Mystery Mark

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Who is Mystery Mark? What is the Skeleton Crew up to? Why is traffic so insane? How can you watch what’s watching you? Where is the only way out?

Mystery Markcreated by Theo Ellsworth and Josh Wagneris the cartoon exorcism of Clay Searle, a paranoid man stalked by his childhood television hero. Clay is preoccupied with his appearance, and he wants facial expression reconstruction surgery to get rid of the permanent expression of terror he’s worn all his life. This decision sparks a chain of events leading to a far more spiritual transformation. Mystery Mark originated as a collaboration between Josh and Theo. Its words and images developed and evolved symbiotically.

Viscosity Theatre presented a theatrical installation of Mystery Mark featuring puppetry and live action masks during the 2014 Zootown Fringe Festival, directed by Rebecca Schaffer and designed by Scott Morris. The installation also featured a surveillance concept designed by Kate Morris and an animation based on the book by Hugh Bickley.

The Midlife Dragon from Hugh Bickley on Vimeo.

The theatrical installation incorporated main characters and themes from the story and featured an original score by long-time Missoula band, “Cash For Junkers“.

Missoula Independent feature story

A vibrant community has already gathered around the evolving Mysteryverse. As of right now, our list of collaborators includes:

Theo Ellsworth: Story and illustrations
Josh Wagner: Story and words
Scott Morris: Art design
Rebecca Schaffer: Theatrical director
Loni Neilson: Production manager
Helen Magart: Stage manager
Kate Morris: Dramaturge
Skye Bennett: Costume design
Cash For Junkers: Music
Hugh Bickley: Animator
Diego Burgos: Mask and puppet design and general problem solver
Megan Brown: Marketing
Cory Fay: Sound design
Nathan Boheme – Carpenter and wall-smith
Lauren Tyler Norby – Appliance Specialist (Clocks and Televisions)
Debby Florence – Fabulist, Clay Mask painter, and paper mache miracle worker
Samantha Cypher – Mystery Mark mask painter
Nita Maddux – Sorceress and paper mache whisperer
Sarah Katherine Anderson – World-traveling paper mache aficionado
Joy Olson – Maker of world’s best bacon-wrapped dates, paper mache slinger
Kier Atherton – Cinematographer

Many thanks to the other beautiful souls who have volunteered their time and craftsmanship: Cory Fay, Jon Aaseng, Caitlin Hofmeister, Alex Anthony, Heidi Geil, Tony Gregori, Joe Keatinge, Leila del Duca, William Saylor, Kate Whittle, Alexsa Prince, Starr Erickson, Em Cohen, Daiana Ante, Patti Sorgi, Kate Scott, Pam Morris, Aaron Renard, Brennan Blake, and Gus Freud.


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