NEPA Scene Staff

Post-apocalyptic pop culture explored in comedic play ‘Mr. Burns’ in Scranton July 21-23

Post-apocalyptic pop culture explored in comedic play ‘Mr. Burns’ in Scranton July 21-23
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From a press release:

The Scranton Fringe Festival will present the dark comedy “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play” at the Peoples Security Theater at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton on Thursday, July 21 through Saturday, July 23.

Award-winning playwright Anne Washburn’s imaginative play propels the audience forward nearly a century, following a new civilization stumbling into its future. After the collapse of society, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of “The Simpsons” episode “Cape Feare” entirely from memory.

Seven years later, this and other snippets of pop culture (sitcom plots, commercials, jingles, and pop songs) have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society sincerely trying to hold onto its past. 75 years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created.

A love letter to live theatre and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, “Mr. Burns” is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.

Scranton Fringe is producing this professional production as part of a new main stage series of large theatrical works outside of the annual festival, which is set to return on Thursday, Sept. 29 through Saturday, Oct. 8. The work, under the direction of Scranton native director (and now Brooklyn-based theatre artist) Simone Daniel, features a blended mix of professional regional and New York City talent.

Written by Washburn with music by Michael Friedman, “Mr. Burns” runs on Thursday, July 21 at 7 p.m.; Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, July 23 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Peoples Security Theater at Lackawanna College (501 Vine St., Scranton). Tickets, which are $20 for general admission and $17 for students and seniors, are on sale now via Eventbrite and To ensure greater accessibility for all audiences, the evening performance on July 23 will also be available digitally as a live stream.

Dedicated to creating a bold, engaging platform for thought-provoking art while striving to promote Northeastern Pennsylvania as a viable creative environment, the Scranton Fringe Festival is an award-winning arts organization producing innovative work since 2015. Inspired by the world’s largest annual event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the organization has grown into an incubator of unique creative work centered around the performing arts.

Scranton Fringe was co-founded by Executive Director Conor Kelly O’Brien and Managing Director Elizabeth Bohan. The current board of directors includes Melissa Carestia, Dr. Robert McKeage, Katherine Michaels, Michael Muller, Camille Reinecke, and Kelly Rippon. Scranton Fringe leadership also includes Tech Director Dan Kimbrough, with special support by generous sponsors, volunteers, and creative partners.