NOTE: This is part 1 of a part 2 series which includes a full interview
A new stage spectacle is essentially a title match pitting G-d against Satan when Christopher S. Douglas n.d.p. Mark T. Wayne teams with international dramaturg, director, philosopher, and writer Robert Craig Baum to adapt Christopher's novel Somnivm Devs: The Satanic Dream for Vegas and stadium audiences around the globe.
"Think of The Trial as Philosophy-Gone-Wild with the special effects of a Cirque du Soleil spectacle and the interactivity of a Disney attraction," Robert said, as he recalls pitching his production concepts to Christopher in December 2014. "With the success of Cosmos on Fox," Robert continued, "and the ongoing public debates about religion and politics in the media, it's the right time for the largest possible number of people to debate the most important questions of our era."
The show takes place in the Court of Heaven. On the Seventh Day, G-d rested, dreaming of His Creation. Indeed, it was Good. But, when G-d wakes (after 18 billion years), He encounters a world filled with violence, desperation, and G-d-lessness. His active dream of perfection has become a total nightmare. In response to this calamity, G-d's Conscience takes G-d to trial in the Court of Heaven.
The audience bears first-hand witness to this cosmic drama from inside an arena planetarium and media circus that shows the beginning, evolution, and end of the universe. Trial participants and audience alike experience the joys and terrors of human existence (the beauty and ugliness of G-d's creation) from within a visual and sound experience only a Vegas multimedia spectacle can create.
"Who says no to such an opportunity?" says Baum. "I was raised on Broadway, Disney On Ice, Greek Theatre, Tony Kushner, Bertolt Brecht, Steven Spielberg, August Wilson, Julie Taymor, Peter Greenaway, and the laser shows at the Hayden Planetarium. Add to this Christopher's classical yet completely modern reinterpretation of humanist themes of good versus evil, the origins of the universe, the role of the divine in our daily lives, and the good life itself and you've got yourself one fantastic show intended to entertain and enlighten all audiences for many years."
To G-d's defense comes Adam, his first son, and Plato, the Philosopher. The Prosecution calls forth Rufus and Cicero, with Lucifer joining them. As The Trial intensifies, new witnesses are called: Eve (Adam's wife), Jesus of Nazareth, St. Augustine, Mark Twain and the late Christopher Hitchens. While the defense tries to prove G-d "not guilty" by virtue of "not having been awake," the prosecution attempts to show beyond a reasonable doubt a universe that evolved by itself, without G-d. Will evolution exonerate the existence of G-d, leaving mankind in the hands of science and to his own moral equity, or will G-d reform the chaotic universe led into evil by His prevailing nightmare?
Cont'd with Robert Craig Baum in part 2. Look out for that soon!