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A cartoon exorcism! An illustrated book and performance about letting go, in which an anxious man is stalked by his childhood TV hero.
A cartoon exorcism! An illustrated book and performance about letting go, in which poor Clay is stalked by his childhood TV hero.
A cartoon exorcism! An illustrated book and performance about letting go, in which poor Clay is stalked by his childhood TV hero.
100 backers pledged $5,326 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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It all began when Theo met Josh and Scott in Charlie B's, carrying two manilla envelopes with "?" written on the outside. "It's a mystery mark," said Josh, and the title was born... before anyone knew what the story would be.

(Josh, Scott, and Theo)
(Josh, Scott, and Theo)

Over the next few months Theo and Josh conspired with imagery, characters, and concepts until the story of Clay emerged in a process both creators describe as "organic and subconscious". Theo kept working on illustrations as Josh transformed the concepts into a narrative. Three drafts of a play were written. As Scott worked out stage, mask, and puppet designs, director Rebecca Schaffer and dramaturge Kate Morris dove into conceptual development, and a first phase installation began to take shape.

Mystery Mark will be the result of a collaboration between a wide variety of creators: writers, illustrators, designers, filmmakers, animators, actors, musicians, and organizational artists. 

Collaborators and conspirators like you make it possible for us us to achieve the first phase in the Mystery Mark saga. Phase One will include the following two productions:

The book: An 80-100 page illustrated novella with a full-color cover, written by Josh Wagner and illustrated by Theo Ellsworth. Funds will allow us to have the book professionally edited, designed, printed, and promoted.

The installation: A looping theatrical installation incorporates the main characters and themes of the story--with actors, masks, and puppets--and features an original score by long-time Missoula band, "Cash For Junkers". Funding will support design, build, rehearsal space rental and other production costs including set pieces, costumes, masks, puppets, and props. 

Mystery Mark will launch as part of the Missoula Fringe Festival in August, 2014. Following the debut, Viscosity plans to continue development and take this show on the road.

Risks and challenges

Bringing any theatrical story to life involves the coordination of several departments and a wide assortment of creative minds and hands. We have to design a set, build masks and puppets, work with actors to bring them to life, find a space to perform, and fill seats. The challenges will be immense.

Viscosity Theatre has already produced four complete shows without any funding assistance, and we have never lost money on a show. We have the experience and dedication to see our projects through to the end. Developing our company through these shows has been a life changing experience for everyone involved, but to continue to grow we must expand our reach into the areas we haven't yet been able to access without a budget. This is why we're reaching out for a network of conspirators around the globe to help provide the resources that will free up our creative team to focus entirely on the work of design and production.

Come conspire with us!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Your name will be fed directly and mindfully into the writer's line of sight where it will enter his brain, rearrange his synaptic pathways, and echo in the hollow of his mind for eternity.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Reward #1 plus a handmade BookMark featuring some of Theo's artwork.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Reward #1 and a copy of the E-Book

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Reward #1, a copy of the E-book, and a handmade BookMark featuring some of Theo's artwork.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Reward #1, E-Book, a copy of Print Book, handmade BookMark featuring some of Theo's artwork

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    29 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    E-book, Signed/personalized Print Book & BookMark, T-Shirt, and Josh will chant your name and a wish 9 times to the outer giants on a specific date and time.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    E-book, Signed/personalized Print Book & BookMark, T-Shirt, A print of Theo’s art, a character from Mystery Mark will write you a short, personalized poem.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    E-book, Signed/personalized Book & BookMark, T-Shirt, a character from Mystery Mark will write you a short personalized poem, one high five in your honor between Theo and Josh with physical evidence, and a LIMITED EDITION screen print of Theo’s Art.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    E-book, Signed/Personalized Book & BookMark, T-Shirt, personalized poem, one high five in your honor, a LIMITED EDITION Screen Print, a Mystical Mystery Prize, Stuffed Animal (Wee Dino or Old Stuffers).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    For LOCAL backers only: A signed book and a limited print. Also, one or more of the creators will engage in some mutually-agreed upon surveillance activity with you as the subject, complete with photographic or video evidence, followed by a DINNER WITH A MYSTERY MARK CHARACTER served by one or more of the creators!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    For LOCAL backers only: A signed book, one limited print and a print of every illustration in the book. Also, Mystery Mask yourself with Scott Morris! You'll get a private mask-making lesson with the Artistic Director from which you will emerge with an individual mask of your own. ALSO, one or more of the creators will engage in some mutually-agreed upon surveillance activity with you as the subject, complete with photographic or video evidence.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    For backers from Afar: A signed book, one limited print and a print of every illustration in the book, and 2 high-end rewards: First, we'll send you a final MASK from the Installation. Also, we'll NAME a character in the book after you or someone you know.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    A signed book, a limited print of every illustration in the book, and 3 high-end rewards: First, we'll send you a final MASK and COSTUME from the Installation. Finally, we'll NAME a character in the book after you or someone you know.

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Funding period

- (30 days)