Sci-Fest L.A. returns this year on May 5th through 29th to the Acme Theatre in Hollywood. Now in its third year, the festival features one-act science fiction plays, often starring actors from well-known sci-fi and fantasy franchises. (Wil Wheaton, Armin Shimerman and Dean Haglund are visible in the trailer, among others.) It’s an intriguing idea to bring into the realm of theater a genre that’s often so dependent on special effects.
Founded by theater producers Michael Blaha and Lee Costello, and actor David Dean Bottrell, the festival debuted in 2014 and was praised by NPR and LA Weekly. The Weekly hailed it as, “a nod to the storytelling tradition that live theater embodies so well” (press release).
This year’s plays include adapted works by Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker, as well as musician Janis Ian. According to the 2016 line-up, Gaiman’s contribution is his Lovecraft-ian story, “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar”, adapted by Michael Bernard: “A naïve American student stumbles onto a creepy, uncharted seaside village that hides a terrifying secret.” The Barker piece is his story, “The Yattering and Jack”, adapted by Matt Murray: “Despite his best demonic efforts, a ‘Yattering’ dispatched from Hell cannot seem to break the spirit of his designated victim.”
Tickets are $26 and are available now through the website.