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Author Topic: Are there any steampunk plays?  (Read 7715 times)
Lady Chrystal
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« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2012, 04:24:09 pm »

I've seen a few stage productions which call themselves Steampunk. The plays were mostly very amateur, relying more on effects than script or acting, I'm afraid. The Forster story would be a great startpoint for stage adaptation.

I would suggest anyone trying to stage a Steampunk play needs to be aware that their props / effects will never look convincing, so it's important that the script / characters / plot all have to carry the audience along.


I would think that a SP play would be a wonderful opportunity to cut loose with Tesla coils, Jacob's ladders, fog machines, prop guns, back lighting, shadow plays, strobes, and all sort of over the top toys.  A school should be able to draft the Physics Club and go to town.  Still lots of work for a good fight choreographer too.  I also agree with you that a good script is what makes a play. 

A lot of the subtle baubles (cameos, gears, cravat pins) that we are so proud of would just be too small to be seen on stage but not bad for mingling with the patrons afterwards. 

We have about 4 1/2 theater companies in Juneau (which is not too bad for a landlocked town of 31K) and they have always tried to vary their plays as much as possible.  It might not be impossible to persuade them to put on a SP play if they had a good enough script to read.

Delireus - since I shall probably never have a chance to see The Adding Machine - would you mind sharing how it ended? 

Alas, most of the works I've seen are more of the "stick a cog on it" style. Tesla coils et al would be wonderful - but I wonder if they'd be allowed in a public space. Even fog machines would help, but I have yet to see them. One production had all the characters walking about commenting on how thick the fog was - without generating any.

For me, the Steampunk elements need to be woven into the story, not just stuck on as an afterthought. And using a story from another genre with a few Steamy icons taking the parts of the main characters just isn't cricket.

Sorry for ranting - I so want to see a good Steampunk production on stage, but have been disappointed more often than not.
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"The Chrystal? Ah, now - that would be telling."
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Captain
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« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2012, 06:05:10 pm »

http://www.cheapdjgear.us/Fog_Machines_and_Fog_Juice_s/22.htm  Fog machines are fairly cheap (I know most theater groups have virtually no budget or credit though  Wink)  and I seem to recall an even cheaper dry ice trick. 

I do not see why a Tesla coil on stage would be a problem.  I seem to recall concerns about Van de Graff generators putting off broad band radio waves: http://www.mos.org/sln/toe/history.html and Jacob's Ladders present a high voltage risk unless enclosed.  These folks might have some other useful gadgets: http://www.amazing1.com/tesla.htm

Ultimately, like good fight choreography, the special effects need to help tell tell the story. 
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-Karl
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« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2012, 11:28:48 pm »

A not quite steamy (but very Pythonian) Penny Dreadful audio play:

Horatius 1.01. (1/3) - The Penny Dreadfuls Present ~ The Brothers Faversham
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ionescofan
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2014, 04:25:23 am »

I am currently writing one based on the difference engine as an analytical machine used to calculate societal choices.  If anyone is interested in giving it a read I would be grateful for feedback.  You can find some of my previous plays at Brooklyn publishing and in the fall of 2015 at Dramatic Publishing.
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GCCC
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« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2014, 06:46:28 am »

This was brought to my attention:

http://www.mrshawking.com/

Apparently written with Steampunk intent.
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RFDutch
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2015, 04:29:58 am »

As indicated by the majority of responses it is quite difficult to find any truly STEAMPUNK plays. Most attempts I've seen , as noted, take existing scripts and layer on either costuming and/or a variety of anachronistic looking set pieces, props and effects. Some more successful than others of course. Recently say a production of "Les Miserable" which did a fantastic job costuming the "Master of the House" in full-on STEAMPUNK. Unfortunaly it stuck out like a sore thumb because they didn't follow-through with the concept through the whole production. Pretty much everything else was presented in essentially modern dress. Never could figure out the connection between the two concepts. Many companies like to throw "Sweeney Todd" into the STEAMPUNK slipstream. The play does really lend itself nicely to concept and reads about as close an anything I've seen to a STEAMPUNK genre story. Jules Verne is an obvious front runner but difficult to stage. Frankenstein is another natural choice that works very well. But as to new works written from the ground up as STEAMPUNK are rare and hard to find. To that effect I made my own attempt at an adaptation of DRACULA set into a STEAMPUNK universe. Though I admit it's not wholly original but the fit worked nicely and got good audience response. Nevertheless I continue to do rewrites to better shape the script into a truly STEAMPUNK genre play. That effort lead me to another scheme.

Being the producer of an annual Theatre Festival which in recent years began soliciting for new and original scripts the spark ran through me like a jolt from an Edison's AC transformer. This year we are initiating our first juried playwriting contest, expressly focused on writing of STEAMPUNK scripts. If it can be done for literature and movies why should the theatre not partake of this, as yet, rarely explored territory.


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chicar
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2015, 04:31:18 pm »

Wicked have somes steam-ish elements. It is a little weak so late in the debate, but this the first thing who came to my mind.

There also quite a lot of Victorianised/industrialised version of  shakespearean play (macbeth, hamlet,dream of a midsummer night,King Lear,etc)

Lastly, i once dribbled on the idea of a steampunk version of Moliére's The Miser with La Fléche, Dame Claude, Brindavoine and La Merluche as automatons, Maitre Jacque wearing a mechanician uniform, the clerk sporting a portable writing machine strapped to his shoulder, Frosine with a mechanical eye prothestic,
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
and finally everyone wearing late victorian clothes at the exceptions of outdated Harpagon wearing a georgian apparel in addition of a plague mask and bird claw like mechanical hands ( reference to the fact than the old word Harpagon mean preybird). Feel free to "steal" my idea.

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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
The Corsair
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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2015, 12:23:13 am »

IIRC there's one around somewhere called 'Steampunk Western'. Lazy naming, and sounds already like a cash-in, but it could be worth looking into.
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Mechanic Williams
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« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2015, 08:29:45 am »

There can be.

You just need to pick up a pen is all.
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If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical problem.
Rockula
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Nothing beats a good hat.


« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2015, 01:58:53 pm »

'Rayguns in Aspic - Steampunk Comedy Show.'

As performed at Lincoln Asylum by Count Rostov and collected Steampunk reprobates.

It's more like a radio show than a play but does have the 'Crumpet by Caravan, By Crikey!' segments.

It's on CD and it's very funny.
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