Praise for Emily Dickinson: Paranormal Investigator
"This is a new level of geek theater." - Michael Block, Theater In The Now
"Todd Brian Backus’s period fantasy-comedy gleefully incorporates poetry, old-style speech patterns, fight choreography, dance, and even a rap number into its over-the-top story of paranormal doings and literary sleuthing." - Jon Sobel, Blogcritics
"A speedily paced opening promises a bloody comic-book joyride à la the great imaginative sagas of the Vampire Cowboys."- Jon Sobel, Blogcritics
"An exciting combination of camp, suspense, and nerdy literature references, Emily Dickinson is a fun ride for anyone who enjoys genre mashups... Backus’ quick-witted characters and his knack at genre-bending when you least expect it keeps the audience wrapped up in the adventure.” - Sarah Weber, Theater is Easy
Praise for PowerOut
"Easily the most interesting production of this year's bunch is Let's Play Play." - Matt Hawkins, Attract Mode
"Let’s Play Play stages a layered snapshot of Internet culture in action... A production that skillfully weaves together in-person, online, and text interaction... Small flourishes give additional force to the big-picture questions and critiques that Let's Play Play puts forth." - Dr. Leah Richards & Dr. John Zeigler, Culture Catch
"Let's Play Play deals nicely with this IRL/URL tug-of-war, something to think about the next time you try to have an opinion on the internet." - Liz Richards, Indie Theater Now
"The kind of weirdos we want to root for.” – Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times
"Shurte and Valin do an excellent job embodying their characters and their inherent contradictions... Nora Sørena Casey has written a very intelligent story and the subtext provides plenty of food for thought. She addresses various issues with confidence and intensity." – Sarah Weber, Theasy.com
"The play’s strengths lie in the sharp and often overlapping dialog that caroms between ironic humor and bleakness, painting a picture of a friendship that is tinged with co-dependence." – Howard Miller, TalkinBroadway
Who We Are
PowerOut was formed when ten theatre artists met during a blackout. We set out to create adventurous new theatre.
Hot Pepper Theater
Hot Pepper Theater
In August 2014, two crazy people (specifically, PowerOut's Artistic Producers Todd Brian Backus and Ben Ferber) had an idea: “Could theater reviews be both informative and entertaining?” The answer was “Yes!” and also “Oh god, what have we done.” Borrowing the format from the popular YouTube review show Hot Pepper Gaming, episodes unfold thusly:
1. A reviewer eats a really, really spicy pepper (habanero or hotter) or downs an equally spicy shot of hot sauce.
2. They give critical analysis on a theatrical production in New York, a classic script, or an upcoming production.
3. They rate the show, and the pepper, on a scale of 1 to 5. Only then have they earned:
4. The right to drink milk to relieve the searing pain.