Part suspense thriller, part magic act, part instructional seminar, Major Bang is a dark and comic take on our new era of global (in)security. Sprung from the contents of a backpack left on the subway, the piece samples Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and the true story of David Hahn, a boy scout who built a nuclear reactor in his parents’ garage to earn his Atomic Energy Badge. The result is a 75-minute ride through 21st century concepts of fear— both real and manufactured.
I wish that human history would go on for a million more years. If that turns out to be the case I hope our era isn’t remembered as some separately definable epoch. I hope we’re just lumped in with everything that’s happened from the dawn of time until now, and that we’re just lucky enough to participate in the last moments of this age which will be remembered as the time in which fundamentalism battled, and lost out to, enlightenment. That’s the essentialized version of all of human history so far—enlightenment defeats fundamentalism—every time. They tried to scare us but it didn’t work. And the way it ended was we took all the cars and planes and unattended bags, everything they had made dangerous, and we put them out of reach by turning them into jokes and stories, stories that hopefully include everyone who didn’t get to see enlightenment’s victory, which for all we know might just include ourselves.
-Excerpt from MAJOR BANG
Presented by/at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY
First performed The Ice Factory Festival/The Ohio Theater
On Tour the Spoletto Festival in Charleston SC, Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN, The Wexner Center in Columbus OH, On The Boards in Seattle WA, The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Conceived & Created by Melanie Joseph, Steve Cuiffo & Kirk Lynn
Written by Kirk Lynn
Directed by Paul Lazar
Performed by Steve Cuiffo & Maggie Hoffman
Sets Michael Casselli
Lights David Moodey
Costumes Wendy Meiling Yang
Sound Raul Vincent Enriquez
Projections Marilys Ernst
Magic Consultant The Amazing Russello
Magic Assistants: James Kroner & Bob Saita
Production Stage Manager Jill Beckman
MAJOR BANG proves that laughter in the dark need not be desperate. This Foundry production is surely the happiest show to have been inspired by the horrors of 9/11.