-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC
Applied Mechanics– Philadelphia’s visionary, multiracial collective of queer and genderqueer theater artists who make performances that surround audiences in theaters, warehouses, galleries, schools, punk rock venues, in the streets, and online- are in the midst of presenting a multi-year, multi-modal theatrical experience that is literally creating a new world from the ground up.
Other Orbits is being presented in a series of episodes in many different formats, from a radio station to a tabletop role-playing game to a comic book, all telling an epic story of ecological reckoning and cultural survival that will culminate in a live performance in the Spring of 2023.
Unveiling over nine episodes, audiences of Other Orbits will be engrossed in an immersive adventure through time and space experiencing a variety of mediums including radio broadcasts, time capsules through the mail, role playing games (RPGs), a record album, and ultimately a live performance. The project follows a motley crew of non-human beings navigating enormous changes on a distant planet. The world of Other Orbits is not far off from the one we inhabit. The main difference is that the cohabitants of PlaNet prioritize cooperation and rejection of hierarchy, where human interference is not required to survive and thrive.
Previous episodes and installments of Other Orbits include PlaNet Radio (a set of radio stations introducing the citizens of the distant PlaNet); a Time Capsule (created by PlaNet ancestors, revealing the origins of PlaNet society); and For The Youth! (an art and activity packet for PlaNet “younglings” to explore life lessons).
Applied Mechanics has been making original, immersive theater since 2009. Founded by director Rebecca Wright and designer Maria Shaplin, the company’s inaugural show put a fishing village in a West Philly apartment on Valentine’s Day and invited audience members to explore the town as the myth of the Selkie unfolded around them, complete with a saw-playing seal. Since then, Applied Mechanics has become a standing ensemble of five artists and created nine original works. Their adventures have included touring from Texas to Maine with their invasion play Portmanteau, rocking out as their all-girl band the Cherry Jones Administration, condensing the Napoleonic Empire into an hour-long movement opera with 26 actors, conducting a workshop on immersive storytelling at Microsoft, and winning a cult following with their revolutionary feminist punk play We Are Bandits. They throw excellent immersive theme parties, including a Science Fair at the Chemical Heritage Foundation and an adolescence-themed Awkward Ball. They have garnered grants from the Wyncote Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Fels Foundation, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the Charlotte Cushman Foundation, among others. They have been featured in American Theater Magazine and presented by the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts and the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts.
Upcoming episodes of Other Planets include:
- Quest to the Decomp, a table top game: Reeling from the Time Capsule’s revelations, an intrepid group of PlaNet citizens voyage underground to find answers. (Estimated date: January/February 2022)
- A New Album from Mushroom Superstar Shawn Trex and their special PlaNet friends make music so mind-expanding that it tears a hole in the space-time continuum. (Estimated date: Spring 2022)
- Real Planet Life, a short film/reality TV episode: Pinni the Walrus has the gossip, Crispy the Bacteria feels unappreciated, and Whitney the Whale plans a family reunion on this catty, gloves-off PlaNet TV show. (Estimated date: Summer 2022)
- A print book: New evidence comes to light and controversial restrictions on mushroom, mutant, and AI behavior are proposed. (Estimated date: Fall 2022)
- Hotline: The voice of PlaNet itself guides you through a ritual on parties, deaths, and time-bending communication. (Estimated date: Spring 2023 )
- Other Orbits Live Performance: At the council meeting, PlaNet citizens tackle urgent questions of how to live together, as the party of a lifetime rages right outside. (Estimated dates: Spring/Summer 2023)
Audience members can buy tickets for each individual episode of Other Orbits, or they can buy subscription packs of three episodes at a time. If buying a ticket or a subscription for episodes that have already been released, patrons will receive immediate access to those episodes straight away. For future episodes, patrons will gain access to the episode on the launch date.
All tickets and subscriptions for Other Orbits are offered on a sliding scale to promote access and affordability. The ticket website will present guests with up to three possible ticket prices, and patrons can pick what price they will pay for the episode(s).
For more information, visit http://www.appliedmechanics.us/shows/other-orbits/.