Friday, February 24, 2012

Poor Dog Group Uses New Media to Tell Old News

Studio SCR turns serious this weekend when Poor Dog Group presents The Internationalists, a fascinating examination of the race to space through the eyes of a generation brought up with near endless access to up-to-the-minute information.

Creator Jesse Bonnell was first inspired to create the show in 2008, when an economic crisis once again threw America’s global position into question. “I was deeply taken by our country’s surge of nationalism and the growing interest in the future of our public good,” he says. “That national pride felt akin to the type of political power that established itself post-9/11, and, looking further back into our history, during the race to space during the Cold War. I wanted to make something about the difference between the actual history of the event and the way in which my generation interacts with that history.”

The multimedia performance, which utilizes vintage newsreels, NASA flight records and other historic data, began to take shape after Bonnell stumbled upon a 1959 YouTube clip of the press conference that introduced the Mercury 7, NASA’s first astronaut class. “I like the idea of celebrity and information-sharing as theatre,” says Bonnell. “This conference is the genesis for the show—it grounds the reality of the event.”

The Internationalists runs March 2-4.

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