For those of us who have been waiting for an engrossing time-travel science-fiction work for the stage (you know who you are), this weekend marks the arrival of Walking Shadow Theatre Company's The Transdimensional Couriers Union, in which a commonly available electronic device in the near future makes it possible for users to travel back in time and change events (they hope) for the better.
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"It's about time travel, love, and relationships," says Walking Shadow co-artistic director John Heimbuch
, who penned the all-new script. "Who we are versus who we want to be--and how the conditions of our lives and technology affect us."
The story concerns the Impulse Device, released to the public in 2012 and "like the iPhone in terms of its ubiquity," according to Heimbuch. The story takes place in 2059, and enables any user to travel to any point in time between then and the device's inception.
"All the characters have access to time-travel technology," in the play, adds Heimbuch. "And with so many people having it, the world becomes very, very, very messed up."
Heimbuch cites lovers of mind-bomb films such as Adaptation
as a target audience. "People drawn to movies like that are going to be really keen on the structure of this," he adds. "It crosses between a lot of different worlds, and follows a lot of different viewpoints.
"We also see the same scenes told from different perspectives, and the lead-up after we've already seen the scene itself. I tell the story from a few characters' viewpoints, usually sticking with one character for a cycle of scenes."
Time travel for the masses sounds like a fine way to unravel the already-tenuous thread of our communal narrative. And to hear Heimbuch tell it, it also sounds like fascinating theater.
The Transdimensional Couriers Union opens this Friday and runs through May 29 at the People's Center Theatre. Tickets are $15-$18 and are available here.