HomeGrown Theatre Goes Meta With 'Mr. Burns' Play at Gem Center 

Mr. Burns: a post-electric play is a play so meta and postmodern it stretches the bounds of the English language just describing its plot, but here goes: A group of apocalypse survivors huddle amid the ruins of civilization to recall an episode of The Simpsons, "Cape Feare," which is itself an adaptation of two films that were based on a 1957 novel. Almost a decade later, the survivors have assembled a theatrical troupe that performs live versions of episodes of The Simpsons, complete with commercials. In the final act, set three quarters of a century later, "Cape Feare" becomes a musical pageant that takes on new meaning in a post-apocalyptic society.

The play, written by Anne Washburn, premiered in London in 2014 and was nominated that same year for a Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play. HomeGrown Theatre has picked it up, and though its run began at the Gem Center for the Arts on May 18, it will take the stage again Thursday-Saturday, May 24-26, and Thursday-Saturday, May 31-June 2.

According to HGT Co-founder Jaime Nebeker, the play has long been on the theater company's radar.

"We read this play about four years ago," she said. "It's a really wild read, but our friend saw the play in Chicago and called us the next day. He said, 'This play's out of this world, HomeGrown has to do it.' Having a second recommendation really started to pique our interest even more."


Mr. Burns features performances by HGT regulars like Nebeker, Veronica Von Tobel, Liberty Leeds Klautsch, Declan Kempe, Mike Ward and more; as well as elaborate mask design by Jessica Nebeker and pro lighting design by Chaz Gentry. 
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