VIRAL

 

Presented by Gideon Productions in the 2009 New York City Fringe Festival.  A woman googles “painless suicide” and finds the people who will help her end her life—if she’ll let them film it. Viral is a frank, humane and surprisingly funny look at some very complex issues—assisted suicide, fetish, dignity and privacy in the age of viral videos, where there’s nothing so twisted that it doesn’t have an audience.

 

REVIEWS:

 

“Blessed with an unflinching script and a quartet of very funny performers, the play begins as the blackest of comedies before transforming into an uncompromising look at how we choose to live. …But as funny asViral is, it’s Stewart’s harrowing monologue about the courage it takes to recognize one’s weaknesses that will haunt you for days afterward.” -Backstage

 

“(Another production) lacks the brooding darkness of the haunting new work by Mac Rogers, “Viral,” about three lost souls sexually aroused by the idea of filming someone’s death. When they find a willing star, the play becomes about the eerie banality of staging and distributing the gruesome film…. Audience members guffawed at moments that, to me, seemed deeply melancholy. But their response may in part be because the play generates unease and anxiety without providing any release for it. It’s like a horror movie without the shocks… you almost have to laugh.” -The New York Times

 

“Uncompromising, provocative and often bitterly funny, Mac Rogers’ Viral is the first must-see of this year’s Fringe Festival. In lesser hands the story – of a suicidal woman who consents to let three fetishists videotape her death – could make for nothing more than lurid, soulless shock, but the playwright uses it as a high-stakes example of the potential for dehumanization in both fetish and in Internet culture… Rogers approaches edgy relevant topics with a probing intelligence and a wicked sense of humor and the result is an absorbing, thought-provoking entertainment.” -Show Showdown

 

“With a decidedly dark comic bent, Rogers’ play explores not only the ways people can exercise control in their lives, but also the ways in which human existence — in its widest sense — has become a commodity in the Internet age…. Director Jordana Williams expertly balances the play’s tones and stories… Viral satisfies and its story lingers well after its final moments.” -Theatermania.com

 

“…prepare to laugh at times and feel troubled at others as you watch the excellent cast capture these unusual characters: one who must deal with the decision of whether to take her own life, and others in an obsessive pursuit to film that moment for sexual pleasure and eventual distribution. Apparently there is a market for those videos; there should be one for this play, too.” -Time Out NY

 

“…a dynamic, fun, and perceptive comedy… Rogers’s script provides plenty of laughs as well as poignant moments of reflection…. Director Jordana Williams crafts a nuanced, surprising story. She has built upon a solid script and emerged with one of the most cohesive productions I have seen come out of FringeNYC. The cast proves adept at both the comedy and the dramatic moments; each has his or her niche and plays it to perfection.” -nytheatre.com

 

“At the top of the list is Mac Rogers’ Viral, a challenging black comedy that tackles the issue of assisted suicide in the age of the internet with wit, humanity, and an understated elegance and economy of writing that is often lacking in “issue” plays. Director Jordana Williams creates a perfect rhythm for Roger’s words to unfold and the cast is excellent, particularly Amy Lynn Stewart as Meredith, who communicates many layers of her despair with a single glance. Viral just received a much-deserved extension through Fringe Encores, so snatch up tickets before they’re gone. This is one of the best plays we’ve seen in New York in a very long time, and we see a lot of plays.” -Flavorwire

 

"Roger’s dark comedy is eye-opening and thought-provoking. The most amazing thing about the production is all the laughter it provokes. Granted, there are some truly humorous lines and situations (most of which center around Trumbull’s Jarvis). But so much of the laughter seems ripped from your throat by the shock of what has happened onstage. It’s less a reaction to humor than a defense mechanism. That it can provoke that sort of reaction in an audience speaks very well of Rogers’ abilities as a playwright and of the overall production values of this piece.

Having now seen several of Mac Rogers’ plays, I think he is destined for great things. Catch this show if you want to be able to say you knew him when."-Stagebuzz.com

 

"The most addictive thing about Mac Rogers’s writing is that even when his characters say the darnedest things, you never for one second doubt that that’s exactly what they’d say." -Thatsoundscool.blogspot.com

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Contact: sean@gideonth.com or by phone (646) 425-4431

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