The interwebs are a magical place—filled with twisted minds, pockets of humor, and the gradual blurring between reality and Cyberspace.
And it is in this place where the creative minds of Ellen Warkentine and Andrew Pedroza discover the future they feature in their meme-centric opera. The world of 2084—where the meaning of life is buried somewhere beneath mounds of captioned LOLCATS, and the latest Internet meme is as priceless as the Mona Lisa.
With surging power ballads and swelling crescendos, LOLPERA touches upon the audience’s human (and animal) desire to connect with each other…in any way possible.
And to use the eloquent words ripped from LOLPERA’s own website—
“Call it 1984 set in a virtual litter box. Call it Brave New World with bad grammar. Just please, please, don’t call it Cats.”
We at Cheezburger HQ were lucky enough to catch up with co-creators Ellen and Andrew about LOLPERA and their upcoming stint at New York Fringe in the following interview.
For schedule and ticket information visit their website, http://www.lolpera.com/, and don’t forget to swing by http://lolpera.cheezburger.com/ in preparation for the festivities!
How did the idea for LOLPERA come about?
Ellen: LOLPERA started as an innocent musical improv with a few friends. We set the Astrocat meme to music with accordion, bass, and piano. It was glorious. I showed Andrew what we’d created and we began setting more memes to music. We have a tradition of writing epic absurd plays and Christmas albums together, doing a lot of musical improvs and ridiculous power ballads. It came about very organically.
Andrew: I don’t think it really started to take shape as an opera until we began working on “I’m in Ur” where we included multiple images rather than one meme. That’s when we began to see how we could put all the pieces together.
How did people react when you first told them about this idea?
Andrew: They said “WTF.” We were misunderstood.
Ellen: A lot of my closest friends said “I don’t get it.” Or “It sounds terrible.”
Andrew: …but because The Garage Theatre knew us from other Long Beach theatre projects, they trusted our creative instincts and they helped develop our workshop.
Ellen: Especially Jessica Variz, our director and friend at The Garage. She was very enthusiastic about it and …
Ellen/Andrew: …on a blowy, leafy, fall night…
Ellen: …she decided to take on the project and there was no turning back.