Adventurous, award-winning theater ensemble Mugwumpin in association with Z Space are proud to announce the world premiere of The Great Big Also, a performance experiment borne out of the American prophetic tradition. Created and written by Mugwumpin under the direction of Christopher W. White, The Great Big Also runs from Thursday, March 7 to Sunday, March 24, 2013 at Z Space in San Francisco.
The Great Big Also is set in the present, within the confines of an American sect preparing for "The Rift", the moment when the fabric of reality will split in two, giving rise to a new world, an Eden void of people and ripe with possibility. Eager to share its message of hope and a "more perfect union," the sect has invited outsiders into its world for a visit.
The role of the outsiders falls each night to the audience, who are invited to explore the space, immersing themselves in the performance experience. For this project Mugwumpin has enlisted designer and rigger extraordinaire, Sean Riley, to create an adaptive set that will shift and surround the audience on all sides.
"The Great Big Also culminates a year of research and smaller performance experiments about the American prophetic tradition," says White. "From Puritan John Winthrop to David Koresh, America has had no shortage of prophets, and these prophets have and continue to serve a valuable function -- to name our failure to live up to the promises on which the nation is founded. America's near-religious faith in its own perfectibility gives rise to a prophetic voice. The American prophetic tradition, however, also exercises that ancient tension between the one and the many. E pluribus unum seems always to be busting at the seams."
The Great Big Also is created and written by the ensemble: performers Madeline H.D. Brown, Stephanie DeMott, Joseph Estlack, Natalie Greene, Susannah Martin, Michael Mohammed, Wiley Naman Strasser, and Michelle Talgarow. The production team includes: Lynda Bachman, Sarah Bingel, Sarah Elovich, Teddy Hulsker, Darl Andrew Packard, Sean Riley, Ashley Rogers, Mina Sohaa Smith, Wolfgang Lancelot Wachalovsky, and Christopher W. White.
The Great Big Also is made possible by the generous support of the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Fleishhacker Foundation, as well as many individual donors.
Formed in San Francisco in 2004, Mugwumpin aims to reinvigorate live performance as a communal event. The visceral nature of Mugwumpin performances is designed to remind audiences that they are right here, right now, participating in something unique. Since 2004, Mugwumpin has created 12 full productions and many smaller scale performances, all of which premiered in the Bay Area. Mugwumpin's first show, Rabbit Causes Dog, was named Best Play at the 2004 SF Fringe Festival. In 2008, Mugwumpin thrilled international audiences at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre with its original work super:anti:reluctant. In 2010, This Is All I Need played to packed houses and universal critical acclaim in San Francisco. It was named Best Play of 2010 by both the SF Weekly and SF Bay Guardian before embarking upon a successful European tour in 2011. Mugwumpin's last major production, Future Motive Power, enjoyed a sold out run at San Francisco's historic Old Mint in January 2012.
Z Space is a hub for artists and audiences to revel in the creation, development, and production of outstanding new work. Z Space commissions, develops, and produces works from a variety of disciplines, including theater, dance, music, performance art, and new media. Since 2009 it has managed and operated a 13,000 square foot, 229-seat performing arts venue and gallery in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District, where artists of all stripes rehearse, perform, and exhibit their latest creations. Some of Z Space's signature programs are: Z Plays, a development program that supports artists and ensembles from conception to realization of unique works; Word for Word, an in-house theater company that transforms works of literature verbatim to the stage; and Youth Arts, Word for Word's outreach to schools, promoting literacy and engaging students' creativity. Anticipating its 20th anniversary next year, Z Space continues its tradition of innovation with an eye towards the future.
The Great Big Also will play previews on Thurs & Fri, March 7 - 8, 2013 @ 8pm, with an opening night slated for Sat, March 9 @ 8pm and performances through March 24: Thurs - Sat @ 8pm; Sun @ 5pm. All shows take place at Z Space, 450 Florida Street, San Francisco, Calif.