In 1972 Todd Blakesley (Artistic Director), Ted Reed, Mary Lou Reed, Roger Henderson and Dudley Graham founded Theatre: Research & Development, Inc, a non-profit 510(c)3 dedicated to producing original material for the stage.
From 1972 through 1976 the beachfront theatre mounted 27 world premieres from local playwrights. The founding members Todd, Ted, Mary Lou and Roger provided new plays for each of the five seasons. In the summer a festival of new works opened the Crystal Palace to area playwrights for 2-week runs.
Except for his first offering, Todd focused on developing immersive projects with an emphasis on Total Immersion. (CLICK ON article below).
His plays included:
THE SECRET ASSASSINATION of PETE WILSON (1972) Traditional satire
CENTER EARTH TRIALZ (1972) Total Immersion
THE GLASS MOON POST (1973) Partial Immersion
THE CRYONIC STATE (1973) Inverted Theater-In-The-Round
MADAME SOLOMON'S TEMPLE of RELIGIOSITY (1974) Total Immersion
THE CONVENTION (1975) Total Immersion
THE EXCHANGE (1976) Total Immersion
CIGARS & STRIPES: The Other Convention was produced by T:R&D Inc. at the Adams Avenue Playhouse in 1984. The Crystal Palace had closed by the end of 1976. Cigars & Stripes was the second incarnation of his convention plays with FritzCon 96 being the third in 1996.
ARTICLES and REVIEWS about the Crystal Palace will posted as they are unearthed.
In Total Immersion theater there is no audience, only participants. In Center Earth Trialz, after being issued a visa, participants board a rickety train car for a disturbing journey to the earth's center.
Ted Reed and Todd Blakesley are inquisitors in the Center Earth court system. After passengers disembark the train, several find they are to be questioned. Other passengers are on the jury and determine whether the defendant(s) will be allowed to return to the surface.
John McColm takes order for global corporation stocks from Exchange member. Members (participants) were plunged into the dark world of global corporate control.
Participants became delegates to the Other Party national convention, battling it out over which of them would seize the nomination for President of the United States.
There are more archival documents on the Crystal Palace. As soon as I find them they'll be posted.
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