Tuesday, May 22, 2018

13 Dead Dreams of "Eugene" at the Fringe

X-Files meets The Twilight Zone in the dark! Fringe veterans, Paul Strickland and Erika Kate MacDonald  team up in this creepy flashlight and shadow play with original songs. "13 Dead Dreams of Eugene" is based on the true story of a body that was found in Sabina on June 6, 1929. The unidentified dead man was 50 to 80 years old was found on the 3C highway near the Borum Road. The only identification that could be found on him was a slip of tablet paper with the address 1118 Yale Ave., Cincinnati written on it. The Cincinnati police checked the address and found it was a vacant lot. The closest man to this address was a man named Eugene Johnson and for this reason the unknown man was given the name of "Eugene." It became known as the Sabina Mummy. It was placed on display in hopes of identification. That’s when the Dead Dreams began. Experience the shared recurring nightmares that haunted one sleepy Ohio town, and the stranger-than-fiction story of “Eugene.” No one ever came to claim the body and it wasn't buried until 1964.

I made special arrangements with the performers to let them know I would sketch the show from the back row to avoid letting any member of the audience see that I was creating this sketch. Pam and I arrived winded because we had gone to the wrong venue and had to run across Lock Haven Park to try and get to Dead Dreams before the doors closed. A woman seated in front of us gave us a high five for our winded enthusiasm. Get sat down and the theater immediately went black.

A slow ghostly voice began talking about the experience of being dead. He recalled his wake, the people crying and learning about his family from fragments of conversations. The dead lack memories so they linger to find out what they can. Eugene was a black man who had been murdered. He was never identified, and his murderer was never found. His body was on display in the town of Sabina for decades, a macabre side show attraction. After the body went on display, people in the town began having recurring nightmares and these were written down for posterity. Town's people didn't like to recall those nightmares. Once written they were filed away to be archived and forgotten. Paul and Erika however kept asking about these memories and they were finally given access to the recorded nightmares found in a cardboard box. Those documents are the foundation around which they built the show.

Flashlights, rear projections and string silhouettes are used to recount the tales. Much of the time the room is pitch black with just the ghostly words to carry the tales. This show is Fringe at it's best. Solid story telling wrapped in mysterious light and original song. Definitely a "must see show" at this year's Fringe.

812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803. Tickets are $12 plus a $10 Fringe button needed to get into any Fringe Show.
10:45 PM 
7:15 PM 
5:30 PM
4:45 PM

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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