BWW Interview: THE INTERGALACTIC NEMESIS - TARGET EARTH Lands in Columbus, 3/12
The plot of Jason Neulander's "The Intergalactic Nemesis: Target Earth" might be from out of this world, but the message of the show, its creator insists, is for earthlings of all ages.
"I really do believe that if you put your mind into something and just focus 100 percent on it, you will reap rewards that you can't imagine," Neulander said of his project, which combines aspects of radio plays, graphic novels and science fiction stories into a cohesive stage show. "None of us were experts in making radio plays or writing comic books or any of that stuff when this project got going, and we kind of just worked hard and persevered and tried to figure it out."
Given the international interest in "The Intergalactic Nemesis" series, which is approaching the end of its sixth year of touring around the world, it appears that hard work has paid off.
"The Intergalactic Nemesis: Target Earth," set to be performed at the Southern Theatre on March 12, is the first live-action graphic novel in a trilogy of stage shows, comic books and audio dramas. Set in 1933, the story follows reporter Molly Sloan, her research assistant, Timmy Mendez, and Ben Wilcott, a librarian from Flagstaff, Arizona, as they travel the world to defeat invading aliens from the planet Zygon.
The action-packed plot unfolds onstage via narration by three actors, who voice the characters that appear in the comic book images displayed panel-by-panel on a giant projection screen. They are joined by a Foley Artist and pianist, who add an extra aural dimension to the production.
Neulander said "The Intergalactic Nemesis" project was inspired by a diverse array of storytelling platforms that have interested him throughout his life.
"I liked comic books when I was a kid, but I wasn't a collector or anything like that," he said. "One thing that I did do was read a lot of pulp science fiction short stories. That was something I was really into when I was younger, and I still love that stuff."
As the elements of the show began to come together, Neulander said the overall project vision became clear.
"Comic books were invented in the '30s, radio plays were huge starting in the 1930s and our story takes place in the '30s, so ... to try to merge all those together just felt like it made organic sense," he said.
Neulander said watching audiences as far as Melbourne, Australia, embrace the series with ecstatic enthusiasm has been one of the most memorable experiences for him and the creative team. He also added that, in addition to having fun, he hopes viewers leave each performance feeling inspired and empowered.
"The story itself ... I think this is so important right now. The good guys defeat the bad guys, not by virtue of their brawn, but by virtue of their brains. To me, it's about how smartness ultimately will prevail," he said. "I feel like, right now, that's probably not a bad message to put out into the world."
"The Intergalactic Nemesis: Target Earth" is set to be performed on March 12 at 7 p.m. at the Southern Theatre, located at 21 E. Main St.
Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
You can learn more about the show and explore additional content from "The Intergalactic Nemesis" universe on the series' website.