SDSU Theatre Presents: Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play

December 1, 2023

Mr Burns Image
Performers prepare for the debut of "Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play

The San Diego State University School of Theatre, Television, and Film presents “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play,” running Friday, Dec. 1 - Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, on the SDSU Main Stage Theatre.

Anne Washburn’s imaginative dark comedy propels us forward nearly a century, following a new civilization stumbling into its future. After the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of The Simpsons episode “Cape Feare” entirely from memory. 

Seven years later, this and other snippets of pop culture (sitcom plots, commercials, jingles, and pop songs) have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society, sincerely trying to hold onto its past. 

Seventy-five years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created. A love letter to live theater, and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.

The three acts, the last of which incorporates musical theatre elements, have made directing the show a unique experience. Lourdes Arteaga, a theatre major with an emphasis in youth theatre who is assistant director and also performs in the show, calls it “so funny, but so serious at the same time.”

“The show itself is very silly, so it’s nice being able to give into that while also collaborating and sharing it with the whole cast,” said Arteaga. “The whole musical act was pretty challenging, but cool to see come to life, especially with the puppets and lighting we use.”

Tickets for “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play” run $17 - $20 and are available at the SDSU Theatre website.  Dates are Friday, Dec. 1 - Sunday, Dec. 10 in the Main Stage Theatre.

“I’m excited for audiences to see how awesomely absurd the play is,” Arteaga said. “If you know the Simpsons or not, it’ll be a fun ride. Also, the cast and crew have put so much effort into the show from the sets to costumes to staging - so just seeing it all come together is exciting, and I hope audiences feel that.”

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