MMORPGee, that was fun.

Hey, everyone. Your friendly neighborhood Artistic Director, here.

It’s been a few days since the closing of our biggest production yet, True Believers. The response to this show has been bigger and brighter than we could have hoped for. In our last week, we sold out our Wednesday show (a Wednesday?! A Wednesday.), our Friday show, and our closing night show on Saturday was standing-room-only. Judging by the reviews, the Facebook and Twitter feedback, and the amount of you that stayed to mingle with us after the show, you really dug our little shindig. So before anything else: Thank you. On behalf of all of us here at VTG, thank you.

I think it’s safe to say that we’re glad you all had fun, because we sure as hell had a blast. When you spend day after day with a spandex superhero, a real-life Slave Leia, and Steampunk Jesus himself, it would be hard not to.

A special shoutout goes forth to the lot of you that followed True Believers all the way from our There Will Be Words reading back in February. I’ve had some wonderful conversations with a bunch of you about the changes, tweaks, and challenges we had to overcome to bring such a unique script to life. It seems like only yesterday that we read the words “MMORPG” and “Cyborg Head of Stan Lee” to the crowds at Trident. When you all asked how that was going to happen, we said we’d cross that bridge when we came to it. As far as I’m concerned, now that it’s over: VTG 1, Bridge 0.

Your support and feedback along this journey has been invaluable.

True Believers Cast and Crew

I count myself lucky to not only have a fantastic audience, but also to work with the best cast and crew a guy could ask for. Almost 50 people worked on True Believers in some fashion over the last five months. From the TWBW Cast to the production crew, these are some of the most talented people I knew. I’m overjoyed to have found them. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Boston theatre scene—pick any name out of our program, and I can near-guarantee you that you will have a fantastic time working with any person therein. You won’t regret it.

(Side note: You know you’ve stumbled upon a singularly amazing collection of humans when you all gather between stifling hot matinees to watch Hook projected over the stage. Shouting “Bangarang Rufio!” at the screen with your cast is a great source of pre-show positive energy.)

A lot of hard work went into this production—by both cast and crew—and I think it shows. One review called True Believers “the best teched show [they’ve] ever seen at The Factory Theater.” That’s a humbling statement, and I can sure name great work done by other artists in the space. However, that bar is now set very high for us, and we’re going to try and clear it every time.

In the end, this entire experienced has just pumped me full of enthusiasm for the next one. Whether it’s a full TWBW to Production cycle, a one off performance, a reading, or another such event, we’re rearing to go. We promise it will be fun. And we hope you’ll join us—once again—for the ride.

Thanks for everything, Boston.


True Believers – Production Photos by Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo

By now, we’ve released most of the official production photos for TrueBelievers (we’re withholding a few spoilers and the photo where Ryan Edlinger looks like “Dramatic Chipmunk” – oh, whoops – I just put it below).

Our fantastic photographer, Paul Cantillon, took over 2500 pictures over the course of two days (and yes, it took a few hours to sort through them all)!

Paul, who runs Lidec Photo (specialties in headshots, portraits and event photography) was born in the suburbs of Boston and now lives in Jamaica Plain. He graduated from Emerson College (where the most difficult course he took was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and has a degree in visual media arts (which, I think, is a fancy way of saying television). While he occasionally travels the country as a promotional tour manager, giving away free stuff, Paul looks forward to buying property in Jamaica Plain because apparently Boston is sinking faster than most cities and JP will eventually become beachfront property!

Paul is in Boston’s premiere Lady Gaga cover band, Alejandro and The Fame, with True Believers playwright Thom Dunn and for some reason unknown to man insists on keeping his mohawk despite his girlfriend’s repeated threats to shave it off in his sleep (full disclosure, I’m the girlfriend, and while he thinks that they’re threats, they’re actually promises. I’m going to do it. I swear).

Paul was once mistaken for a grocery store clerk by Sacha Baron Cohen because he apparently “Looked like [he] knew a lot about onions.”

Meet the Cast! A Short Interview with Ryan Edlinger

Meet Ryan Edlinger, who plays Chad Mailer in True Believers. Ryan says, “Chad is a comic writer who is convinced that he is the hero of the story – and fuck all those other guys who insist on treating him like a supporting character.”

How did you get involved in theatre? What is your first theatre memory?
I got involved in theatre through school plays in elementary schools, which later turned into my doing them in middle school and high school. My first theatre memory was doing a cheesy school play about dental
health sometime around second grade, where I was given the lead role because I was the only kid that wasn’t terrified to say more than two lines in front of an audience.

If theatre is not your full-time job, what do you do on the side?
My day job is thankfully closer to full-time acting work than a lot of  actors get. I play various characters in a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party. While it may not be the most challenging character work I’ll  ever do, I do enjoy that I get to play to an audience several times a day. Also, I get to play around on ships all day, and who doesn’t want to do that?

What has been your favorite thing about rehearsal so far?
I got involved in the first reading we did for There Will Be Words, just before I became an official Vagabond member. I’ve especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with completely different casts throughout the process. It’s led to my making plenty of discoveries in response to different actors and their take on the characters.

What is your favorite thing about your character?
I’m constantly amazed by Chad’s uncanny ability to be right in every situation – no matter how wrong he is.

What is your favorite thing about comic books or comic book movies?
My favorite thing about comics is the scope of the stories they’re allowed to tell. They get to be larger-than-life in ways that other storytelling mediums often can’t. Because the characters have super-human capabilities, audiences are more willing to accept their super-human passions as well. The line where people stop thinking “that’s cool” in favor of “this makes no sense” gets set a lot higher, which gives writers the creative freedom to tell even cooler stories.

Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
I’m kind of pissed that Thom Dunn got there before me on this one – but Multiple Man, aka Jamie Madrox is easily one of my favorites. Especially with the noir-style inner monologue Peter David gives him in X-Factor. Another contender would be Deadpool – again owing largely to his amazing inner monologue. I think I’m beginning to see a trend here.

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Ryan is no stranger to VTG, having appeared in last year’s The Unfortunate Cutthroats and multiple instances of There Will Be Words. Other recent credits include Lucky Stiff with Moonbox Productions, The Curse of the Starving Class with Ghostlight Theatre Company, and Hair with Counter Productions Theater. He can also be found dressing up in colonial costume and pretending to be an American Revolutionary at the newly reopened Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, continuing a long tradition of convincing people to pay him to wear period clothing and mess with tourists. In addition to being a fan of comics and video games, he really misses his long-term relationship with his tabletop gaming group, and thinks it might finally be time to move on and start meeting new geeks.

Hey Billy, tell us why The Avengers sucked.

Billy Horowitz, True Believers character (played by Zach Winston), is “passionate to a destructive level,” keeps a video blog called “Daily Genoshan” where he rants and raves about Comic Books.

The play is peppered with projections from Billy’s blog, but there are a few videos that Billy would make that aren’t in the production. So without further ado…

Billy, tell us why The Avengers sucked!

Stay tuned for the rest of the countdown!

And remember True Believers houses are filling up! Get your tickets ahead of time to secure your seat!!

Meet the Cast! A Short Interview with Jeff Marcus

Meet Jeffrey Charles Marcus, one of two True Believers cast members with three first names! Jeff will be playing Calvin Elder (AKA Avenger), a lover of all things comics. He has devoted his life to them whether it’s drawing superheros or actually becoming one – it doesn’t matter. Avenger is Calvin’s superhero identity – not ‘the’ Avenger, mind you.

If you weren’t in theatre, what would you do?
Probably would have devoted my life to martial arts or living in a cave. I’ve heard that sometimes those both go hand in hand

What is the most nerdy thing about yourself?
You don’t even want to know how much money I spend on hero clix back in high school….

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I normally say super strength. That automatically makes you faster, you can do crazy jumps all over the place and I want to throw a hummer. I bet that’d feel so great. Though invulnerability has been sneaking into the spectrum. Pencil diving off a huge building and climbing out of your six foot divot just to say to those around you ‘Wooo, watch your step” then casually stroll away

Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
Other than Batman, ’cause everybody loves Batman, it’s a toss up between Hulk and Gambit. Hulk has been through so many different iterations and the dude can’t be stopped. He friggin held a mountain on his back. D’ya hear me? A mountain. Gambit = badass, fights with a bow staff and exploding cards and a ladies man.

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Jeff Marcus is overjoyed to be working on Thom Dunn’s True Believers with Vagabond theater. Having only been back in Boston for a little over half a year he is hopping back into the acting scene last appearing on stage as Dr. Gerald Cuthbert in Pirate Lives! The Musical. Some of his other favorite rolls include Gary/Roger (Noises Off), Berger (Hair) *DASH and IRNE nominee, Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Frenchy Cabazon (Cannibal! The Musical). After this show he will be taking on the roll of the Price in Brown Box’s production of Romeo and Juliet.

Meet the Cast! A Short Interview with Caitlyn Conley

Meet Caitlyn Conley – you may have seen her recently in VTG’s TWBW reading of Meron Langsner’s Burning up the Dictionary. In True Believers, Caitlyn is playing Kt Watts: “Artist and writer for DC Comics. Her graphic novel Robots Still Love You Until Their Batteries Die just got picked up by a film studio. Her roller derby name is Snatchbox 20.”

How did you get involved in theatre? What is your first theatre memory?
I got involved in Theatre when my mom took me to see the touring production of Annie when I was 7. I fantasized about wanted to play Annie so much that I was notorious for singing “You’re Never Fully Dressed” at the top of my lungs every time I showered. Everyday I would bring my mom the newspaper to check the classifieds to see if they were looking for Annies. My first role ended up being Screaming NSYNC fan in an elementary school production where NSYNC was somehow involved. It still might be my best work.

If theatre is not your full-time job, what do you do on the side?
On the side I work as a theatre educator. I teach for local theaters and I also am an acting coach for kids with special needs. This has always been really fulfilling because it is not only giving back to a community that helped you grow as an actor but its training young adults for real life. An education in theatre helps more than just on stage. It allows you to build confidence both socially and individually. It also gives you a cool skill to pull out at parties.

What has been your favorite thing about rehearsal so far?
I would describe rehearsing with Vagabond as sitting in your college dorm with all of your most talented friends at 4am, drunk and deciding you want to put on a play about something awesome. The best and worst ideas coming out of you, but in the end you have something completely unique that you can be proud of.

What is your favorite thing about your character?
My favorite thing about KT is her talent. I love the moments we get to see her at work. My favorite scene is with her and Chad at the artists booth and she is explaining
decoupage to him, she is so cool in that scene that it makes me want to be as awesome
as she carries herself. I also love her relationship with Chad and how they relate to each
other. Shes fucking awesome and she knows it.

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Caitlyn only slightly excited to be working with such a talented cast and crew. She holds a degree in Theatre from Westfield State University. Her recent credits include Wandaleria (Argos Productions), Huck Finn (New Rep on Tour), Twelfth Night (Summer Festival Theatre), The Effect of Gamma Rays (Happy Medium Theatre Co), Farragut North (Zeitgeist Stage), The Coast of Utopia (Westfield State University) and Scenes from Hurray for Hollywood (4th Grade Parent Night, Robin Hood Elementary School). Caitlyn is a three time nominee for the Irene Ryan Scholarship and placed in finals in 2008. She thanks her dad for letting her live with him and her dog, Marty Mcfly, for some wonderful adventures.

Meet the Cast! A Short Interview with Steve Marois

Steve Marois in Rehearsal

Meet Steve Marois, one of our two fantastic ensemble members for True Believers! Steve, who has a day job in Higher Education Administration, has an odd obsession with Sailor Moon and Doctor Who!

How did you get involved in theatre? What is your first theatre memory?
In 10th grade, my friends made me audition for our school musical. That year it was Greece: a Musical Parody. Grease Lightning became a chariot; Sandy and Danny were Sandacia and Dannilaeus. Been hooked ever since…

How did you get involved in this production? What is your favorite thing about rehearsal?
I’m a big British Sci-Fi nerd and I’m friends with a lot of Vagabond members, so if the shoe fits, a stitch in time saves the bird in the bush from rolling moss.

What is the most nerdy thing about yourself? 
I have all 200 episodes of Sailor Moon in Japanese and German.

Who is your favorite superhero? Why? 
Sailor Saturn. She’s a BAMF, and could destroy the entire planet if she wanted to. She also has the coolest weapon of any of the Sailor Senshi.

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Steve Marois is thrilled to be involved in his first Vagabond show, especially considering the amount of Doctor Who references in it. His previous acting experiences include appearances in Boston University Stage Troupe’s productions, such as Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere), Amadeus (Kapellmeister Bonno), and Poona the F@*kdog and Other Stories for Children (Cigarette Box, Aide, VCR, Sparky, Stagehand, Guard, Satan, Reporter, Angry Villager). He has never cried more than when he watched Episode 4 of Torchwood: Children of Earth.