The Elevator Speech

by Bilal Dardai

An “elevator speech” is this slick corporate concept that asks you to describe your work and validate its existence briefly and concisely, as if you had only the length of an elevator ride to convince somebody that what you do is worth their time and money. Beyond the basic rules — 30 plays, 60 minutes, chosen at random — both we and our audience members often find it difficult to accurately describe Too Much Light to people who have never seen it before. When you ask us for an elevator speech we prefer that the elevator be ancient and slow-moving, inside a very tall skyscraper, and some rapscallion six year-old just pressed every single button.

It’s got some funny bits. It’s got some sad bits. It’s always very honest about our perspectives and it’s often deeply weird.

And that still doesn’t tell you what the show is about.

This has been a big week for the Chicago Neo-Futurist outfit. Last Saturday and Sunday ten of us spent the majority of a 24-hour stretch writing and rehearsing 30 brand-new plays as part of our successful Can’t Stop // Won’t Stop fundraiser. Three of that group then had until Tuesday to help five other Neos write enough plays to fill a 12-play gap in the existing menu. Our technician Kate — who had also been awake for over 24 hours last weekend — installed a bevy of new LED lights in our grid, so not only are there a lot of us onstage with a lot of new work there are also new versions of old work.

This week’s show includes alligator masks and black milk and high-energy dance based on outmoded media and candy and air mattresses and dentistry and ice cubes and Bob Fosse and parenthood and triggers and trips back home and Venezuela and your relationship status and disconnected metaphors and hunger and coyness and high jumps and scheduling nightmares and the raw spoken pain of a grieving twin sister and statistics and barbecues and high tea and Ida and Margaret and Bilal and Chloe and Nick and Malic and Jeewon and Mike and Kate.

And that still doesn’t tell you what the show is about.

There are 12 World Premieres this weekend. Can’t stand the suspense? You can buy tickets ahead of time HERE.

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