Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Antelope Party – a play about bronies, apparently

This casting call for Theatre Wit in Chicago is, um, interesting. The record of stage productions based on My Little Pony is not terribly good, with only the Rainbow Rocks musical really standing out in recent years. The Antelope Party is... well, here's the description given:
The Rust Belt Ponies Meet Up Group for Adult Fans of My Little Pony has gathered in Ben's Philadelphia apartment, but two members have not yet arrived. A new recruit seems unusually shy and curiously paranoid about a local neighborhood watch group. What happened to their Pegasister, Maggie? Why is Brony Doug so paranoid? What does it all have to do with the 9/11 Truthers and an emerging group of "concerned citizens?" In the midst of increasing violence and authoritarianism, how can our heroes see the magic in Everypony? And, even worse, what if they do? And that's just the first ten minutes of Eric John Meyer's amazing and timely new comedy. With its My Little Pony cult prism, Meyer explores the rise of a new social order and how the currents of history, normalization and fear can sweep up even the most Generous ponies of Celestia.
I can't say this has made me especially optimistic. For a start, the meetup group's name is ridiculous. Also, over here it would be highly unusual to hold a meetup in a private home; maybe it's different in the US but it feels quite wrong to me. Who refers to female members of a group as "their Pegasisters"? And the words "My Little Pony cult prism" are hardly calculated to make a fan feel this will be a well researched production.

The cast required consists of three male and three female bronies, all aged mid-20s to late 30s. I guess that's not too bad, though most meetup groups are male-dominated and I'd be a bit surprised not to see anyone a little younger. Still, I'll let that one pass. However, at the end we get this:
For more context, view the trailer for the documentary Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.
I would hope that someone serious about playing the part of a brony would do more than watch one trailer! When the aforementioned Rainbow Rocks musical was announced, one of the people behind it (I think it was Hugh Osborne) came onto EqD and interacted with fans for a considerable period. I'm not saying that's necessary, but at least knowing about EqD and some fandom basics will help.

So, right now I'm interested but deeply sceptical. It'll be interesting, if anyone from the fandom goes to see this play, to discover whether it does feel as though it's been researched, rather than just picked out as another "weird bunch of weird guys" thing.

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