Post-apocalyptic pop culture explored in comedy play ‘Mr. Burns’ in Scranton July 21-23

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NEPA Stage Staff

Of Press release:

The Scranton Fringe Festival will present the black comedy “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play” at the Peoples Safety Theater at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton from Thursday, July 21 through Saturday, July 23.

Award-winning playwright Anne Washburn’s imaginative play propels audiences forward almost a century, following a new civilization stumbling towards its future. After society collapses, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of “The simpsons” episode “Cape Feare” entirely from memory.

Seven years later, this and other snippets of pop culture (sitcom plots, commercials, jingles and pop songs) have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society earnestly trying to hold on to its past. 75 years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created.

A love letter to living theater and Bart Simpson’s resilience through the ages, “Mr. Burns” is a spirited exploration of how the pop culture of one era could evolve into the mythology of another.

Scranton Fringe is producing this professional production as part of a new mainline series of major theatrical works outside of the annual festival, which is set to return from Thursday, September 29 through Saturday, October 8. The work, under the direction of native Scranton director (and now Brooklyn-based theater artist) Simone Danielfeatures a mix of regional and New York professional talent.

Written by Washburn with music by Michael Friedman, “Mr. Burns” airs Thursday, July 21 at 7 p.m.; Friday July 22 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, July 23 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Peoples Security Theater at Lackawanna College (501 Vine St., Scranton). Tickets, which are $20 for general admission and $17 for students and seniors, are on sale now through Eventbrite and scrantonfringe.org. To ensure greater accessibility for all audiences, the evening of July 23 will also be available digitally live.

Dedicated to creating a bold and engaging platform for stimulating art while striving to promote Northeastern Pennsylvania as a viable creative environment, the Scranton Fringe Festival is an award-winning arts organization producing innovative works since 2015. Inspired by the world’s biggest annual event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the organization has become an incubator for unique creative works centered on the performing arts.

Scranton Fringe was co-founded by executive director Conor Kelly O’Brien and general manager Elizabeth Bohan. The current Board of Directors includes Melissa Carestia, Dr. Robert McKeage, Katherine Michaels, Michael Muller, Camille Reinecke and Kelly Rippon. Scranton Fringe’s leadership also includes Technical Director Dan Kimbrough, with special support from generous sponsors, volunteers and creative partners.

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