Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 17, 2013.

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A new play by Jesse Cramer that relates mathematical concepts to two couples who struggle after the accidental death of their sons.

The Play

Five years ago, I wrote an outline for a play called "The Strange Attractor," which had no plot and no characters, but instead, a long list of mathematical equations and concepts with examples of how they could be socially proved. Next to "Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Condition," I wrote "a father who needs to figure out why his son died." Next to a non-linear equation, I wrote the phrase "truth suffers from over-analysis." Next to "Attractors" I wrote "a mother who circles back around and around." Next to "Chaos Theory," I wrote "it's more than just what that guy said in Jurassic Park." 

From there, I uncovered a plot archetype... That we would meet two couples nearly a decade after the worst tragedy of their lives. In their pre-teen years, both of their sons had died in an accident, together. It was no one's fault. There was no blame. Yet this situation forced them all to face the ultimate problem of control

A year ago, I asked three friends who were professional, comedic improvisers for a favor... to come to Act3 Productions on a cold, February day and improvise a play called "The Strange Attractor." Ansley Gwinn, Dayna Damron, and Jay Revis joined me on the empty stage, and after providing them with a general premise (about as long as the previous paragraph) and a one phrase description of their character's dilemma, we improvised "The Strange Attractor" for the first time. We met four weeks in a row, each time building on what we had done the previous session, discovering these characters, crafting their relationships, and developing the plotline. When we finished, I took what had been uncovered and wrote the play. 

What was the result? 

Eight years ago, the McDermotts and the Stewarts both experienced a horrific tragedy when both of their sons died, together. And now, after a silence just as long, they find themselves inexplicably drawn back into each other’s lives. With the past as prologue, they share an unbreakable bond that leads them, willingly or not, to the deepest pathos. Developed utilizing improvisation and mathematical research, "The Strange Attractor" sheds light on those unstoppable forces that drive us together without reason, meaning, or consent.

The Funding

The production in May, in addition to the script itself, will be eligible and submitted for numerous prestigious awards, and this funding will go towards ensuring we receive the absolute best talent Atlanta has to offer. Funds will go directly towards paying the stipends of the actors, which is necessary to ensure a high talent level as well as to qualify the production for professional theater awards. This allows us to make the piece visible, so that it will continue on towards publication and future productions!

Additional funds received are earmarked for technical aspects, including projector rentals, sound and lighting designers, lighting equipment, and original composition/mixing for the original soundtrack, composed by Daniel Pino. This will ensure the production meets the standards of the script and enhance the storytelling. 

The Production

The production will feature four professional actors in the Atlanta region. It will run 2 weeks, from May 15th - 24th at Act3 Productions. The address is:

Act3 Productions, 6285-R Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Tickets are on sale now on the Act3 website www.act3productions.org. . New works are the lifeblood of the theater scene, as it keeps us moving forward. Please consider coming out to support this production in person, even in lieu of a donation. Come out and support new, live theater

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

"The Strange Attractor" will be produced professionally at Act3 Productions in Sandy Springs, GA. With proper funding, nothing will cancel the production, as casting is underway, and Act3 Productions will produce the piece.

However, challenges will arise soon afterwards, as the question, "what next?" becomes more and more relevant. It is my intention to continue to seek production of "The Strange Attractor," as I believe it is a unique, acceptable piece that works well on any stage and in any theater. After we reach our goal, addition funds will allow us to provide industry comps for reviewers and local professional theater owners to ensure that the piece will continue beyond this first production. Visibility is the key, and every cent will be utilized towards this goal!

FAQ

  • No. We utilized improv as a way for me to write the script. Very few lines from the actual improv sessions ended up in the final script, but there are a few! Jay Revis, because he's an amazing improviser, got like 5 of his lines in. Way to go Jay!

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    I will solve - or attempt to solve - any math problem you provide.

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    "The Strange Attractor" original script, signed by the author, director, and all members of the original cast!

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    You can name one of the off-screen characters in the script! There are two options: a female assistant of Elaine and a female co-worker of Calliope. This is a chance to immortalize yourself or someone you love in the production! You will also receive "The Strange Attractor" original script, signed by the author, director, and all members of the original cast.

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    Two original pieces of artwork will be created and used for the production, combining the artist's representation of Chaos Theory as well as their interpretation of the play. For a donation of $300, take home one of these two pieces! The back of the canvas will be signed by the author and all those involved in the production.

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    At the centerpiece of the play is a coffee table that both couples own a copy of. This coffee table is seen in the middle of the stage, inhabiting both living rooms. For a donation of $400, you can take home this coffee table, a piece of the production and story itself. You will also receive "The Strange Attractor" original script, signed by all those involved!

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    A private 2 hour improv workshop for you and 4 - 8 of your friends, led by the writer, Jesse Cramer, and some of the original improvisers of "The Strange Attractor." It will also involve a talkback with participants about the role of improv in the development of the piece. You will also receive "The Strange Attractor" original script, signed by all those involved!

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Funding period

- (28 days)