The touring version of Mad Science‘s Star Trek Live came to New York City this weekend! (Please click those links and read more about the producing organization and the show!) As soon as I learned of this stop on their tour I made plans to go check it out! They performed at NYU’s Skirball center as part of a children’s programing series. The house was pretty full for this afternoon’s performance. There were a lot of families with smart kids there along with a nice turn out of Star Trek fans. There were even several fans in uniform. I almost felt like I was at a convention!
The show was great! It basically uses Star Trek as the background for a science based educational program. It’s set today, in 2011. Starfleet Academy has just been founded and the audience finds themselves enrolled in the very first Starfleet Academy class. They are met my Commander Sean Christoper, a Starfleet Academy trainer. But before the training can begin a Vulcan named Voula arrives from the future to warn us of a dangerous threat. A Romulan has traveled back in time from the late 24th century to destroy one of the 21st century’s greatest scientific minds thus undermining our future. Commander Christopher and Voula must defeat this foe with the help of the new cadets in the audience. Along the way they have a lot of fun and teach the audience lots of things about NASA and science. It’s really a very well written well planned production. It entertaining and educational. There’s plenty for the hardcore Star Trek fan to latch onto as well! Everything from the accurate costumes and props to the pre-show Star Trek trivia fed my Star Trek loving heart!
From a production perspective it’s a pretty simple show. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a Stage Manager in real life and have done my fair share of touring educational theatre. The show has a unit set with a larger “hanger door” (that opens to reveal Voula’s ship), another door, 2 flat screen TVs, what looked like two larger projection screens and several hatches to hind away the science equipment. The cast is small- just two actors. I’d bet they travel with no more than 5 people (2 actors, a stage manager, a company manager, and a technical director). The show is a bit prop heavy including a several pieces of scientific equipment for experiments, some familiar little furry creatures and Starfleet equipment like a tricorder and phaser. One nit-picky thing I noticed. Although Voula is wearing a Starfleet uniform from the 29th century she uses a Mark X Tricorder from the 24th century and a type 2 phaser from the 23rd century (from the new movie). Maybe Voula has an affinity for antiques.
Here is a little preview I found on YouTube. This video wasn’t taking at the performance I attended today and the cast members are not the same. Actually I think the cast we saw in NYC today was MUCH better– but you’ll get some idea of what the show is like.
Lt. Mike Jones
U.S.S. Atlantia NFC-1846