Neuromancer, As Performed in a Missouri Barn by Hippies and Baptists

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

If I were to tell you that a theatrical version of William Gibson's famous novel Neuromancer was going to be performed in a rural Missouri town, starring a radical leftist activist and members of an amateur theater troupe from a local Baptist church, what would you say? It probably wouldn't be: "Yeah, and wouldn't it be great if all the cyberspace scenes were done with cardboard cutouts that people move around on stage, accompanied by Indonesian Gamelan music?" And yet that's exactly what Brody Condon is going to do, next summer, with grant money from the Rhizome Foundation. I know it sounds insane, and that's precisely the point.

I'm as dubious about experimental theater as the next person, but I watched Condon's strangely moving proposal for the play, tentatively called "Case," and became entranced. He's got footage of Ray Radke, the radical who will play Case, talking about drugs and being a leftist activist in 1960s Missouri. Then he contrasts that with footage of the Baptist theater troupe's performance of a Shakespeare play, complete with a pretty awesome swordfight. And you get some glimpses of the giant red barn/stage, which is near the trailer park outside Columbia where Condon's stepfather lives.

I want to see a documentary about the making of this play, much more than I want to see the play itself. It sounds like total glorious madness. And I was sold on Condon when I saw some of his other art, which includes recreating medieval religious scenes in videogames, and an installation at an art festival comprised simply of several people playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons where every character was lawful evil (the piece was called "Lawful Evil"). He did another piece where he staged deathmatches with local members of the Society for Creative Anachronism. This is high art for nerds and I like it!


Neuromancer Play Proposal [via Tomorrow Museum]