Mr. Burns: A Post Apocalyptic Play is The Highland Player’s fall production, running November 7th-10th, and the 16th-17th. In the black box theater, we start twelve weeks post-apocalypse. Matt (Shane Robles), Jenny (Grace Crandell), Maria (Ruby Anderson), Sam (Cole Atencio) and Gibson (Luke Babbitt) are discussing an episode of the Simpsons and trying to remember it line by line. This sets the stage for the rest of the show as we progress further into the fever dream that is Mr. Burns.
Seven years post-apocalypse, we see our familiar cast turn their desperate cling to pop culture into their business. Added to the cast are Colleen (Maddie Denison and Francesca Fong), Quincy (Eileen Diaz) and Jack (Grant Jordan). Showcasing the duality of the actors, the show seamlessly slips between comedic and dramatic. Inserted is a dialogue that ensures we are reminded of the post-apocalyptic world the show is set in. Broken up by a fantastic musical number boasting songs such as “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and “Toxic” by Britney Spears, the audience is delighted, singing and dancing along. However, the act takes a twist for the darker as we leave the characters.
Seventy-five years post-apocalypse, we are ushered into the main stage theater. With the fever dream really kicking in, we are greeted by a larger cast donning masks of familiar Simpsons characters. Our familiar cast is gone, and the audience is left to piece together what has happened. We can see that, in a world where our original cast is gone, The Simpsons has become a sort of myth. We witness a horrifying scene that has the audience continuously questioning both their own sanity and the sobriety of those involved. Portrayed stunningly by Will Harris, the title character of Mr. Burns has the audience on the edge of their seats.
This show left audiences unsettled and amazed, pulling them in with a personable cast at the start, the actors have the audience hooked along for the ride as the show descends into what can only be described as madness. It takes talent to make such a shocking ending so enticing, and the entire cast and crew undoubtedly delivered.