San Francisco’s Dark Room Theater has delivered stage versions of numerous films over the years, from Clue to The Princess Bride to The Ten Commandments. All these performed on a stage that is, to quote one review, not much bigger than a big screen TV. In full disclosure, I’ve appeared in several shows there myself and one upcoming. I posted about the “Bene-fett” for this play a few months back.
This (long) time (ago) the theater goes far, far away beyond their previous productions when Star Wars: Live on Stage opens this week. Beginning this Friday, December 5th the show will run for just 8 performances: each Friday and Saturday through December 27. Tickets are available online.
This stage production of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope features a thousand and ten performers (give or take a thousand) and a $100 special effects budget! Bringing all the thrills of the world of Star Wars off the movie screen and on to the ingenious but diminutive stage in front of you: Light saber duels! Zero-Gravity dogfights! Jawas! Droids! Darth Vader and his pinchy-chokey special attack! Uncle Owen!
STAR WARS: Live on Stage is a Dark Room Production adapted and directed by Jim Fourniadis, produced by Erin Ohanneson and featuring the considerable talents of Joe Gorman, Nancy Bower, Jim Jeske, Damien Chacona, Julien Sierra, Steffanos X, John Halfacre, Dan Foley, Erik Salmoson, Tim Kay, AJ Margolis, Dave McKew as Darth Vader.
This play is being performed with the permission of Lucasfilm Ltd. Pretty cool, and maybe not too surprising when you think about the fact that the Star Wars fans and fan art have always been a big part of what kept Luke, Leia et al alive for all those bleak years before we entered the prequel zone.
It seems that Lucasfilm has been tolerant of much of the fan fiction, films, art and other amateur tributes since 1981, but not always.
In 2000 they partnered with Atom Films to provide a place for fan films (and even a contest for the best ones each year) on the condition that the creators adhere to some basic guidelines.
This article from 2001 gives an overview of the universe of fan films at that time. TheForce.Net is the hub of the Star Wars fan universe, they even have a database of fan film casts and crews.
And just to keep you in that Star Wars tribute mood, here’s probably the most famous of all Star Wars tributes, the short film Troops from 2001 (which you can download off of TheForce.Net):
See Previously: Dark Room Theater Bene-Fett: Night of a Thousand Stars…Wars
UPDATE 1: SF Weekly has posted some photos from Star Wars: Live on Stage from the opening weekend.
UPDATE 2: Scott also shot some photos Star Wars: Live on Stage.
UPDATE 3: Star Wars: Live on Stage was featured on The Official Star Wars Blog.
poster image by Flynn de Marco