Satanic Circulation and 1000 Tiny Gestures

Today I come to you to make a humble request on behalf of Old Scratch himself, Satan. Or rather, on behalf of Punctuate! Theatre‘s great new play An Evening With Satan, on now at Edmonton’s Fringe. And two things have got me really excited to make this pitch to you.

Elliott James' Satan looks into a mirror, darkly
You’ll be close enough to bump horns with Satan at the show. (Photo credit: Killin’ Photography – April Killins)

First though, here’s the pitch. I’m a new board member at Punctuate!, and I am so so pleased that this is the first of our plays I’ve seen. An Evening With Satan is a dark, funny, and very rude show written and starring Elliott James (whose face just seems to hold an improbably number of disturbing expressions). The dark lord is summoned for an intimate evening to ask us why we live our lives in fear and regret, rather than embracing the joy of being alive. Along the way he shows a little of his vulnerable side, and you’ll probably show some of yours when he asks how many folks revel in bath salts, murder, and sodomy.

The Edmonton Journal’s Jason Markusoff called Elliott’s Satan a “seductive” and “charming, goateed high priest,” and we’re gearing up to take his dark delights on the road. After the Edmonton Fringe, Elliott and the (equally scandalous) director Elizabeth Hobbs will be heading to Vancouver’s Fringe Festival. As with all good endeavours, that’s going to cost money. So we’re in the middle of an Indiegogo campaign to make it happen.

Indiegogo, in case you’re not familiar with it, is an indie funding website like Kickstarter. You pitch in a little bit to make a big idea grow. In this case, you can get cool perks like complimentary tickets and signed posters. We’re aiming to raise $1000 to pay for these guys’ travel costs and hey, maybe eating along the way. We’re halfway there so far.

The first reason I’m so excited about this is I saw it last night at the Fringe, and it’s great. Elliott and Elizabeth share some genuinely outrageous moments, and made me think about my own ideas of pleasure, pain and vengeance. This is why I signed up to support Punctuate!: it’s a little theatre company with a big mission to create bold, intriguing original work that will grab you by the tie and make you sit up and pay attention to your life. And bonus, the play’s on tonight for half-price at 11:15 PM at the Daily Discount booth, too.

The second reason I’m so excited is because these kind of indie campaigns are warming the cockles of my heart lately. Roman Mars made a gigantic ask for his podcast 99% Invisible this month. He was raising money to pay a producer and get some videos made, and once he passed his first target he wondered if he could do something ground-breaking, and get 5000 supporters for his tiny show.

It didn’t matter how much you donated, he just wanted people to feel like they were part of creating something exciting, and it reminded me of something Stuart Mclean did. A couple of years ago Stuart Mclean was in Edmonton doing a Vinyl Cafe Christmas performance, and he was raising money for one his listeners, for medical expenses or something. I don’t remember what the money was for but I remember he asked folks not to donate too much, because he wanted the outcome to be the product of many small gestures, many people making a small choice to help each other out, to add up to something inspiring.

An Evening With Satan made me smile and cringe in all the right ways, and I think it’s worth a bucketload of support. If you can chip in anything, $5, $10, $25, head to Indiegogo before August 30th, you’ll be helping make something magic happen. The perks are nice, too. But that’s my pitch.

The 99% Invisible gang did it, by the way. I know we can, too.

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