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Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play

directed by Dr. Ryder Thornton | costume design by Maya Tawatao

scenic and props design by Kaeanne Louks | lighting design by Rachel Levy

photography by Bruce France

Act 1

Just after the collapse of society, a group of strangers meet and attempt to entertain themselves by recalling an old episode of The Simpsons, "Cape Feare".

In Act 1, I wanted to showcase the personalities of these characters. Who were they before, and how would that affect how they are now?

Act 2

Seven years later, the group has formed a traveling theatre company, performing episodes of The Simpsons, commercials and all. Act 2 centers on a rehearsal of "Cape Feare".

Act 2 is broken down into four different aesthetics - The Commercial, The Simpsons, Chart Hits, and The Robbers.

The Commercial is soft and simple. As the character Jenny puts it, it is supposed to be "welcoming, not challenging." The looks are basic and emphasize the character types.

The Simpsons characters are bright and flat, still reminiscent of a cartoon. The Witness Protection agents are blatant caricatures, their stoic and mysterious looks add to the ridiculousness and humor of the scene.

Chart Hits is a bit of a mess. Tied together by the silver, gold, and red theme, I wanted it to feel like the characters were responsible for coming up with and finding their individual looks. Some are simple, some are bold, and some miss the mark.

The Robbers are a stark contrast to the rest of the act. Dark, worn, and unrecognizable, they are an embodiment of the chaos and evil that humanity is capable of. 

Act 3

Seventy-five years later, The Simpsons has evolved into a beloved theatrical tradition, akin to Shakespeare. Once again, the cast performs "Cape Feare", this time as a dramatic and haunting musical that intertwines fiction, history, and trauma.

For this act, it was important to create a look that felt as warped and twisted as the story. The costumes needed to reflect the history of this new world, and the way that humanity is still clinging to the nostalgia of the "before time" two or three generations later.

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