This was my first visit into the notorious realm of Dead White Zombies, a troupe that aims to submerge the audience in the narrative, created by actors without the formality of a stage. My friend and I found the warehouse where “DP92: A Science Fiction Fever Dream” was being evinced and were given tags with numbers to wear before we were ushered into the facility. There were three groups of us led by scientists in lab coats. There were wooden stairs, basements, examination rooms, bedrooms, a control room, where we heard monologues and interactions between characters. I took the milieu to be a mental hospital or at least some medical or scientific facility where patients were being observed and/or used as guinea pigs for testing Formula DP92. Now mind you, I’m inferring this, perhaps DP92 is the label assigned to a patient. Much of what we saw was predicated on speculation.
There was some kind of common room where we saw the patients (inmates?) being fed. They sat around a table making strange noises. Often throughout the evening the behavior of the patients vacillated between the bestial and articulate. All of us (audience included) were given some kind of unidentified liquid from small medication cups. It tasted OK. In the common room three women in evening gowns sang oddly and beautifully. No words though it made me think of Phillip Glass’ Songs from Liquid Days. After the episode in the common room the sirens (someone else thought they were mermaids) wandered, continuing to sing. The various patients seemed to be struggling with some kind of trance or fugue state. A particularly fanciful character seemed to embody the theme of (what to my mind was) intense sexual love and the sensation of genital flesh. There was a running theme of creatures confusing personal openings: anus, mouth, vagina, etc…
DP92 was brimming with surprises, alarming, amusing, the ruminations of the inmates were indeed febrile and poetic. It would be too easy and unjust to describe it in terms of platitudes like “The inmates are running the asylum,” or “Science diminishes humanity attempting to heal it.” This kind of thing. My own personal take : the extreme allure of sexual velocity blinds us to the tenderness we so desperately need, but you may have your own. This is voluptuous, loopy, scintillating theatre that challenges the soul and rattles our teeth. It’s black humor laced with the lyric authority of dream logic. It’s metaphysical redemption masquerading as grotesque psychological quackery. It’s audacious, original and implacable.
Dead White Zombies presents : DP92: A Science Fiction Fever Dream. October 29th – November 22nd, 2015. 2516 North Beckley, Dallas, Texas. 469-569-0970. www.deadwhitezombies.com