Are We Delicious? creates sci-fi play in seven days

by | Sep 30, 2016 | 0 comments

September 27, 2016 (Madison, Wisconsin): Beginning with the barest outline, a small group of Madison writer/actors will create a full-length Sci-Fi play in a single week. Every person is both head writer and star of the show, each role testing their creativity and craft in theatre’s version of the Kobayashi Maru.

Are We Delicious? is a “deliberate crisis experience”, meaning that each of the seven days has a different challenge that must be met leading up to the opening night deadline. Day 1 is Writing Day, where the eight-person ensemble is randomly assigned a cast drawn made up of other members of the ensemble. Creative seeds are presented to spark their imaginations and each person goes from blank page to a five-page first draft. Days 2 and 3 are Feedback workshops, the ensemble gathering to read aloud the first drafts and provide feedback. Day 4 is the first rehearsal, where the writers put down their pens and become actors. The actors work out their entrances and exits, memorize their scripts on Days 5 and 6. Day 7 is Triple Dress, where the entire show is rehearsed three times in quick succession, polishing their performances and adding light and sound cues in the theatre. They get some rest, look over their lines and premiere their play the next night, exactly one week after beginning.

Meticulous planning, spontaneous creativity  

Most Delicious shows feature 8 short plays written independently by the 8 ensemble members. Are We Delicious? Sci-Fi is a full-length science-fiction “saga” play, where the actors play a single character throughout a play with a full dramatic structure.

Delicious productions are a balance of meticulous planning and spontaneous inspiration. Show designers create a world for all eight characters to share and a skeletal plot to propel the action. Prior to Writing Day, the eight actor/writers nominate 3 characters they’d like to perform within the world. The show designers pick the 8 characters they think will provide the best opportunity for dramatic and comic conflict. Only on Writing Day do the writer/actors learn which of their characters they’ll play. Each character takes their turn in The Chair, fielding questions from the ensemble about their character. These improvised answers provide a backstory for their characters on the spot. The eight writer/actors then walk away with 8 character profiles.

The two acts of the plays are written in successive days, with each of the eight ensemble members simultaneous writing a short scene. Each act will conclude with a dramatic event that is known in advance; the writers creating a scene that propels their assigned characters to those dramatic conclusions. Conflicts, inconsistencies and blind spots are worked out by the ensemble in the daily feedback sessions.

After the third day, the scripts are final, writers become actors, as the ensemble races to opening night.

Are We Delicious? Sci-Fi is the 23rd Delicious production. Beginning in March 2012, Are We Delicious? has produced over 150 original short plays by over 100 Madison writer/performers. Sci-Fi is the fifth saga show, the previous being The Play (Jul 2013), Noir (Sept. 2014), Family Saga (Oct. 2015), and Murder Mystery (Mar. 2016). Sci-Fi will be judged by the Bartell Awards Judges and is Bartie-eligible.

The Sci-Fi ensemble includes Matt Sloan, Sean Langenecker, Edric Johnson, Deborah Hearst, Desmond H. Hawkins, Stacey Garbarski, Heather Jane Farr, and Jason Compton.

Are We Delicious? Sci-Fi is designed and moderated by Tony Trout and Malissa Petterson.

4 Performances: October 11, 12, 18 and 19 (Tues/Weds) @ 7:30 pm Where: Bartell Theatre, 113 E. Mifflin St., Madison Admission: $14, cash or credit Running time: 80 minutes including intermission Advance tickets: Inquiries: 608-293-4999

Are We Delicious? SciFi is hosted by StageQ’s production of Commander, running October 7th through the 22nd. Visit for full details.

Are We Delicious? is produced by Delicious Creative Inc., a non-profit organized and operated exclusively to conduct charitable and educational activities related to collaborative performance art projects which prioritize creativity and empowerment, teamwork and cooperation, self-confidence, and expansion of individual creative potential within a supportive group experience. Tax-deductible donations can be made to Delicious Creative Inc., c/o Tony Trout, 1422 Fremont Ave., Madison WI 53704.


Matt Sloan is the co-owner of Blame Society Films and the co-creator of the Chad Vader web series.  He is the voice of Darth Vader for Disney.  On YouTube, he hosts the biweekly movie chat series Welcome to the Basement (with co-host Craig Johnson) and regularly embarrasses himself and others on the show Beer and Board Games. On stage, Matt has played the lead role in Macbeth, and various supporting roles in productions of Glengarry Glen Ross, Much Ado About Nothing and All in the Timing.  He has over 20 years of improv experience and is currently a performer with the Monkey Busines Institute improv troupe.  This is his fourteenth Are We Delicious?.

Sean Langenecker has been telling stories his whole life; just ask his mom. Eventually, he started doing it on stage, from high school musicals to the New York Fringe Festival.  Madison has been his home for the past nine years and the Bartell and Broom Street boards have been strolled upon many times by him.  He has also produced several productions, sat on the Mercury Players Board of Directors, worked stage crew on a remarkably bloody/dirty show, performed/emceed with Foxy Veronica’s Peach Pies as Butch Gardens, designed and built costumes, written a Blitz play, and participated in six previous incarnations of Delicious?  He is a six time Bartie nominee, for which he has won twice: Costume Design for Fat Men in Skirts and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Scrooge in Rouge.  Favorite roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dresser in Circle, and Kaden in As Bees in Honey Drown.

Stacey Garbarski is a Chicago suburb native. She has been living and attending school in Madison, WI since 2011. Stacey was recently a finalist in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (region 3) where she competed amongst several hundred talented artists and ranked within the top sixteen.  She was the recipient of the 2015 “Dramatists Guild Award for Excellence in a performance from a new play or musical” awarded by The Kennedy Center. She was nominated to compete in the Irene Ryan competition this coming January for her work as Juniper in the Midwest Premiere of Woods of Weaver. She is no stranger to the Madison community theatre scene. Her most notable work has been with StageQ Inc. and shows include: Queer Shorts 10 ( Olivia Names Her Octopus), Christmas with the Crawfords (Christopher Crawford), 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (Dale Prist) and Queer Shorts 9 (Nightingale). She was also featured in Conceal & Carry: Queers Exposed which was produced by Madison Narratives, and Taming of the Shrew with Shakespeare on Clark in Chicago, Illinois. Stacey is a senior at Edgewood College majoring in Theatre. Her most notable Edgewood performances include: Woods of Weaver (Juniper), Proof (Catherine), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Rosaline), Absurd Person Singular (Marion Brewster-Wright), The Arabian Nights (Perfect Love), and Bye Bye Birdie (Mrs.Peterson.) She will apear in Edgewood’s upcoming show The Crucible as Rebecca Nurse.

Edric Johnson recently performed in Forward Theater’s Monologue Festival Someone’s Gotta Do It. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for Encore Studio for the Performing Arts, a professional theater company for people with disabilities. In 2014, he won the Bartell Theater Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for his role as Clay in The Pain and the Itch.  In addition, he has performed for various local theater companies in Madison which include: Uncle Peck in How I Learned to Drive, Alden in Coyote Moon, Charles in The Clean House, Alan in The Boys in the Band, Star Cat in Psycho Beach Party, Bobby in The Arsonists, Schultz in Circle Mirror Transformation, Ben Weeks in The Normal Heart, Captain Von Krapp in Claptrapp: The Sound of Musicals, Donald in It’s Murder, Mary, Jimmy in Random Harvest, Matt in Dog Sees God, Peter in Stop Kiss, and Whit in Of Mice and Men. Edric began studying drama education at UW-Madison and continued at The Ohio State University. He is now a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he prepares classroom teachers for social studies and drama education. His scholarship continues to advocate that all teachers use the arts including theater and drama as a medium for learning across the school curriculum and beyond.  As First Lady Michelle Obama best states, “Arts should have a central place in the education of all children, not just a luxury for wealthy districts.” Learn more at

Deborah Hearst is a professional actor, theatre collaborator, writer, and storyteller.  In Madison, she’s worked with Children’s Theater of Madison, Theatre Lila, Strollers, Are We Delicious?, Madison Theatre Guild, Mercury Players, and Bricks Theater.  Her favorite local roles include Catherine in Rapture, Blister, Burn; Lavinia Goodell in Lavinia; and Kelly in Pain and the Itch. She has been seen on stage in and written for That’s What She Said: Head Noise and That’s What They Said: Firsts with Bricks Theater, as well as Are We Delicious?: SciFi and Are We Delicious?: Valentine’s.

Desmond H. Hawkins‘ appearance in Are We Delicious? SciFi is his’s 33rd time onstage in the last 10 years, and his 3rd time having something he wrote (this time with many other talented folks) be produced. In the next four months, Desmond will be performing in (at least) four other shows.  Later in October 2016, he’ll be in Madison Theatre Guild’s production of Alice. In December of this year, you can see him multitasking again, playing drums and singing in Music Theatre of Madison’s Striking 12. And in January 2017, he will be at Broom Street Theatre for the second time in The Full Treatment. Desmond’s most recent appearance was in Black & White at Broom Street.  Before that, he was in StageQ’s Queer Shorts 2.0: The Reboot in the short play Snapchat Dickpics, which won the 2016 Bartell Award for Best Short. Desmond himself was nominated for 2016 Bartell Award for Best Actor in a Short for this play. He has also had opportunities to work with Mercury Players Theatre and Krass Theatre here in Madison. He has studied voice, both classical and musical theatre, and was in Madison Opera’s Apprenticeship Program from 2012 to 2014. He has also studied improv here in Madison with Monkey Business Institute, and took an improv and stand-up comedy class at New York’s Gotham Comedy Club. He’s continued his training recently with a theatrical clowning class taught through Broom Street Theatre. Desmond’s other produced works include Knight Tyme, a madrigal play he wrote and directed in high school, and Fitzgerald, a short play he wrote that was selected as part of UW-Stevens Point’s annual Fringe Festival in the Spring of 2016. He will continue to pursue performance and writing as a career, and is very happy to be a part of Madison’s thriving theatre community.

Heather Jane Farr has been acting in plays and musicals since the age of 5, playing Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank in three different productions. Heather Jane graduated with honours from Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Performance Program in Toronto, and started delving more into film acting. Before attending Sheridan College, she was a writing major for a year at Ithaca College. Heather has been a co-writer for a Madison 48 Hour Film Project, started a feature length screenplay, and finished writing a short. Heather Jane previously appeared in Deliciously Queer with StageQ.

Jason Compton makes his Are We Delicious? return in SciFi ’16. He appeared in 2014’s Are We Delicious? Privacy/Surveillance, and Are We Delicious? Xmas ’15. He was last seen in Madison Shakespeare Company’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, and appeared as Brady in Left of Left Center’s The Old Apartment.

Malissa Petterson began her theatrical career in Frederick, Maryland, working with such companies as the Frederick Towne Players, the Cultural Arts Center, the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, and the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Since her move in 2011 to beautiful Madison, Malissa has worked with the Children’s Theater of Madison, the Mercury Players Theatre, StageQ, and the Broom Street Theater, where she is currently a board member. She has a BA in communications with a minor in theatre, as well as an MFA in creative writing. During the day, she can be found at the Encore Studio for the Performing Arts, sweating to the eighties and living the dream. A playwright, director, stage manager, costumer, teacher, and sometimes actor, she has yet to decide which Theatrical Hat fits the best. Her January production of The 800th Annual Salvation Swing-Off was also performed at the New York International Fringe Festival in August.

Tony Trout is the founder and impresario of Are We Delicious?, an ensemble of Madison performer/writers who conceive, write, rehearse and perform an original show of short plays in a single week.  The Delicious formula has been refined in 22 full productions in 4 years, student productions at Edgewood and MATC, a partnership with StageQ, and broke new ground last spring with Am I Delicious? ensemble theatre class. Tony is also a producer, director and actor.  Recent projects include directing A Little Night Music and My Fair Lady for Four Seasons, and performing as George in Alley Stage’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

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