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In Extremis Theater Company is devoted to exploring skewed realities and characters who struggle with—or reject entirely—society’s constraints. So much of art is based on seeing life from an outsider’s point of view, and appeals to the outsider in us all. In the face of a reality that is often oppressive, constrictive, or simply boring, we look to those who live an unconventional life, who reject the commonplace and unexamined notions that the rest of us take as our inherent lot. We sometimes take inspiration from their bravery and defiance—even madness can be portrayed as a noble departure from an insane world.
In practice, however, such quests for independence can result in hardship, isolation and chaos. What is the cost of shattering conventions? Given the archetypal link between art and madness, what is the price of individuality? Taken to an extreme, unconventionality can lead to a complete retreat from reality, responsibility, and maturity, especially in regard to other people. How do we respond to voluntary iconoclasts, as opposed to those who are simply unable to conform? Where do we, as a society, draw that line?
IETC will also focus on the emotional and psychological tumult within us all. Deviance, taboo, and unflattering emotions will be used to illuminate the darker aspects of human nature. Shunning the absolute, IETC will blend and contrast the ugly and the sublime, the cruel and the compassionate, the rational and the irrepressible.
Our approach to stagecraft will endeavor to blend the naturalistic and the fantastical. We will prize idiosyncratic characters and stories, without binding ourselves to either conventional narrative or the purely abstract. To the greatest extent possible, we will employ innovative design concepts, valuing the out of place and the unexpected. We are committed to promoting new and developing artists, and giving a venue to exciting new works.
Theater is a medium that inherently struggles with the balance between truth and artifice, and between the visceral and the analytical. Actor and observer are separate yet interdependent, and IETC intends to foster and utilize this bond. We will strive to inspire conflicting reactions within the audience, whether these reactions are emotional or intellectual. We favor an open-handed approach, that offers the audience choices rather than answering questions for them. At the same time, we will work continually to engage and entertain.