|Theater||The Hideout Theatre|
|Directed by||Peter Rogers|
|Assistant Director(s)||Kevin Miller|
|Tech Director(s)||Lindsey McGowen|
The show is an improvised crime caper, adapted from the Bully Pulpit Games RPG and loosely inspired by Coen Brothers films. It is an ensemble show with elements of farce that focuses on criminal plans going very, very wrong.
The show opens with a short monolog. After that, act one begins with a set of five scenes, establishing a circular chain of relationships, like in a La Ronde. Further scenes follow until about the forty-minute mark, when "the tilt" is introduced. The tilt is a pair of of phrases that describe story elements that will tend to cause chaos. (One example: "Something precious is on fire".) After that is intermission. Then, the players draw on the tilts in the show's (slightly shorter) second half. The show ends with a second monolog from that opening character, which touches on the eventual fates of the central characters.
The tagline for Fiasco is that it's about "powerful ambition and poor impulse control". Generally, the characters are heightened, with strong desires and really poor planning. Ideally, the first half of the show puts a lot of bad ideas into play -- "Look, we'll just put the suitcase with ten thousand dollars in the back of your El Camino, and hand it over to Big Mike on Wednesday -- everything will be *fine*." -- so that when the tilt comes into the picture, all those fragile plans go wrong. (e.g., now the El Camino is on fire.)
The show aims for a sort of gasping laughter -- the avalanche of disaster is hilarious, but its dire consequences for the characters can feel sad or scary or daunting. There's a strong sense of conveying genuine, relatable emotions *through* the heightened characters, and aiming to make the audience feel like they're on the characters' side instead of feeling detached from the story.
The set includes a large display screen, which shows 'hosting videos' (short video segments that convey the information that a live host would normally do) and displays words and phrases that inspire the onstage activity. (A prompt for the initial monolog; short descriptions of the five relationships; the tilt.)
From the show announcement:
- Photoset by Peter Rogers of the 5/4/16 preview show.
- Photoset by Steve Rogers of the 5/7/16 premiere.
- Photoset by Brad Hawkins of the 5/21/16 performance.