McCrackin Musings

The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is coming up fast. August 15-25. Time to get posters, media kits, handbills & programs printed all while finishing up our rehearsal schedule and finalizing tech requirements… Holy crap! We better get our tails in gear.

In truth, we are not at all worried. Happy Whackin’ Jim McCrackin was our highest-rated production ever, so we know we already have a great show to begin with. All we are doing is making it BETTER.

How can we make such an awesome show even better, you ask? It’s not easy. Well, actually it is a little easy, but only because we have such an awesome cast and crew all working to bring the heat. We’ve conceptualized and produced two whole shows since we first did McCrackin in 2011, each show bigger and more challenging then the last. In Cowboy: A Cowboy Story, we challenged ourselves to have a more fundamentally fluid interaction between stage and projection, the most dramatic result being the climactic western-style shoot out that had our hero taking on several dozen hired guns simultaneously on stage and screen. We learnt quite a bit about choreographing action between the two mediums in that show, some worked well some not nearly as much, but we came away with a clear vision of the direction we wanted to go.

In our next show, Son of a Dwarf, we challenged ourselves to work with multiple, life-sized, projection surfaces. We explored ideas of crafting entire set-pieces and interactive scenes between stage and screen in a way that we had never done before. The results were downright magical.

When we met as a company to decide where we wanted to go for the future, the idea of returning to the over-the-top-action world of Jim McCrackin was brought up. We felt that the world of action movies has a lot of untapped potential that would lend itself very well to our evolving multimedia style. Plus it was so damned fun. So we decided we wanted to try to do a McCrackin trilogy, cause crazy action movies are always in a series.

First step, of course, is bringing back the original Happy Whackin’ as the first part of the trilogy. We knew the show was good… but we also knew that we had come a long way since then with our technical and artistic expertise. We didn’t want our audiences, many of which who haven’t yet experienced McCrackin, to feel as if we have taken a step backwards in terms of our multimedia.  We decided that we would present McCrackin Remixed. The same great show, but with re-imagined scenes, new projection interaction and entirely re-built fights. McCrackin was great. McCrackin Remixed is freakin’ awesome.

We are really looking forward to attempting something epic with the McCrackin saga. How far are we going to get? Well, it depends on you guys. We’ve wired McCrackin to explode. The only question is… red wire, or blue wire?



Brent is an artist and graphic designer based out of Edmonton.

Posted in Brain Storming/Big Ideas, Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, Happy Whackin' Jim McCrackin, Updates

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