Rocket scientists have love lives? | Bleader

Rocket scientists have love lives?

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Rocket scientists in love
  • Jack Mayer
  • Rocket scientists in love
What happens when you collapse the boundaries between performance art, film, and theater? This is what filmmaker Jack Mayer and writer David Brent intend to explore with their new project, I Am a Rocket Scientist, premiering Saturday, March 24, at the Den Theater. It's the second live-film event produced by Screen Door Productions, recently founded by Mayer—whose Web series Single Long is being developed by HBO—Brent, and Hannah Fenlon of Two Birds Casting. “With Screen Door Productions, Jack and I are interested in creating art that is formally experimental but still has affection for its audience,” says Brent. “We want to push the boundaries of both film and theater by asking the question: what can be done dramatically in this unique medium that cannot be done in either of its constituent parts?”

I Am a Rocket Scientist depicts a love triangle between three, well, rocket scientists. The story is told through multiple mediums, including live music accompaniment, theater, and the film itself. Although the three elements tell the same narrative, they unfold in individually distinct time frames (for example, the film often moves through time significantly faster than the live theater event). “We want to tell dramatic stories that can work in both live communal settings and also exist digitally in a reproducible and easily disseminated form,” says Brent. “Theater’s spectacle nature is well suited to creating community, but the medium’s ephemerality makes it difficult to create meaningful online content.” Screen Door Productions hopes to develop its niche by creating content that lands somewhere between digital filmmaking and the spectatorship of theater. “Screen Door’s eventual online presence will allow us reach a broader audience outside the Chicago area,” says Brent. However, right now Brent is focused on building a local following. “Our focus with our live events is to establish a sense of shared experience, a dialogue between artist and audience. And ideally, these conversations will allow true, local community to form.”

I Am a Rocket Scientist premieres at the Den Theatre (1333 N. Milwaukee) on Saturday, March 24. Doors open at 8:30 PM. $8 tickets at the door.

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