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Energy Crisis 

Superheroes comes to the rescue in new play about evil oil moguls.

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Local playwright Christopher Johnston calls on comic-book superheroes to take down the world’s oil barons in Spawn of the Petrolsexuals, a Convergence-Continuum production making its world premiere at the Liminis Theatre this weekend. First target: Dubya’s Iraq skirmish. “It’s a war of blood for oil,” says Johnston. “The war is being driven by the Bush administration and their oil connections, while thousands of people are dying for nothing. It’s a total disregard for life and the environment.”

The futuristic drama focuses on four avengers -- sexually frustrated Holyman, waiflike Freegrrl, intellectual Ingen, and violent Angerboy. “He’s the leader of the group, but he’s ineffectual because he’s angry all the time,” says Johnston. “That’s how America responds to the world.” The play takes place in an empty department store, where the heroes map out a battle plan. But they soon find themselves in a “dysfunctional dystopia,” since the world’s oil reserves have dried up. “Everything has just stopped,” says Clyde Simon, Convergence-Continuum’s artistic director. “Society has completely collapsed. Everybody is destitute and homeless.” Johnston wrote the first draft last winter. After a couple of stage readings, he tweaked the story to play up the characters’ survival instincts. Yet, Johnston and Simon both claim that the show is not a “message piece.” Rather, it’s an “awareness piece,” says Simon. “Of course, we try to steer things, because we have a pretty liberal point of view. But we simply try to get people to think and make up their own minds.”
Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: July 14. Continues through Aug. 11

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