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"Is it about the Illuminati?"
That is what everyone asks me when they hear the title to my first play, THE ILLUMINATED, and due to the content of my graphic novel series "The Bends", it is a fair question to ask. What this play is primarily about, though, is the duality that exists between what I am calling the "ORGANIC SPIRIT" versus the "INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD".
The "ORGANIC SPIRIT" is a term that I have completely fabricated that envelopes a multitude of attitudes and cultural tropes. Organic food farmers, hippies, gypsies, monks, etc... these groups and more are all sections of society that have a sense that there is a greater truth to the world than being part of the sheltered umbrella that is the material world. These are people that see the world as a living, breathing ecosystem that is delicate and must be protected at all times. Many of these people see the bullshit of the material world as a cash grab by the ever-richer societal elite or the one percent.
The "INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD" is just what it sounds like it should be. It is the invasion of the business world on what was originally free land. It is human order on top of the natural chaos. It is the private beach, where the god-given, once free-to-roam land has now become a security breach for a wandering individual. It is bottled water. It is conveyor-belt culture. It is the age of the machines. What will become of us when we depend on the intelligence of Google over our own GOD-given senses?
The universe is a constant balance of dualities and these binary subjects are the endpoints of the concept of THE ILLUMINATED. Thus, the characters of my play are the embodiment of these endpoints. Set around a future where the people are subjected to paypal tariffs that send an individual to Heaven, our "hero", Mr. Beal (an homage to the late 70's movie The Network) is awakened to the absurdity of the night's proceedings and decides to literally rage against the machine. Our "villain", The Banker, is the embodiment of the industrialized world and wants only to do her job as she defends herself dutifully against an ever-growing barrage of physical and intellectual attacks from the desperate and disillusioned Beal.
There are thrills, there are chills and there are kills in the events that follow, carefully tailored to the MICROTHEATER experience. If you weren't aware, MICROTHEATER is an experimental theatre experience where a play is performed in a cramped container with audience involvement and a certain exclusive intimacy that can't be found in any other performance format. This is next-level stuff and THE ILLUMINATED takes full advantage of this format.
THE ILLUMINATED will be playing it's final two weeks at MICROTHEATER MIAMI. Please join us for a fine, fine wake.
written by: Charles Pazos 5.8.17