Distinguished live-action graphic novel “The Intergalactic Nemesis” will be performed on Saturday, Feb. 6, in The Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College. This unique show is the first of its kind, combining audio drama with the elements of a graphic novel to tell a story about three unique characters who find themselves in an out-of-this-world predicament, according to theintergalacticnemesis.com.
According to Jason Neulander, co-writer, director and producer of “The Intergalactic Nemesis,” the story takes place in 1933 when Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan and her assistant Timmy Mendez chased down a story, and were interrupted by the mysterious librarian Ben Wilcott. Wilcott informs Sloan and Mendez of a more dire issue concerning the pending invasion from the planet Zygon. The three team up in an attempt to prevent the threat on humanity’s future, claimed the show’s website.
Inspired by Neulander’s love for “Star Wars” and his background in testing the boundaries of traditional storytelling, the journey to success for “The Intergalactic Nemesis” was somewhat serendipitous and fueled by the enjoyment of presenting the show itself, Neulander said.
“This project got its start in the early years of the Salvage Vanguard Theater as a radio play that we performed and recorded in a coffee house in downtown Austin. It was just kind of a lark and I didn’t think anything would come of it but it was so much fun we just kept coming back to it,” Neulander said.
Neulander continued, “We were really experimenting with mixing up different artistic disciplines and different ways of telling stories and stuff like that so when the opportunity came along to bring the radio version of the ‘The Intergalactic Nemesis’ into our local performing arts center in 2009, I came up with the idea of creating comic book art that would be projected on the screen to try and fill the auditorium with a visual spectacle.”
With its experimental beginnings and unique production techniques, it is no wonder Director of the Redfern Performing Arts Center Shannon Mayers jumped at the opportunity to bring this show to KSC.
“I think ‘The Intergalactic Nemesis’ will be pretty well attended because it’s popular. So many people like graphic novels and comic books, and it’s also really funny…it even had a brief run on Broadway,” Mayers stated.
According to Mayers, the show appeals to both kids and adults because of the unique sound effects and images.
Neulander’s personal theory on the show’s success has to do with the characters.
“We have characters that the people really fall in love with. I think that’s key. I can say this for myself that Molly, Timmy and Ben are a great trio and the bad guy Mysterion the Magnificent is a joy to see performing; he was so fun to write so I think that’s a big factor,” Neulander said.
Neulander continued, “But I also think that in performance, the whole experience ends up being so much greater than the sum of the individual parts…the audience comes in and obviously none of the performers are on stage but you see all the gadgets on stage and you see the screen and you really don’t know what any of its for but by the end of the two hour show, viewers are truly taken on a multi-galactic adventure and I think that’s a real wow factor.”
Senior Samantha Provencher said she finds the concept of “The Intergalactic Nemesis” intriguing. “It just sounds like one of those shows that would be completely consuming for the entire time you’re there,” Provencher said.
Amanda Lashua can be contacted at email@example.com