Originally funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sci-Fest 2014 is composed of two separate nights of brilliant theater (Evening A and Evening B), with each night featuring four to five separate one-act plays that introduce the audience to a variety of characters and locations. I had the pleasure of attending Evening B, and, from the moment the house lights went up on the first story, I was hooked in a way I could not have anticipated. Evening B begins with a poignant piece by writer Chie-Hoon Lee entitled "For the Living," and it is easily the best one-act of the night. Dealing with the human cloning of a loved one, the relatable, yet mind-blowing, scenario is the perfect start to the show and instantly lets the audience know they are in for a night of theater like nothing they’ve seen before. "For the Living" is followed up by two powerfully visceral pieces, "The Wife’s Story" and "Tell Me Who You See," which have deep roots in the horror genre. Both stories have chilling moments and demonstrate the ability for the stage to handle any genre if written, directed, and acted with the grace present in the cast and crew of Sci-Fest. The post-apocalyptic office politics of "Smooth Landings" and the star-studded "A-li-en The Family" (featuring Tim Russ of Star Trek: Voyager, Armin Shimerman of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Nelson Ascencio of The Hunger Games, and others) wrap up the evening on a lighthearted, comedic note that pairs well with the more serious tales that proceeded them. In addition, the set design helped each tale to use the space to its full advantage, while several TV screens helped to provide the appropriate environment for each one-act and allowed for Andromeda, the robotic pre-show narrator played by Adrienne Wilkinson, to set the initial tone of the show in an uncommon and creative way.
FINAL VERDICT: Hopefully, my transmission comes through intact when I urge you to not miss Sci-Fest 2014. The stories are unbelievably imaginative, the acting is top notch, and it is an event that is truly different from anything else you’ll experienced this year. It’s also the kind of theater that is easily accessible and could lead the way to revitalize the stage for general audiences. You don’t have to be a theater snob or a hardcore sci-fi fanatic to enjoy every moment of this show, so, I repeat, do not hesitate to purchase your tickets and do not miss this show!
Performances continue through June 1st, 2014, so purchase tickets while you can. For a full list of the festival's schedule and performance listing, please visit the official website at www.sci-fest.com.
You can also check out Fanboy Comics' post on Sci-Fest 2014 for more information.