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The Apocalypse Has Never Been So Cool

The Northeastern Department of Theatre presents Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, by Anne Washburn. In a post-apocalyptic future, a group of survivors gather around a fire to recount the plot of The Simpsons in a world without electricity. As decades pass, the cartoon becomes the new religion-entertainment in this subversive celebration of storytelling, human resilience, and Bart Simpson. “With songs of horror and resilience, Washburn reminds us of the ways stories survive and adapt with us…. From hell, Mr. Burns sends us to heaven.” — The Village Voice

Directed by guest artist A. Nora Long, the production runs from October 19th-28th. A rollicking site-specific production, Mr. Burns begins on the grass of Willis Quad, moving through multiple locations before culminating in the Studio Theatre. (The rain location is the Studio Theatre). Long says, “A couple of years ago, it became very fashionable to brag about one’s apocalypse survival skills. There was an implied value judgment in the game. If you had a hard skill – a real skill – like carpentry or fishing, then you were infinitely more valuable to the world than those of us who have cultivated a life rooted in the ‘nonsense’ of modern civilization, like technology, literature, or the arts. Mr. Burns is a playwright’s example of her apocalypse survival skills.”

Ms. Long is the associate artistic director at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and an artistic director of New Exhibition Room. She returns to Northeastern after directing last year’s After Miss Julie. Nora has worked with several area theatre companies as a director, writer, dramaturg, and translator including Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Apprentice Program, Hackmatack Playhouse, Bad Habit Productions, Fresh Ink Theatre, the Lyric Stage Company, the American Repertory Theatre, and Whistler in the Dark. She received her MFA in Dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theatre/ Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Theatre and Italian.

In addition, the production features two professional guest designers: Shelley Barish designed the set and Amanda Mujica designed the costumes. Lights are by Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor Oliver Wason. Music direction is by Edward Rubenacker and choreography is by Jamez Anderson, ‘AMD 19.

Anne Washburn is a critically acclaimed American playwright. Her bold and innovative works have been produced all over the country as well as internationally. She has written numerous plays including The Internationalist, A Devil at Noon, The Ladies, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pagean, Iphigenia in Aulis, and Antlia Pneumatica. Originally from Berkeley, California, Ms. Washburn attended Reed College and received her MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Dramatic Writing. Ms. Washburn is an alumna of New Dramatists, frequently works with 13P, a playwrights collective, and is a lecturer in theatre at Princeton University.