About this project
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.
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.
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