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This project was successfully funded on July 21, 2012

'20th Century Man/In Their Own Words'

by Brian Hutton


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One part performance art and one part autobiographical/historical documentary, '20th Century Man/In Their Own Words' combines two theatrical works that I've developed over the last three years. This dual production involves myself as the mad scientist with a Time Machine built in my own living room in ‘Return of the 20th Century Man’ and two actors portraying legendary anarchists Emma Goldman and Adolph Fischer in 'In Their Own Words', which is woven almost exclusively from excerpts from their biographical writings, as well as transcripts of Adolph’s trial testimony. Original violin compositions and arrangements by Sally Jungreis augment both works.

I first realized I had an infamous relative when I found out my great grand uncle, Adolph Fischer, was hung in Chicago in 1887, as one of the 'Haymarket Eight,' a group of anarchists unjustly put on trial for a bombing in Haymarket Square. I later found out the legendary anarchist, Emma Goldman, had been inspired to join the Movement, at least in part, by the ‘Haymarket Eight.' This seemed like a good story. As a child, I was always fascinated by science fiction, particularly time travel, and was bound to write ‘20th Century Man.'

After writing and performing the stories of Emma and Adolph, 'In Their Own Words' and various incarnations of the time traveling ‘20th Century Man’  over the past three years in Alaska, I realized we were ready to take the show to a wider audience. My project is to present a combined production of both performances in Seattle, Washington in August of 2012.

In ‘Return of the 20th Century Man’, the ‘mad scientist’ eventually takes off to hear the story of Emma and his great granduncle Adolph ‘in their own words’, landing us in Emma’s parlor as she writes her memoirs, and in the cell of Adolph Fischer as he tells his story.  'In Their Own Words' has become for me not only the account of my infamous relative, but the story of a young girl transformed by her readings, discovering a social consciousness that would last throughout her lifetime.

The $7378 we are asking for will allow us to transport three cast members, a violinist, a lighting/sound technician, props and instruments from Anchorage to Seattle, and provide for expenses for the short tour. If we exceed our goal, we can further explore venues in the ‘Lower 48’, and work on future bookings. I thank you for your interest in our efforts and hope you continue to tune in for updates and more clips from our production.

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