PHIT’s all new upcoming Spring Theatrical Run – Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn – is gearing up for its April 16 premiere, and our AD Ralph Andracchio had a few questions for director Michael Hochman and producer Kristen Schier. Here’s what they had to say about the theater boldly going where the theater has never gone before.
Ralph Andracchio: So, where did the idea of mounting an improvised sci-fi show come from?
Kristen Schier: In case you haven’t noticed, and I mean this in the nicest way – there is a lot of overlap on the venn diagram that is nerds and improvisers. Trek was a natural fit.
Michael Hochman: When the theater first approach me about directing my first thought was a genre show. And I grew up watching and reading every bit of sci fi I could absorb, from Lucas and Roddenberry to Asimov and Heinlein. So it seemed the obvious choice.
RA: Why Star Trek? And specifically, The Original Series?
KS: The original series is camper making it more ripe with comedic opportunity.
MH: Star Trek: The Next Generation is what I grew up with. And I love it, but I feel like paying homage to TOS just feels right. Who knows, maybe at some point, we’ll do Warp Jawn: Next Gen.
RA: How did Mike come to be the project’s director?
KS: Mike is a talented performer and instructor at the theater, and has been for sometime. I had him in mind as a director for a project, and when I discovered his love of Star Trek we had the show.
MH: Kristen asked, and I’m an Improv addict who was excited by the chance to do something fin and unique.
RA: Tell us a little bit about the cast. Are they falling into the sci-fi vibe easily?
MH: These guys get it. Some were more familiar with the source material than others. But they’ve all done their homework and have fully committed.
RA: What can the audience expect to see in the show? Will there be costumes, sets, alien worlds?
KS: All that and more, while the set and costumes will help bring the world of each episode to the fore it will really be the improvised nature of the piece that is likely to transport the audience more than anything else.
MH: You betcha. Light and sound design by Rob Caso. Video designed by rob Gentile. Costume design by Erin Pitts. Our logo and uniform and emblem designed by Chris Calletta. And set design by me. Its a full experience.
RA: Any final thoughts about the project?
KS: I am proud of the quality of work the design team the director and the cast have put into this show. Everyone is clearly talented. I couldn’t have asked for a better crew.
MH: Directing this show has been and is a blast, and I’m psyched for everyone to be able to see it.
RA: Final question: If you could go on a date with any character from Star Trek: The Original Series, which character would you go out with and why?
KS: Kirk. He’d be good in bed (to much?)
MH: I’m gonna cheat and say Dax from DS9’s “crossover” episode – “Trials and Tribble-ations”. Dax is one of my favorite characters on any of the series, plus that episode is such a great, playful homage to TOS.
Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn runs from April 16 through May 3 2014 at Philly Improv Theater, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia PA 19103. Tickets are on sale now!