Event Date Details:
There is no late seating in this venue.
- Studio Theater
$17 General Admission
$13 UCSB Student/Faculty/Staff/Alumni, Non UCSB Student/Senior/Child
by Anne Washburn directed by Tom Whitaker
What will endure when the cataclysm arrives—when the grid fails, society crumbles, and we’re faced with the task of rebuilding? Anne Washburn’s imaginative dark comedy propels us forward nearly a century, following a new civilization stumbling into its future. A paean to live theater, and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is a fascinating and theatrical exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another. This bold play is a tribute to the human need for storytelling and art-making in traumatic times.
Tom Whitaker recently played The Governor/Innkeeper in the Chinese premiere of Man of La Mancha, in Beijing. Other international work includes directing Revel’s World of Shakespeare (by Joseph Graves) cosponsored by The Beijing Institute of World Theater and Film and Arkansas Repertory Theatre (LORT). Produced at The Beijing People’s Art Theatre, the show has been seen in theaters across China, and in Taiwan and Macau. He has taught acting at Peking University, been Guest Professor at Nanjing University and served as vocal coach for Carlo Gozzi’s The King Stag. Tom has acted with Richard Schechner’s Performance Group; Bread and Puppet Theatre; Masterworks Laboratory Theatre, NYC; and the Oberlin Repertory Theater with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre of Great Britain. Recently, he played Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Henry IV pt. 1, at the Texas Shakespeare Festival. He has taught for Oberlin Theater Institute, Carnegie-Mellon College of Fine Arts, and the MFA Directing Program at the University of Texas, Austin. He has taught workshops on acting, directing, Tai Chi, voice and movement nationally and in Germany and China. Representative regional and university directing credits include: Venus, Middletown, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, These Shining Lives, bobrauschenbergamerica, Cyrano de Bergerac, Life’s a Dream, Merchant of Venice, Stop Kiss, Big Love, The Seagull, The Swan, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Tartuffe, Chaps!, Sylvia, Blue Window, How I Learned to Drive, The Baltimore Waltz, The Bourgeois Gentleman, Cloud 9, Taming of the Shrew, The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), Inspecting Carol, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Mad Forest, The Misanthrope, As You Like It, Fool for Love, The Dining Room, 1940’s Radio Hour, Misalliance, Loot, Arms and the Man, Man is Man, Buried Child, Twelfth Night, Landscape of the Body, How I Got That Story, The Birthday Party, The Suicide, Tonight at Eight, and The Firebugs.
Washburn graduated from Reed College and from New York University, with an M.F.A. Her plays have been produced in New York City by Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Vineyard Theatre, Dixon Place, and Soho Repertory Theatre—and elsewhere by American Repertory Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, New Jersey's Two River Theater Company, Washington DC's Studio Theater, and London's Gate Theatre and Almeida Theatre.
Her 2012 play Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play received a Drama League Award nomination for Outstanding Production and was praised by the New York Times as "downright brilliant." Her play A Devil at Noon was featured at the 2011 Humana Festival of New American Plays and the play Sleep Rock Thy Brain—written with Rinne Groff and Lucas Hnath—was featured at the 2013 Festival. In 2015, 10 Out of 12 played at the Soho Rep theater.
Washburn is a member of 13P, an associated artist with The Civilians and New Georges, and an alumna of New Dramatists. Her work has been published in American Theatre magazine.
We are proud to say that our media partner is Noozhawk.
"Told in three acts, the story honors current popular cultures while honoring tradition by bringing theater back to its ancient Greek roots. Ultimately, the play poses the questions of what will endure when the cataclysm arrives — when the grid fails, society crumbles, and we’re faced with the task of rebuilding."
"The whole night is as much fun as theater gets, and I can’t recommend it highly enough."
"Don't miss this smart, high-energy production--it's a wild ride!"
"For fans of contemporary theater, this is a chance to see the kind of freewheeling postmodernism that one would typically have to travel to New York or Los Angeles to see. Plus, it’s The Simpsons, dammit!"
"As part of the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Burns brings a self-reflexive perspective to the stage, by commenting on popular culture and what it means to have live theater as part of a society."