Today we welcome Edrie from the Army of Broken Toys!
Raised on a farm in North Dakota, Edrie never thought her Lawrence Welk accordion skills would come in handy. Now from heifers to the Hynes Convention Center and everywhere in between; follow Edrie as she tells you about her life and her Army of Broken Toys.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in the making of a steampunk theatre piece with my band Walter Sickert & The ARmy of BRoken TOys. The piece started out as a SteamCRUNK radio play called “28 Seeds: The Last Radio Show” created for the RPM Challenge (if you are at all into AWESOME music – you should check RPM out!) which you can listen to for free on our Bandcamp page. After hearing the radio play – a Boston based experimental theatre company Liars & Believers convinced us to go in on a huge experiment with them – bringing 28 Seeds to the stage, steampunk style!
After a year of script writing by a very talented writer (and our band’s Mandolin and Mustache) Meff and collaboration, and work-shopping and previews and begging for money – we premiered the play on 4/20/12 at the Boston Center for the Arts . There were accolades, and a behind the scenes video, and we generally sold out each of the 16 performances to a very appreciative crowd, but what, my dear readers, made this a steampunk play?
Well, I’m not sure actually. It might be funny for me to admit this, but really steampunk is so many things to so many people that it’s awfully hard to pin down a definition that makes everyone happy. It’s not all gears and cogs (though to be sure we had plenty of that on set) or even the kind of costuming used (it certainly ran the gamut) or even the music (really no one can agree about what steampunk music sounds like – and frankly I like it that way).
For us it was much more the collaborative, inclusive nature of the production. The roll-up-our-sleeves-and- get-it- done-together attitude that everyone from the band, actors, and production staff to the theatre, producers and audience had. For me, steampunk is really more about community than accoutrements. The latest ray gun is cool and all, but only when shared with others who have equally cool new monocles, spats or a steam-powered typewriter.
It’s the community that makes the experience and that is what steampunk theatre is; an experience rooted in community!
(One of the BRoken TOys)
“28 Seeds tells the story of how greed and ignorance destroyed the world. This is H.P. Lovecraft meets rock music, steam power, and 1000 channels of TV beamed directly to your head; it’s government conspiracy, burlesque, ray guns, and tentacles; it blends a live rock show, science fiction, dance, theatre, video and sound into an immersive performance experience.
“Over 25 Boston artists and performers are involved in this unique collaboration. We’re bringing together innovative theatre, with all its story-telling tools, and the wild music of a live steampunk band. We have musicians, actors, dancers, video artists, sound artists, graphic artists and more. All are sharing in this wild collaborative work… ”