THE CHASTE GENIUS AND HIS DEATHRAY GUN Coming to convergence-continuum
Convergence-continuum presents the world premiere of THE CHASTE GENIUS AND HIS DEATHRAY GUN by Cleveland playwright Christopher Johnston.
On his last night on this planet, tormented genius Tesla wrestles, within the universe of his gigantic brain, with the friends and detractors in his life - Edison, Einstein, Twain, Westinghouse, and Anna, his only true love (other than a cherished pigeon). Despite his breakthrough inventions (alternating current, fluorescent bulbs, lasers, robotics, wireless power and even a death ray), the eccentric inventor has fallen into obscurity. But tonight he's ready to challenge his critics before riding his beloved electric currents into the Great Beyond.
THE CHASTE GENIUS AND HIS DEATHRAY GUN is directed by convergence-continuum director Geoffrey Hoffman. The cast features actors Robert Hawkes (as Nicola Tesla), Rob Branch, Nicole McLaughlin-Lublin and Val Kozlenko.
THE CHASTE GENIUS AND HIS DEATHRAY GUN opens Fri, Dec 1 and runs Thurs-Sat at 8 pm through Dec 16 at the Liminis Theater, 2438 Scranton Rd, Cleveland 44113 in the historic Tremont neighborhood. Fri & Sat tickets are $20 general admission, $15 seniors (65+), $10 students; Thurs tickets are $15, $12 and $8. Reservations and information at convergence-continuum.org and 216-687-0074.
Christopher Johnston is a Cleveland playwright, director and freelance journalist. His plays have appeared at convergence-continuum (Selfies at the Clown Motel, APORKALYPSE!, Spawn of the Petrosexuals), Cleveland Public Theatre (Sexually Explicit Material, The Mind Field, Theories of Relativity), Dobama Theater's Night Kitchen (Murder in Mind, Loud Americans: A Punk Saga) and Talespinner Children's Theatre (Finn McCool). His Yeats-inspired Irish dance play, The Mad Mask Maker of Maigh Eo (March 2006 at CPT) received an Honorable Mention in the Northern Ohio Live Awards of Achievement. His one-act, Last Light, was performed at the West 78th Street Theatre Lab in New York in 2010, while he was there to attend a writing workshop with Mac Wellman at The Flea.
As a journalist, Johnston has published more than 3,000 articles in numerous publications, including American Theatre, Balanced Living, Cleveland Magazine, Continental, Crain's Cleveland Business, The Plain Dealer, Progressive Architecture, Proto Magazine, Scientific American (online), Time.com, and Urban Design. He ghostwrote The Way I Saw It, the memoirs of the late Marc Wyse, co-founder of Wyse Advertising, which was published in 2014.
Johnston also teaches playwriting and creative nonfiction workshops at Cleveland State University. He has been a company member of convergence-continuum since 2007, and has served on its Board of Directors since 2015.
The Chaste Genius and His Deathray Gun, the company's 97th production, is the sixth of six in the 2017 Season (our sixteenth). The company's season runs from February (during which we stage the NEOMFA Playwrights Festival) through December. Nearly all of the cast and crew of The Chaste Genius and His Deathray Gun have been involved in previous convergence-continuum productions in many and various capacities, while some, we are delighted to say, are newcomers to our boards. The company seeks to create a core ensemble that continues to work together over the long term in exploring and developing its artistic voice, and performance and production practices, to create up-close, environmentally-staged productions that challenge the status quo and extend the boundaries of theatre.
The company's artistic home since 2002 (which the company purchased in January this year!) is the Liminis Theater, an intimate, versatile, storefront performance space, with maximum seating of 40-50 depending on the set-up for each show. The company produces alternative/experimental theatre work by living playwrights, and completely transforms the Liminis for each show, immersing audiences into the world of the play in up-close productions.