Back in the fall, StarTrek.com reported on Gates McFadden's Krusher Kontest for her upcoming Krusher Does Krusher Fundraiser. Fans were invited to submit a short play, poem or story -- minimum of 1,000 words, maximum of 2,000 words -- with a sci-fi or historical theme. "Krusher" could appear in the past, present or future. So, Krusher could be an Elizabethan Krusher, 24th-century Krusher, a rapping Krusher, and the story could even unfold aboard a space ship if the writer felt so inclined.
Well, the Kontest is over, the winners have been selected and the Krusher Does Krusher Fundraiser event is set to be held on February 11 at 8 p.m. at The Actors' Gang Theater in Culver City, California. McFadden will take center stage that evening, joined by a few very special guests. Tickets are available now -- with certain tier levels beaming up signed Next Generation scripts and other Trek items from McFadden's personal collection -- and an auction of signed memorabilia is scheduled as well (it starts Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. PST). Visit www.gatesplays for more details... after you've read our exclusive interview with McFadden.
Let's go back a step. What kind of reaction did you get to your request for Krusher Does Krusher submissions?
MCFADDEN: Fans loved the irreverence of the idea. They got the humor of it as well as the wonderful craziness of mutating “the iconic”… sort of reassembling it. If there is one thing I have learned over the years of TNG, it is to not underestimate the talent and goodwill of our fans. Involve the creativity of the fans, themselves. Oh, and it turned out some of my favorite playwrights knew about the event and submitted some great stuff as fans, too. One of the writers of Fox’s show, Glee, wrote a hilarious10-pager. I was truly shocked how much he knew about the show. A true fan.
The shows I direct always seem to involve music, visual art, projections, film or some architectural elements along with the text and performers. So in order to raise money for the development of the next couple of productions, I thought, “Why not have a multimedia event for the fundraiser? Something resembling a SNL show?” I am the host, with a team of actors doing irreverent pieces about Krusher --whatever that is to them -- with awesome live music, original art projected, and giveaways. Come on, doesn’t that sound like fun? This night is a fans, friends and theater collaboration.
An important element in this event has been involving some of my favorite graphic and comic artists. I, myself, am a huge fan of their work. I wanted to collaborate with them. A group of them created various Krusher drawings with the title of the play we are raising money for in mind; they had to use the idea of Krusher and ICE in some way they imagined. I hoped for crossover via the multimedia stuff with graphic novel art/cartoons and theater text. In fact, I sort of want the whole evening to be like a live and multimedia Twitter party… but in a theater setting, not online. Twitter followers can be hilarious, sarcastic, thoughtful and supportive in their responses -- some all at the same time – and that is what I hope the evening will be for attendees.
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You chose 10 winning submissions that'll be performed on Feb. 11. Give us an idea of the range of stories that will be brought to life...
MCFADDEN: One has a Krusher robot. One is a sort of dreamscape. Then there is the Krusher impersonator, a genetic experiment gone wild. Oh... one has my space son and me tweeting. Another deals with problems in the transporter.
You touched on this, but if people are in LA and attend the event, what kind of night are they in for?
MCFADDEN: Think of this as a party with giveaways. I have two songwriters and their bands performing their fantastic original music. One has a CD coming out and will premiere some songs on the night. An actor will be reading a few funny fan letters I have kept for years. And I will be doing some tapping… Some.
Who are some of your Trek friends that will be on hand? Will they be performing or adding to the prestige/fun of the evening, or both?
MCFADDEN: First of all, the night is about fun and not prestige. I don’t want to give it all away, but I will say that Wil Wheaton, Armin Shimerman, Jonathan Del’Arco, Denise Crosby and myself are performing with some others.
The event is a fundraiser and you've got a variety of ticket tiers, from general admission to Deluxe Krush. What items are you offering to sweeten the pot for donations?
MCFADDEN: My original scripts! Signed action figures. A special magazine with the stories and the graphic art as a souvenir. We also have three short but fabulous auctions happening on our website.
Check it out. Spread the word and bid at the auction. Once my scripts and memorabilia are gone, they’re gone. Lots of items are signed by 7 cast members. Some are signed special items like a music box or a rare Star Trek telephone. Folks should click on the website www.gatesplays.com. Oh… and wait: on the night, as an added bonus, I will give stuff away free to every person who comes or buys a ticket. We have put a big box together with books, posters, cards, tee-shirts – my Star Trek stuff -- and it will be gone by the night’s end.
For what will the money you're raising be used?
MCFADDEN: For the development towards production of some fantastic original plays by some of my favorite theatre collaborators.
What else are you working on at the moment?
MCFADDEN: So one of these plays is the Andrew Dolan script, Ice is Also Great. It is an utterly hilarious, biting look at the state of the American family. I just directed a reading of it with Grant Bowler from Defiance as the lead, who was simply terrific. There is also a Stephen Yockey play, Feverish, I am hoping to direct in an outdoor site-specific production.