Absurdist comedy ‘Mad Gravity’ presented by student-run theatre company

Mad Gravity in painted lettering with upside-down shoes and golf club

Fresno State’s Experimental Theatre Company presents “Mad Gravity” written by William Missouri Downs and directed by Fresno State student, Krishan Joshi. 

Performances are at 7:30 p.m Thursday, April 7, 4:00 p.m. and  7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, and  2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 9 in Lab School 101 Theater on campus. General admission is $5. The production is intended only for mature audiences. Children under 12 are not permitted.

“Mad Gravity” is a comedy about Archie and Eudora, two Dada performance artists who have built a theatre in their living room. Every night before a live audience, they act out their lives. You’ve heard of reality television; think of it as reality theatre.

They want to build a second experimental space in their kitchen, but they just cannot take any more kitchen-sink realism. Artaud would be proud of them. Tonight’s Theatre of Cruelty performance concerns their teenage daughter, who wants to marry the son of Joe and Mary. All the parties involved have been invited to the house/theatre. But when the kids forget to tell Joe and Mary about the live audience, all hell breaks loose.

Things go from bad to worse when they discover that a comet has been spotted in the night sky. There is a 50/50 chance it will hit the earth. Everyone, including the audience, may have only an hour to live. This forces the parents to stop arguing about insignificant things like marriage and start arguing about great philosophical questions of life: Is the comet a sign from God or is it just gravity? And what the hell is performance art?

The one-page second act (that’s right, the second act is one page long) does something no play has ever attempted in the history of theatre – it lets the audience in on the meaning of life.

Proof of complete COVID vaccination or a negative result from a COVID test performed within 72 hours of the performance day is required to be admitted. Masks are not required but strongly encouraged. Doors open 30 minutes before curtain. Latecomers will not be permitted, and there are no refunds or exchanges. The box office is open from noon to 4 p.m. on weekdays and accepts cash, check, or credit card. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, cash only. 

Parking is free for shows on Friday and Saturday afternoons. For Thursday night’s show, parking permits are required and can be purchased at dispensers in parking lots on campus.

The Experimental Theatre Company (ETC) is a student-generated group laboratory experience in the selection, rehearsal, and production of a theatre production for public performance. ETC strives to provide dedicated students from all artistic sectors of the university community with an atmosphere that fosters artistically challenging collaborative work. 
For more information, contact the box office at 559.278.2216 or universitytheatre@csufresno.edu.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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