As if the first couple weeks of school were not crazy enough, 99 Stock Productions is bringing their performance of “Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness” to SF State’s Studio Theatre Sept. 7 and 8.
SF State alumni Michael Saarela, Brandon Cusak and Alex Peri created 99 Stock Productions this spring to organize a company to attend the New York International Fringe Festival in August. “Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness” is the company’s first production.
“Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness”
When: Sept. 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Studio Theatre at SF State
Edward Gant’s various vignettes examine isolation, experimentation and loneliness among other things.
The four-person show won Best Overall Production at the festival.
“The show is a lot of fun. It’s very ridiculous, and it’s kinda gross,” said Amanda Ramirez, creative director for 99 Stock Productions and costume designer for the show.
“It’s definitely a dark comedy, and it’s an adult show, for sure,” said the 25-year-old Ramirez.
“Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness” plays out somewhat like a show within a show. The four actors, Ian Hopps, Brandon Cusak, Serra Naiman and Geneva Holloman play the members of Edward Gant’s 1881 traveling troupe, who themselves play various characters in a vaudevillian spectacle, filled with humor and grotesquery.
“This is a show about imagination running loose,” said Cusak, 28. Cusak also plays Sgt. Jack Dearlove in the show, Edward Gant’s faithful right-hand man.
“(Dearlove) is a guy (who’s) very much about loyalty,” said Cusak. “He doesn’t really try to think, he just does what Gant tells him.”
99 Stock Productions aims to make theater more accessible to a wider audience, rather than simply pandering to a niche of the theater goers. Director Michael Saarela hopes the company can impact audiences in a positive and entertaining way.
“I want us to keep doing art that is meaningful to us,” said Saarela, 22. “If one person can walk away differently after seeing the show, then I’ve done my job as an artist.”
The crew is also very excited to be back home from New York to perform to those who helped them achieve their early successes in the first place with the help of donations.
“This is our way to say ‘this is what you helped us with,'” said Ramirez. “Without (the donors), we shouldn’t have been able to go to New York.”