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What is The Intergalactic Nemesis?

The Story Thus Far...

The year is 1933. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan and her intrepid research assistant Timmy Mendez team up with a mysterious librarian from Flagstaff, Arizona, named Ben Wilcott. Together, they travel from Rumania to Scotland, across Europe to North Africa, then to the Robot Planet (in the Effdillinplitzenpire Galaxy), and finally to Imperial Zygon to face the most terrible threat humanity has ever known: an invading force of sludge-monsters from outer space known as the Zygonians.

Connections

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com

Tuesday
Mar182014

PBS to make our show into a web series

We are so excited to announce that as a lead-up to the premiere of Twin Infinity, the third and final installment in the Intergalactic trilogy, that we have partnered withPBS to create a made-for-video-screen version of Target Earth that's going to be taped before a live audience at the old KLRU Austin City Limits studio on April 19 at 2 PM

What's unique is that the partnership involves our fans in an Indiegogo campaign.

PBS has selected us as one of a handful of projects for a new grant program to create several new web series. For that purpose, we've divided the show into 17 five-minute chapters that will be available on YouTube. But just as awesome is the fact that the video will also be edited for broadcast and as a DVD.

That's where you come in!

To make this happen, we need your help. PBS is going to match Indiegogo pledges dollar for dollar up to $20,000We don't get anything from PBS unless our fans step up and help. In return, you can get tickets to the taping, a copy of the final DVD, and a whole lot of other cool stuff. So, it's like you're advance-purchasing, but your purchase means an equal donation from PBS. We think this is super-cool and hope you will too! Enough to do something about it!

Click HERE to participate!

This isn't going to just be a taping of the live show. The final edit is going to have acomic-book feel. The screen will be divided into panel-like sections, each featuring a component of the show: voice actorssound effectspianocomic-book art. In other words, it's going to be a pretty sophisticated version of the live show designed especially to be viewed on a screen. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the project available to everyone everywhere in a format that's gonna rock!

Please take a couple of minutes to help us make the Live-Action Graphic Novel version ofThe Intergalactic Nemesis - Book One: Target Earth into a format that everyone can experience everywhere. Then, brag to your friends that you helped make it happen!

Thanks a ton! Hope to see you at the taping!

Monday
Mar172014

It's all about the kids

The past couple of months of touring have been an amazing whirlwind. From Dayton to Cleveland to Indianapolis to Danville to Richmond to Canada to Maine to Nashville, we've had a blast working with presenters and audiences. A real highlight of this round of touring has been our work with a new venue in Nashville called OZ.

These guys gave new definition to the word "host". They took us bowling and to see live music. They put us up in a fantastic downtown hotel. They really showed us their city. And one of the ways they did that was to bring us into a couple of middle schools to perform for about 1,000 kids and then hold sound effects workshops with many of them. Cami and Jessie brought the kids right inside the workings of our crazy show. And it seems like that effort really had an impact, at least from the words of this wonderful note from the principal of one of those schools.

"OZ of Nashville brought incredible talent to J.T. Moore Middle School students when Intergalactic Nemesis landed in our gym for a performance that wowed and inspired students and faculty alike!  Because of the excitement and possibilities that were created in the minds of our students, we will be starting a drama program at our school this fall to provide our students an avenue to express themselves through performance art.  Thank you OZ of Nashville for the inspiration that you so generously brought to our students."  – Dr. Gary D. Hughes, Executive Principal, John Trotwood Moore Middle School

We sold out the run at OZ and they're having us back in 2015 with Book Two. We can't wait!

Next up, New Orleans, Memphis, Lebanon, St. Louis, Wisconsin, and more. Complete details here.

Monday
Feb032014

2014 starts with a bang!

After some much needed R&R, on Jan. 14 we hopped on one of those new-fangled fancy jet airliners and wended our way from Austin through Los Angeles to the balmy climes of Maui. I know. With the painful winter that the mainland has experienced this year, you really pity our escape! We were lucky enough to play Hawaii last year at this time, so it was a ton of fun to be able to return with Robot Planet Rising.

This year, the trip was a little more condensed, but we were put up for the first two days in the ridiculously luxurious Fairmont resort. Three pools, a waterslide, and, of course, that amazing Pacific ocean. Yes, breakfast was $35 (!) but there was a grocery store available by shuttle and our rooms and microwaves and fridges. To ensure that the cast was able to adjust to the time change in time for our first performance, I arranged an extra day off at the top of the trip. We only had 4 rooms per night and because of her extremely busy schedule, we've realized that Jessie always has to have her own room. I was ready to suck up the cost of paying for an additional room to give Jessie her single. She went to the front desk to take care of this and they told her they'd happily comp the extra room! Good thing, too, because these rooms were $550 per night!! (Meantime, it was 7 degrees in Dayton...!)

Our Hawaii trip went off without a hitch. We played one night at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, one night at the University of Hawaii, Hilo on the Big Island, and one night at the Kennedy Theatre on the University of Hawaii campus in Honolulu. On our last day in Oahu, Jessie, Cami, and I set out for Hanauma Bay, which turned out to be the best snorkelling any of us had ever seen. They even had a prescription snorkel mask for rent, so I could actually see the fish!

The team flew direct from Honolulu to Dayton just in time for 0 degree weather! Gee whiz it got cold! But the show there was phenomenal. The best part was that when the words "Book Three: Twin Infinity - Fall 2014" appeared on the screen at the end of the curtain call, the crowd burst into a spontaneous cheer! We had to pack up quick because we had what should have been a two-hour drive (but became a three-hour drive in the snow) to Indianapolis that night to set up at 8 AM for a double-feature in Indianapolis. Even though it was completely exhausting, it's really a total party when we get to do Target Earth and Robot Planet Rising back-to-back. About a third of the audience comes for both shows and the energy in the room is just fantastic.

From Indianapolis, I flew home to record a promo with Buzz for a partnership we're doing with KLRU, our local PBS affiliate. They'd already created a fantastic 30-minute documentary about the show that's been broadcast across the country. Now, we're gearing up for recording a made-for-web series of the entire Book One: Target Earth. The idea is to edit a video that will roll out serially online while also available as a DVD. Fans have asked about getting a DVD we started touring, so now we finally have the resources to do it right. We'll be recording at the Austin City Limits studios and launching an Indiegogo campaign to pay for it. Once I have details on that, I'll announce them.

Meantime, the rest of the team drove to Cleveland to present Target Earth there for the first time. Jessie was super-excited to check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and she, George, and Danu sure got their ya yas on! Even though there was a total blizzard that day, a good size crowd made it out to the show at PlayhouseSquare. The response was just amazing. The Examiner called the show "without a doubt one of the best and most exciting evenings you will find in theater" and then went on to call it "pure theater magic." Can I just say we love Cleveland?

From Cleveland, it was off to the DeBartolo Center Center for the Performing Arts at Notre Dame. They were one of the earliest adopters of the project and have championed it ever since. It was just great to be back, especially to perform a double-feature there. Once again, the audience was just wonderful and The Observer said "the second time around was even better than the first ... it shines." Knock wood, we'll be back there with Book Three in a year or two.

The tour rolls to Danville KY and Richmond IN next...

Meantime, here's picture of a Zygonian sent to us by a 7-year-old fan.

Thursday
Dec192013

Looking at 2014

This past year has been just amazing. We started out on tour in Hawaii, played the New Victory on Broadway, sold out a run at the Kennedy Center, invaded Canada and Scotland, tore apart the West Coast and put it together again, and completely destroyed the middle section of the US in-between all that. Yeah, Zygonian world domination is just around the corner.

Of course, it wouldn't be possible without the complicity of so many venues and audience members. So thank you so much for supporting this little independent project and making it bigger. We've reached tens of thousands of people with the show and it seems pretty likely that we'll be reaching tens if not hundreds of thousands more in the upcoming seasons. You early adopters rock!

Speaking of upcoming seasons, the first half of 2014 is going to be a doozy. Check out the dates below and please let your friends and family know the Zygonians are coming!

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 Book Two: Robot Planet Rising Maui Arts and Cultural Center - Castle Theatre Kahului, Hawaii
  • Friday, January 17, 2014 Book Two: Robot Planet Rising University of Hawai'i Performing Arts CenterHilo, Hawaii
  • Sunday, January 19, 2014 Book Two: Robot Planet Rising University of Hawai'i, Kennedy TheatreHonolulu, Hawaii
  • Friday, January 24, 2014 Book Two: Robot Planet Rising Victoria Theatre Dayton, Ohio
  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 DOUBLE FEATURE! Book One: Target Earth AND Book Two: Robot Planet Rising Clowes Memorial Hall Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Thursday, January 30, 2014 Book One: Target Earth PlayhouseSquare Cleveland, Ohio
  • Saturday, February 1, 2014 DOUBLE FEATURE! Book One: Target Earth AND Book Two: Robot Planet Rising University of Notre Dame, DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts South Bend, Indiana
Monday
Nov182013

California Dreamin'

This fall has been filled with excellent touring experiences from Manhattan, Kansas, to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. But the wrap-up of our fall tour really took the cake. Over the past three weeks, we played four of the finest venues in California, finally taking the show to Los Angeles and the Bay Area. And it kicked ass.

The California tour started in LA at Royce Hall, which is considered to be one of the top venues in all of California. The experience with these guys was nothing short of excellent. It all started when I flew to Los Angeles the morning of Oct. 30 so that I could talk to a class at UCLA that very afternoon. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing because, first, I knew I'd be pretty tired, and, second, because it was a three hour class session for non-arts-majors. The perfect opportunity to bore a bunch of college kids. But the experience was just the opposite. I co-presented with an LA-based Foley artist named Tony Palermo. He was just excellent with a fantastic setup. The coolest part of what he did was that it was so similar to what we do in the show--particularly because he was trained by some sound-effects legends and Buzz pretty much made up our stuff as he went along. It made me feel like we were really a professional act!

The structure of the class was pretty smart. The professors, Meryl and David, set the whole thing up with a five minute talk about radio drama. Then they handed it off to me, where I did a six-minute talk about Intergalactic with a short Q&A after. Then Tony did his sound effects demonstration which ended with the kids doing the sound effects in a scene. We then took a break and when we came back, we cast the first scene from Intergalactic with kids from the class and performed that. Then the kids broke up into small groups and wrote their own 2-minute radio plays which they then performed for each other. Super fun!

That weekend, we performed two shows at Royce. The venue did a great job of getting people out--more than 1,400 people came to see us, including Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob! And we got our first official Los Angeles review which was over-the-top positive.

"A feast for both eyes and ears. ... Genius." –The Los Angeles Beat

From Los Angeles, the team headed to Costa Mesa, returning to the Segerstrom Center with Book Two. Once again, the response there was just through the roof. The venue set up this really cool backdrop for people to take photos in the lobby. They once again had a voice actor with a booth giving people to record their own voiceovers. And the best part is it looks like we'll be returning next year with Book Three!

The next stop was Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley. But we had a couple of days before we performed for the public, so I got my high school friend Lourdes Alba to give us a tour of her workplace which happens to be the PIXAR studios! What an amazing treat! We got to see the whole campus, from the art department to the technical side. We got a tour of one of their recording studios. Everyone on the team was pretty giddy about the whole thing. And our performance that night just rocked it. Nearly 1000 people in the audience and it was like one huge party!

After the show it was a mad dash to the van because we had to drive from Berkeley to UC Davis for a show the next night at the Mondavi Center. But it was totally worth it! First of all, the venue is just beautiful. Second, they were able to get a huge crowd of more than 1,000 people and, boy, did they love the show! It was a fantastic way to end a great leg of the tour.

All told, more than 6,500 people came out to see our shows in California and each of the venues is bringing back the next installment. Plus, it's looking like another three venues in the region are having us out for the first time next season. 

In short, the trip was nothing but a huge success!

Now we're back in Austin through the holidays. The tour picks up in January in Hawaii! Stay tuned!