Chaos Theory premiered at Annex Theatre April 18 – May 17, 2014.
Frannie hits the pathetic rock-bottom when her girlfriend, Mack, disappears. Frannie’s friends, Seth and Bach attempt to get her over the post-break-up hump through a series of steps. Unfortunately, Frannie is unable to face the reality that she was abandoned without a word by a feeling, thinking human being and instead tries to come up with any other solution to Mack’s disappearance (in one scenario, bears are involved). Seth and Bach admit defeat on getting her to see reason and reach the last step of “realizing that sack of shit isn’t coming back,” so they give her a book about chaos theory and parallel dimensions. This is how Chaos Theory begins, with a little un-reality.
After reading the book Frannie, Seth, and Bach resolve to build a machine to take them to one of these parallel dimensions where Frannie and Mack will unite and they all will generally find peace and harmony with universe. Their journey progresses through different realities and levels of denial, with a laugh track and dance sequence all before a new woman, Josie, comes to steal Bach’s heart away from the project. The friends start to face the truths of adulthood, abandonment and building a freaking cool machine in their living room. Things start to reach an equilibrium and then –
Mack comes back. The machine, ostensibly, has worked. But what does that mean? Was it meant to work? Are they actually physics geniuses? Or, is this Mack a fake? A doppelganger from a parallel universe? And what ever happened to Josie? Plunging into a dark world, the friends must now decide the fate of Mack to save Frannie and the world, or succumb to the horrible changes that are taking over each of them.
2014 Cast and Crew
Frannie – Keiko Green
Bach – Evelyn DeHais
Seth – Drew Highlands
Mack – Jana Hutchison
Stage Manager – Kaeline Kine
Scenic Designer – Robin Macarteny
Costume Designer – Amy Escobar
Lighting Designer – Gwyn Skone
Sound Designer – Kyle Thompson
Props Designer – Robin Macartney, Emily Sershon
Production Manager – Catherine Blake Smith
Technical Directors – Ian Johnston, Emily Sershon
Graphic Design – Ash Williamson
French Translation – Evelyn DeHais
Preview from Capitol Hill Blog
Preview from Capitol Hill Times.
Review from TheSunbreak.
“Meaker shifts the audience/performance relationship drawing us into the concerns of the characters by resting our entire understanding of the play on the question the characters must answer. Their search goes from frivolous to effective, but Meaker is wary of copping out with a deus ex machina or a simple twist (a la Sixth Sense or Fight Club). As with the rest of this very real universe of soft-edged gender and orientation this is not a world of either/or, but of multiple possible answers. Meaker suggests the possibilities without committing to any one. In Chaos Theory uncertainty is, for once, both comforting and satisfying.”
Review from Seattle Weekly.
“Amid this absurdity, Meaker and director Pamala Mijatov force us to make sense of the action, but in the end we succumb to the hopelessness and futility of existence, love, and identity. Chaos Theory starts off gimmicky and cute, yet it ultimately makes us, and Frannie, confront the limits of common sense.”
“ In local playwright Courtney Meaker’s new absurdist tragicomedy (aptly subtitled “A Play Seeking Order”), there seems to be exactly that—a series of events that don’t fit together. That doesn’t mean there isn’t exposition; in fact, Chaos Theory is replete with rather dense character development, plot twists, and pathos.”
Review from Drama in the Hood.
“…the play written by Courtney Meaker was intimate, polished, and had the audience feeling as if they were a fly on the wall of a hilarious sitcom.”
“Though the play has a blatant speculative science-fiction slant to it, it is surprisingly and refreshingly character-driven. The play grapples with ideas of perception of reality, time relativity, gender binaries, friendship dynamics, and heart-wrenching moral dilemmas.”
“Thanks to Meaker’s smart writing and the excellent cast, the play had me wishing I could be friends with Frannie, Seth, and Bach, and be a part of their quick back-and-forth verbal banter.”
“Prepare to have your brain twisted into a pretzel with ideas of alternate realities and parallel universes. Though the events of the play were confusing at times, the writing and acting never felt pretentious or overbearing, because the characters felt just as confused and conflicted as I felt sitting in the audience. Reminiscent of Inception, the ending will force viewers to make their own mind up about what really happened, what is about to happen next, and whether the characters are actually experiencing reality or the alternate realities of a parallel universe.”
Review from Seattle Actor.
“One of the things I like best about Meaker’s writing is the inclusion of LGBT characters without that ever being part of the plot; without that ever being a problem in itself, rather they are just part of the world.”
“Seattle Playwright Courtney Meaker has made a very impressive introduction into the local theater scene. Her play “Buckshot” was a strong announcement of her confidence and skill in telling intimate stories of real people. In her newest play, “Chaos Theory” now being presented at the Annex Theatre under the accomplished direction of Pamala Mijatov, she is even more ambitious.”
— Kenna Kettrick (@pipifelix) May 2, 2014
Chaos Theory is weird and hilarious and excellent, right up until it’s terrifying. Annex Theater. Go see it. — Morgan M. Jordahl (@mmjordahl) May 2, 2014
— Ashley Ossmann (@AshleyOssmann) May 10, 2014
— Nina (@ntrotto) May 16, 2014
— Robertson Witmer (@rdwitmer) May 18, 2014
Joe Zavadil, Actor, via Facebook – My sister and brother in law wanted to see a show while they were in Seattle, so I took them and my nephew (who live here now) to the best theatre in town. The Annex did not disappoint. All four of us were impressed, amazed, and enthralled by ‘Chaos Theory”. The script is one part Ionesco, one part Pirandello, with some Christopher Durang and Tina Fey thrown in. The cast is spectacular; the is staging innovative, all around one of the best, funniest shows I have seen. Thanks for impressing the outta towners, y’all!