THE AQUA SAGA Set for Orlando Fringe, Now thru 5/24
How do superheroes deal with everyday issues? Emerson Productions is attempting to answer that question --with hilarious results-- by presenting The Aqua Saga at the Orlando International Fringe Festival. The comedy details the trials of an unpopular ocean-themed superhero who has been downsized from his crime-fighting job. The performances take place at the festival's Purple Venue from today, May 15-24, 2014.
Whit Emerson is producing and directing The Aqua Saga as his first show after graduating from UCF with a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies. "Aquaman has such pathos because he is universally derided as having the 'useless' superpowers of underwater breathing and fish telepathy. The fun of the play is seeing an extraordinary individual deal with very human problems, like depression or having a horrible boss," Emerson says.
The play opens with Aquaman pushed to the edge, but eventually he opens up to Cora, his therapist, who has some mental issues of her own. After being laid off by the Justice League and not wanted by Lex Luthor, Aquaman starts his own fish-person relationship service. He tries online dating but Green Lantern snags his date. Even Superman and Catwoman seem more interested in their lunch than what the King of Atlantis is doing. What's a superhero to do?
Playwright Ira Sargent was inspired to write the play after finding an old Aquaman comic backstage during a show. "...there was a single issue of Aquaman on the coffee table... I knew almost nothing about Aquaman. Except, of course, the lame powers for which he is famous. And actually, for the purposes of the play I think my lack of knowledge served me well, because as I've gotten to know the character better over the years, I have a much more nuanced and sensitive understanding of him."
Several Theatre UCF students and graduates are involved in the production. Actress Danielle Miller says, "I love Catwoman because she's a strong, sexy woman who is never afraid to speak her mind. She knows what she wants and she'll figure out a way to get it."
Miller is excited to put her comic knowledge to work, "I'm a pretty big nerd. I recently acquired my first comic book subscription a few months ago and I feel like that kind of sealed my fate. All of the superhero posters in my room also don't really lend much credence to my coolness factor."
The play is best suited for ages 14 and up. "The show has nothing objectionable in it but, I don't think many small children would want to watch a show about superheroes being depressed or looking for work in a bad economy," Emerson stated. "I'd recommend patrons be in their teens or older to get the full humor of the piece. And you certainly don't need any knowledge of comic books or super heroes to enjoy the play!" Emerson states emphatically. "The themes are relatable to everyone."