Thursday, April 17, 2014

With ‘low tech stage magic,’ "Chaos Theory" brings the apocalypse to Annex Theatre

Chaos Theory opens Friday at the Annex
 (DangerPants Photography) Keiko Green and Jana Hutchison
Maybe Courtney Meaker writes plays about the end of the world because she grew up in small-town Tennessee and had to hang out with a lot of people who didn’t hate homosexual people, they just hated homosexuality. Courtney says that she majored in creative writing and theater, but had never written a play before coming to Seattle.
Her work Chaos Theory begins a one-month run Friday at 11th and Pike’s Annex Theatre(April 18-May 17, 8pm)
“Writing a play felt a lot more rewarding because you could experience it in a lot of different ways, where you never know if someone is going to read a short story,” Meaker said. “It was a more fun thing to write than a short story.”
Chaos Theory is Courtney’s second full length play. Last year, Macha Monkey produced Buckshot.
Courtney says, “Chaos Theory is about Franny. She has just been left by her partner and her friends are trying to coach her through a break up. By the end of this time cycle (first scene), her friends decide the only option left is to give her a book about chaos theory and parallel dimensions to pull her out of the dumps.
“From there, the story unravels as an exploration of how we define our world. It messes a lot with genre and storytelling and different conventions. There might be a laugh track or things might fall from the sky. The core is very basic that everyone goes through feeling like you’ve been abandoned.”

In order to have her play produced at Annex Theatre, Meaker had to submit it during an open submission period. Note: The submission period for 2015 is actually open now!
“Annex Theatre is about new, bold new work,” Meaker said. “I think it is a very Capitol Hill kind of culture. I love that they’re about making bold decisions. As an artist collective community, it’s one that is fascinating and wonderful to be a part of.”
“I got very excited and asked if she was interested in having me direct it,” director Pamala Mijatov says. “This play is a fascinating comedic, surreal, absurdist sci-fi, and running parallel to that there is also a dark and disturbing tragedy. The most interesting art to me is one that can run in a non-naturalistic vein and still be grounded in real human emotions and Courtney had done an exceptional job at capturing both of those things.”
“It also has characters whose voices are not usually heard in conventional mainstream drama. There is a transgendered man (FTM) and that is treated as a non-issue, which I really appreciated. This is not an issue play.”
The work is also a showcase for some “low tech stage magic,” Mijatov said. “We always try to accomplish big effects in a way that the audience may be able to see how they’re done, but they participate perhaps by using their imagination to fill out a special effect that is done with magnets or wires.”
For tickets and showtimes, visit or call 206-728-0933.

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