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Friday, September 25, 2015

Mugwumpin' Theater Co Jabs Those Wonderful Summer Blockbusters

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM


With Blockbuster SeasonThe Mugwumpin Theater Company has a blast spoofing those wonderfully cheesy summer blockbusters that crowd the multiplexes every year. You know the kind, those end-of-the-world chillers in which humankind faces total destruction from mega-quakes, 200-foot tsunamis, alien invasions, or anything that can decimate entire continents in a matter of seconds.

Blockbuster Season is performed in it's entirety by Christopher White and Joe Estlack, two barefoot guys with a couple of chairs. They get a little help from Melusina Gomez. The show is now running through October 18 at Intersection For the Arts.

Mugwumpin was founded 11 years ago. "We have six core members and eleven associated artists," said company co-founder Christopher White. "Our productions range in size. This is our smallest production."

We found it quite interesting that such a small scale stage show could be a homage to such overblown cinema productions.

"Our purpose is to show how film and video can manipulate what you seem," White said.

The seeds for Blockbuster Season, White says, were planted when he saw the epic invasion film Pacific Rim. "I saw it with one of our company members," he said. "We talked about how terrible it was." He also referenced the now cliched speech from almost every disaster film ever made: "We have to save everyone!"

While the show is clearly satirical, Blockbuster Season has a few serious messages as well. White referred to real life disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, in which people helped each other. He also referenced the utter mismanagement of elected officials in offering help to those in need after a disaster.

"Disaster movies give us a way of looking at these things in a fun way that's quite political," White said. "Blockbuster Season is a satirical show about real life and the genre."

These sentiments were echoed by Susannah Martin, the director of Blockbuster Season.

"My hope is that the social commentary comes through and starts a conversation in a way that's not didactic but is engaging, stirring, funny and disturbing," Martin said. "There's a possibility at every moment to be your best or worst self. Or a combination."

Martin says that there will be oppurtunities for the audience to engage and participate as the show unfolds. "I want people to be engaged," she said. "I want them to talk about it and think about it. When the tangible is lost, what do you reach for?"

Blockbuster Season, through Oct. 18at Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission, 415-626-2787.

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