We used to have a conventional Mission Statement on this page. It was high-minded and boring. So now instead we’re just going to tell you what we do.
- Hardcover Theater creates shows based on literature. We write our own scripts for them – almost thirty so far. We specialize in working with texts that have never before been adapted for the theater.
- We stage the unstageable. Twelve-foot-tall monsters with insect-like heads and an extra pair of forelimbs, for A Princess of Mars? No problem. A cavernous fortress inside a mountain and thousands of native guards, for She: Immortal Witch-Queen of a Lost World? Piece of cake. A human hand – only the hand, no body attached – for “The Beast with Five Fingers,” from Weird Tales for Halloween? We could stage that with both hands tied behind our back.
- We tell stories, and we tell them fast. A typical Hardcover show has the narrative momentum of a bullet train.
- We “break the fourth wall.” Our actors don’t pretend the audience isn’t there. They talk to the audience; they use movement and gesture to help the audience imagine things; sometimes they even run out into the audience. We do this as a matter of principle. Every Hardcover show breaks the fourth wall. It’s part of who we are as artists.
- We use language carefully.
Our influences include improv, mime, Readers Theater, Story Theater, the plays of Bertolt Brecht, and movies. (Many Hardcover shows include sequences that resemble movies onstage. We especially like movies with voiceover narration, when it’s done well.)