show’s characters can intermittently reimagine themselves and their conflicts momentarily recontextualized as the crew of Star Trek’s Enterprise or temporarily transmuted into the kitchen of The Golden Girls.
A local community theater provides an ongoing thematic distillation of a play-within-the-play.
This innovative sensibility can connect with viewers looking for a fresh alternative to mainstream entertainment. It’s designed to be produced on a very low budget – yet in very high style – shot on location in photo-ready Palm Springs, California, 90-minutes outside of Los Angeles.
SYNTHESIZING: INSTINCT VISION VOICE EMOTION & MEANING