Press Release posted by Bob Evans
Timothy Mooney returns to the KC Fringe with
“Man Cave” a One-Man Sci-Fi Climate Change Tragicomedy!
What would you do if you were the last man on earth, but not SURE if you were the last man on earth? What sort of messages would you send out to your imagined fellow “last men?” And how long would you wait for a reply? Failing all of this, what else might you possibly do?
Tim Mooney, returning for his SEVENTH KC Fringe appearance (his 63rd Fringe overall), answers this and more. Following years of classical Renaissance events, this year’s Tim Mooney Rep production jumps into the landscape of an unknown future, with Man Cave, a One-Man Sci-Fi Climate Change Tragicomedy!
This time around, Mooney projects ahead into the science fictional landscape of the near-future result of an Earth that has been driven to extinction! Audiences are calling it “Wonderful and terrifying… becoming more relevant with each day that passes.”
From the thick irony of gallows humor, Man Cave strikes an urgent chord as the “last man on earth” reveals a hindsight that only the future can offer. Burrowed into a “Hobbit home” in northern Canada, Tim realizes that there may not be anyone out there listening, and turns his aim toward warning whatever far corners of the universe may still be out there receiving radio signals. A stirring rallying cry for saving the planet, Man Cave walks a line that draws chortles and laughs in the face of the deadly future that looms before us all.
Premiering at the 2018 Orlando Fringe Festival, the Orlando Sentinel described Man Cave as “Al Gore replaced by William H. Macy with a lot more swagger and humor than the former vice president could ever manage [with] tenacious urgency [and] charismatic rage.” Audiences have described it as “beautiful and terrifying,” while insisting again and again, “Everybody should see this.”
Mooney explains, “I found myself staring down the paradox of taking action on global warming while, at the same time, waiting for incontrovertible ‘proof’ of man-made climate change. By the time any such proof might be established, it will then be too late to stop the inertia of a world that has hit the tipping point.
“I realized that the best way to get at the crisis was through sci-fi: rather than argue about how many years remain, we explore the fallout from all the time wasted in the thick of the argument: tossing around numbers and probabilities has become a meaningless quibble and climate change simply “is.” From that setting, the one man remaining has a unique warning to send to the rest of the universe. I’m hoping a play that is both funny and frightening can bring the climate change conversation onto the table in a new and effective way.”
Man Cave, suggested for ages 13 and up, will be at the Center for Spiritual Living (1014 W. 39th St), Saturday, July 20 at 6:00, Sunday, July 21 at 4:30, Monday, July 21 at 4:30, Friday, July 26 at 7:30 and Saturday, July 27 at 9:00. Tickets can be purchased online at kcfringe.org. For more details on venue and schedule, visit kcfringe.org.
More on Tim Mooney can be found at http://timmooneyrep.com/ , and video trailers are available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qIit3_XCvU (1 minute) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f47v7Or7Mf8&t=4s (2 minutes).
Interview (Roland Underhill visits with Tim Mooney…)
Roland Underhill: So, the last time I checked, weren’t you working your way through the catalogue of Shakespeare’s works? What happened?
Tim Mooney: Well, I was coming off of four Shakespeare one-man shows, and I always looked at presenting these plays as a kind of a “long game.” If I can introduce students and general audiences to some of the greatest works of all time, perhaps I can open them to the world of nuance, verbal dexterity as well as the moral examination that lives at the heart of every Shakespeare play. If I can lift them to a state of greater awareness, then perhaps I can, ever-so-gently, give a nudge to the quality of thought and cultural development that lies in the distant future.
And then I saw a performance of another one-man play, “Planet Hospice” by Daniel Kinsch of Brooklyn Culture Jammers at last year’s Tampa Fringe Festival, and found myself blown away by the contemplation of the possibility: What if there IS NO “long-game?” No distant future into which we will have the opportunity to evolve? Then all of this Shakespeare stuff would have been nothing but self-absorbed indulgence.
R.U.: So, why set this play in the future?
T.M.: I wanted to put the action only slightly forward in time to underline the urgency of “if we don’t do something now, this will be our situation far sooner than that for which we are currently preparing.”
R.U.: How soon is that?
T.M.: That’s a kind of an important surprise in the play, so I can’t address that directly. Soon enough that we really can’t afford to ride out the Trump administration while waiting to get back to making progress on this issue.
R.U.: What are your biggest challenges in making that work?
T.M.: Well, as much as I have something to say on this topic, and as important it is that I say it, I tend to hate all the didactic stuff that leaves an audience feeling like they are being lectured to. I think people put up a resistance when you tell them what they ought to do or ought to feel. So I’m sprinkling the action with humor and what will hopefully be some new ways of looking at the choices we are making. Rather than blaming the audience for making wrong choices, I want to amuse them with the very natural and human way that we tend to frame our thinking, while suggesting ways to re-frame that thinking to feel more liberating as opposed to confining.
R.U.: How might they be “liberated” through this?
T.M.: Just as an example, I think a lot of us are burdened by the habitual way that we think about money. Caught in the rat race, we are adding to global warming by focusing on the competitive nature that capitalism/consumerism imposes onto us. The fight to rack up the most frequent flyer miles is destructive to our spirit as well as to our environment.
R.U.: Interesting. Any warnings about this one?
T.M.: Well, given that I’m essentially the last man on earth, I suspect my character is going to spend most of his time in his boxer shorts. And, he seems to have this habit for cursing and discussing sex, so if your kids are younger than, say thirteen, you might want to use a bit of discretion.
Timothy Mooney, author of the acting textbook, Acting at the Speed of Life; Conquering Theatrical Style, and The Big Book of Molière Monologues, has given thousands of students their first introduction to Molière through his one-man play, Molière Than Thou. Mr. Mooney is the former founder and editor of The Script Review and was the Artistic Director of Chicago’s Stage Two Theatre, where he produced nearly fifty plays in five years. When Stage Two needed a new Tartuffe, Mr. Mooney found himself taking on the hilarious world of Molière, eventually writing seventeen hilarious rhymed variations of Molière’s plays with an impish sense of rhyme (most published by Playscripts, Inc. and Stage Rights). These plays have been produced and celebrated around the world, with High School productions of Mooney’s Misanthrope, Miser, Imaginary Invalid, and Tartuffe going on to state finals in Massachusetts, Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama, while his Doctor in Spite of Himself, took third place in the Scottish Community Drama Association National Festival,. Tim, now operating as the not-for-profit “Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre,” continues to present Molière across North America, along with Lot o’ Shakespeare (featuring one monologue from every Shakespeare play), The Greatest Speech of All Time (actual historical speeches from Socrates to Martin Luther King), Shakespeare’s Histories; Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace! (also a book!), Breakneck Hamlet, and Breakneck Julius Caesar! Tim also teaches classical performance and occasionally performs his one-man sci-fi plays, Man Cave and Criteria!
Early “Man Cave” Reviews!
Al Gore replaced by William H. Macy [with] a lot more swagger and humor than the former vice president could ever manage… tenacious urgency… charismatic rage… even further to the left than any Green Party agenda you’ll find. Todd Stewart, Orlando Sentinel
Risk taking, challenging and honestly terrifying. This is the spirit of fringe! Thom Mesrobian, Playwright
Everyone should see it… not just at Fringe, but everyone in the world. Great message. Al Gore on steroids, but without the viewgraphs. Jack Dixon
Thought-provoking and timely. Carl F. Gauze, Ink19.com
Very cathartic… brings so much to the table in contextualizing the major crisis we have before us as a species. More than just being relevant, your show is truly therapeutic in a time of frustrating powerlessness.
Ryan Zeigler Fringe Festival Tech
A poignant cautionary tale in the tradition of a well thought-out episode of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone.” Ed Pekin
Makes “Inconvenient Truth” viscerally real, helping us envision our inevitable future with facts, logic, and a good yank on our emotions. We are left to ponder what we should be doing right now to feel more hopeful and less guilty ten years from now.
Kate Hutchinson, HS Teacher
Quick Responses from folks on their way out from seeing the show at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (clip available on YouTube):
“Brilliant, poetic, haunting”
“Incredible eloquent and beautiful”
“The show was dizzying; it’s electrifying”
“It’s absolutely beautiful… everyone needs to see this show”