The comic book series Action Philosophers astounded critics, comics readers, and philosophers with its hilarious and insightful look at the greatest Philosophers of Our Time, including Plato, John Stuart Mill, Ayn Rand, and others. Made possible by an exclusive contract with Evil Twins Comics, the creators of the comic books, the World Premiere stage version of this innovative and exciting work can be seen only at the Overtime Theater in San Antonio, Texas!
What? Gasp! Choke! A comic book without tights, superpowers or fuzzy bunnies? That’s right pilgrim, Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey have created Action Philosophers! A hundred years of American comic-book storytelling combined with two of the most innovative creators in the U.S. graphic novel industry and the finest thinkers the planet has ever seen has produced a comic that the mad thespians at the Overtime just had to turn into a live stage production.
They’re weird like that, but who can blame them! This stuff is great!!
Just look at the philosophers Fred and Ryan cover in the comic book series:
Aristotle, Bodhidharma, Joseph Campbell, Jacques Derrida, Renee Descartes, Epictetus, Sigmund Freud, Georg Hegel, Isaac ben-Luria, Thomas Jefferson, Carl Jung, The Kabbalah, Immanuel Kant, Soren Kierkegaard, Machiavelli, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Nietzsche, Plato, The Pre-Socratics, Ayn Rand, Saint Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Jean-Paul Sartre, Schopenhauer, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Wow. In a comic book. All those people.
When John Poole, the Blameholder of the Overtime Theater, read his first issue of Action Philosophers, the very first thing he did was read it again. And then again. Dunlavey and Van Lente’s ability to portray abstract concepts in simple, straightforward, and even entertaining ways is exactly the kind of art and literature the Overtime Theater wants to support, and of course, exploit financially for its own evil ends (just kidding, Fred and Ryan…mostly).
John craftily built a creative team for Action Philosophers by throwing a copy of the comic book at the targeted Theater person, and then running away. In about 10 minutes, they were begging to be a part of the project.
Rebecca Coffey took on the task of choosing which of the philosophers to portray in our stage production. She chose Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Ayn Rand, Bodhidharma, and Plato for the different aspects of philosophy she felt they represented: Marx, political; Mill, personal; Rand, social; Bodhidharma, religious; and Plato, nature of the Universe. (And yes, the staff of the Overtime had a great time arguing over which Action Philosophers should be in the play. They are still arguing, but just cuz it’s so much fun.) In addition, these five stories show a sampling of the variety of storytelling techniques that Dunlavey and Van Lente use throughout their series.
The graphic novel, the world of philosophy, and the stage are the ultimate combination for a night of theater that will enlighten you, lighten your load, and amaze you with the accomplishments of our ancestors…not to mention the skill your neighbors have in sharing those accomplishments. And who knows, if you’re not careful, you just might learn something!
The Overtime Theater is located at 1216 West Avenue (West Ave & Olmos) in San Antonio. The show runs August 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, September 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 18, and 19, 2009. Showtimes are 8 pm Fridays and 9 pm Saturdays, with a 2:30 pm Sunday matinee and an 8 pm Thursday show. Ticket Prices are $12 general admission and $9 teachers, students with ID, and seniors 65+.
I recently checked out their current show, Buddha Swings. It was very entertaining and I’m sure Actions Philosophers will measure up. Head out to see the show and enjoy a night on the town in San Antonio’s Deco District.