Neo-Futurist Artistic Director, Greg Allen and Imbroglio's Connor Kalista joined forces to create Crime and Punishment - A (mis)Guided Environmental Tour With Literary Prentensions, in Chicago. The experiment has apparently worked, since the show, which opened Mar. 6 and was supposed to have closed Apr. 10 has been twice extended, this time through May 23.
The Neo-Futurists, breaking new ground in their audience participatory aesthetic, will arm their audience with flashlights and audio-tour headphones in a production that they describe as "part art tour, part scavenger hunt, part Happening, part haunted house, and part crime scene installation".
Allen and Kalista have based their version of the Dostoevski classic, not just on the actual book but a collection of source material including: Michel Foucault, George Orwell, Bernard Goetz, Woody Allen, Sister Helen Prejean, Jack the Ripper, Jean-Luc Godard, The Parker Bros., Pere Ubu, The U.S. Constitution, Joseph Cornell, Vladimir Nabokov, Monty Python, Marcel Duchamp, Henry David Thoreau, John Cage, Sophocles, and Johnny Cash.
Neo-Futurism was founded in 1988 by Allen, who told PBOL in August 1997 that he got "tired of doing theatre for just my friends," and created the wildly successful Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, a collection of 30 plays in 60 minutes, in which the audience has the opportunity to choose the order in which the plays are done.
Allen, a teacher of theatre history at Columbia College, bases his performance theories on the Futurist manifestos of F.T. Marinetti. "Futurism," an artistic movement based on speed, movement and violence, was founded in 1910 by Marinetti. Allen continued, "I wanted to explore the performance theories of Futurism, Dada, and Environmental Theatre. What I saw in the Futurist theories was speed and incredible energy, even today his [Marinetti's] theories are considered outrageous." Crime and Punishment - A (mis)Guided Environmental Tour with Literary Pretensions will be playing at The Neo-Futurarium in Chicago. For reservations call (773) 275-5255.
-- By Sean McGrath