I have been asked to present an informal “pop talk” half an hour before the May 14 performance of Hand2Mouth Theatre‘s Uncanny Valley, described as a “sci-fi adventure into psychic space.” I haven’t seen the show yet myself, but here’s a little bit of information about it:
We have used a number of SF inspirations and sources throughout the 1.5 year creation process (books, stories, films, etc.) We have been particularly interested in the “what if” suppositions in SF as well as perspectives on the “other”, “doubling”, and the “uncanny”. One of the underlying questions of the show is “What if the theatre were a literal memory machine that allowed actual past events to be re-experienced, experienced by others, possibly even manipulated and altered?” In earlier phases of the show, SF was a strong stylistic force (space suits, mind reading machines, alien doubles, time travel, etc.). In this final phase of the show, these elements are de-emphasized and treated more subtly. What remains is a thrilling and uncanny meditation on the nature of memory, consciousness, reality, and time. In the course of the show, by seeing skewed unfamiliar alternate versions of ourselves through the looking glass of the memory machine, we can somehow view our past and present with greater clarity (much in the same way that SF can reveal hidden truths about the real by exploring the unreal).
You can watch the intriguing video trailer for the play, and read more on the company’s blog.
My talk will be informal, conversational, and interactive. I’m planning to mention Philip K. Dick, of course. Are there any other SF themes, authors, or notable works I should be sure to bring up?
If you’re in the Portland area this Saturday, I hope you’ll come to the show!