Kartasi, a Collaborative ‘Phantasm,’
To Open At U. T. Dallas on Nov. 5

RICHARDSON, Texas (Oct. 5, 2004) —Kartasi, written and directed by Thomas Riccio, will open at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) University Theatre on Friday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. The innovative and highly experimental show will run until Nov. 14, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.

According to Riccio, professor of performance studies at UTD, Kartasi is the first of many, upcoming collaborations between UTD’s performance area and the university’s Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering.

Thomas Riccio
Thomas Riccio

“Exploring new performance expressions and perspectives, Kartasi co mbines live performance with lasers, animation, video game and digital imaging to create a phantasm in which truth, myth, fantasy, fiction and deception the viewer must navigate,” Riccio said. “The UTD theatre will be transformed into a projection chamber cover with large screens on which landscapes, advertising, propaganda and the thoughts of the character are projected. In this futuristic world, boundaries are porous and reality becomes negotiable.”

In explaining the show, Riccio said, “The play takes place after the Great Separation has wiped out all but fragments of memory of what had previously existed. The Overlords control The Machine, a biomechanical entity that connects everything with 'Tubers.' Through the use of the 'Tubers,' the Overlords feed and pacify their inferiors, who live in the Valley with memories and The Serum. In this world, Memory and The Serum, a mysterious energy-intoxicant, are hoarded and prized. But all is challenged when Kartasi, a mutant Hoi Polloi from the Outlands stumbles into the Valley introducing the “Ming” (brightness) altering The Machine and reality.

“Is Kartasi a spy, a villain, a revolutionary, a victim or a hero? That depends on what you believe and how you navigate the Machine. Kartasi (which means ‘blank page’ in Swahili) seeks the Scroll. Will it set Memory free or just be the beginning of yet another Machine. Or is it all a Serum dream? Or has it all been a game?”

Scott Osborn, artistic director of Our Endeavors Theatre Collective, will design the costumes, and Chris Edwards and a team of 20 from the Institute of Interactive Arts and Engineering will design the visuals. Set and prop design will be by painter Keith Shradar, and lighting design by UTD’s own Jeff Stover.

Tickets for the show are $15 for general admission, $5 for students and free to UTD students with a valid identification. UTD ticket office hours are from 2 to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and at the door one hour prior to show time. To purchase tickets using Visa, MasterCard or Discover, please call 972-883-2972.

More information about the event is available at http://ah.utdallas.edu/season0405/kartasi.htm.

For information about the many musical, arts, theatre, dance and other performances and exhibitions held throughout the year at UTD, please call 972-UTD-ARTS (972-883-2787), e-mail utdarts@utdallas.edu or visit the School of Arts and Humanities’ web site at www.utdallas.edu/ah. Persons with disabilities needing special accommodations may call 972-883-2982, Texas Relay Operator 1-800-RELAYVV.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s Web site at www.utdallas.edu.