In the past, Pointless Theatre’s shows have been directly inspired by some of the artists who influenced the company. The Sleeping Beauty: a puppet ballet, our 2010 Pick of the Fringe winner for Best Experimental show, was inspired by Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet. We won the same award in the 2011 CapFringe for Hugo Ball: a Super-Spectacular DADA Adventure, whose script was developed from texts by Hugo Ball and his fellow DADAists. Even our most recent production, Cab Calloway’s Minnie the Moocher, wears the influence of the famous singer right in its name. For Fringe 2012, Pointless Theatre is breaking with tradition and putting up our first show with an entirely original story: Imagination Meltdown Adventure, an epic fantasy coming-of-age tale with puppets.
This isn’t to say that we came up with this show out of nowhere. Imagination Meltdown Adventure is Pointless’ homage and send-up of the story that Joseph Campbell famously called “the hero’s journey” or the “monomyth.” The basic idea is that there’s an elemental story structure that underpins stories as disparate as the “Epic of Gilgamesh” and Star Wars – in short, a person leaves home, is changed by their adventures, and goes back home after overcoming incredible obstacles. Campbell called the character at the center of the monomyth “the hero with a thousand faces:” the basic story’s always the same, but the settings are as different as can be. Imagination Meltdown Adventure tells the story of a boy named Jack as he gets his heart broken, unleashes the apocalypse, and goes on an epic journey to undo all the damage he’s caused. The show is presented in true Pointless fashion with stunning puppets, vibrant choreography, and our signature high-energy brand of performance. An 8-person cast acts, dances, and fights their way through the story with the aid of a live band playing an original rock score. Along the way, evil is battled, training montages are run, and a sad twenty-something tries to do a little growing up.
Pointless Theatre has always prided itself on our ensemble-driven productions, and Imagination Meltdown Adventure brings that ensemble spirit beyond the rehearsal room and out into the production as a whole. Director Lex Davis has created an incredibly open production environment where all the artists involved in the show continue to have a voice in its development, including the three playwrights and a four-person set and puppet design team. Imagination Meltdown Adventure is a show that truly feels born of the company as a whole; a singular vision shaped by the hands of the many artists who have given birth to it. It’s wildly visual, playful, funny, exciting, and hopefully even a little bit touching – in short, it’s Pointless. We as a company are thrilled to share this adventure with Washington DC this summer and hope to see you there.
Venue: Mountain – at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church – 900 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC. Click on the performances below to purchase tickets, or buy them online at the show’s Fringe show page.