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Originally produced twice in Sacramento as a Midtown Transportation Players production.This is a mainstream comedy. It makes fun of science fiction as much as it complements it. The environmental message is not overbearing. And there's no real techno-babble.
Only two characters are made-up as aliens, it is not a complicated show to produce. It takes place all in one scene without breaks, much like a speedy trail would.
For both productions we were lucky to have an excellent make-up artist on hand so we gave the aliens buttheads (to parody Star Trek.) However the two opposing alien attorneys do not need elaborate make-up for the show to be effective. Simple green and blue skin and attitude would work.
The five human species are; an obnoxious professional baseball player, a nerdy environmental professor, a spinster state worker, an Exxon Vice President and a homeless fugitive of the military.
Representing the refugee Earthlings is an expert on apocalyptic placement, a buttheaded mutant, who is the planet's overworked public defender. She is a regular viewer of American daytime talk shows and wants the humans to be placed on probation and given their own small moon.
This might be easy except a special environmental prosecutor is brought in. He is a hideous buttheaded mutant who demands that the Earthlings be made an example of and placed in an Airnotopian zoo. His right hand man is the menacing Bailiff who towers over the proceedings always eager to use his foot long machete.
Although The Prosecutor is a big fan of Elvis Presley and Motown music, he prefers that one or two humans be publicly executed.
The Jury is also the chorus, they come from the singing planet of Kodala and love to sing out their reactions. They even decided to show up dressed like various pop icons from Earth's culture.
The first production got much larger and longer laughs than I expected. So I rewrote it and went all out with the comic and action elements that the audience responded to.
For the second production the audience was very lively throughout. The whole theater had the atmosphere of a summer camp assembly. Most of the house lights stayed on and the jury sang in the lobby before the show.
The opposing attorney's and the Earthlings often address the crowd so the situation is set up so the audience will react like they're on a day time talk show. Melodramatic elements, hiss and boo the villain etc.
However, these humans are on trail for their lives, they may have their heads chopped off if they're found guilty. So often the atmosphere can be reminiscent of the Coliseum in Rome.
One of the fun elements is that once the audience enters the theater they are no longer Earthlings. They are people from another galaxy who have come to witness the trail of the latest alien refuges. This week it's Earthlings.
Should these Earthlings be given their own furnished moon and a second chance? Or should they work in slave camps, be executed or simply put in one of the zoos on the home planet?
Because of personal commitments and theater availability I was unable to extend the play although every indication was the show could have run a long time. We had numerous repeat viewers who had no previous relationships with any of us.
When I eventually do the play again I would like to encourage audience members to interact as much as possible. Perhaps even dress up like various aliens, ala Rocky Horror Show.
The Defender enters the audience with a microphone and asked them questions in an old fashion sensitive Phil Donahue way. I'd like to expand on that.
One of the Earthlings doesn't have a mate to help him start a new family, so he goes out in the audience, takes a strangers hand and leads her onto the stage with him. This gimmick worked surprisingly well every night.
I got the idea for the play while seeing on the news how the U.S. government handles boatloads of refuges.
The Coast Guard usually effortlessly rescues them before their boats capsizes, then their fates vary dramatically. The U.S. has tremendous resources but also tons of bureaucratic red tape.
Sometimes refugees are shipped back to their country. Sometimes they're taken to camps and live in limbo. Or we take them home, give them housing, money, job training and they can become citizens, there children become doctors.
So I thought what if there was a giant planet that had unlimited resources and technology. The uncrowded population of 18 trillion. But also bureaucratic red tape and apathetic government workers.
Because of this apathy there was a typo, they were supposed to rescue all five billion people, but accidentally only rescued five.
So one of the planets dozens of moons is a receiving center for aliens who's planet have been destroyed. These aliens are put on trial to determine the fate of their race and anything can happen to them good or bad, so the audience can't help but find it entertaining in an often barbarian way.
The show could run a long time and have a lot of repeat viewers. I would like to add 10 or 20 minutes to the show. One day I'd like to make a version that is an all-out musical. And of course another version could be a kids show.
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