Evoteck Theater: From the steamy streets of Atlanta they came: carpenters, plumbers, computer programmers, secretaries, nurses, and even a few lawyers. Little did they know that they would be tasked with producing original scripts, original music, original costuming, out-of-this-world makeup and original sets that would become the OK Alright Players of Evoteck Theater. None had ever undertaken such a project and the results would turn out to be astounding.
“What the Heck is Evoteck?” is what everyone wondered when the theater opened in a prominent storefront in Atlanta’s upscale neighborhood of Buckhead. What appeared to be an abstract but friendly monster loomed over the door, welcoming visitors, and contemporary classical music drifted into the street from a grand piano in the lobby. Upstairs, the second floor of the building had been converted to a theater, with a bandstand for live music nearby.
Immediately popular with college students and Atlanta’s young and edgy arts community, Evoteck became a cult classic of sorts, and was even positively reviewed in the somewhat conservative Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which described it as “quirky fun.” The biggest note of any script produced was laughter. It became a part of every show and the peals of laughter from the audience even brought a few of the novice actors to break up on stage. Every word, every note, every costume, was something that had not been seen before and may never be seen again (except maybe on YouTube or a DVD).
The many plays and stories that would evolve on the Evoteck stage included, “Rosa’s Hyperauthentic Cantina,” “The Astro Pups: Journey to Alpha Nine,” “The Tomorrow Show,” “Nick Anvil: Private I,” “5 Things Einstein Didn’t Know,” “The Interplanetary Adventures of Commander Setarcos,” “Bullets, Bandoliers & Brassieres,”and “Die! Brock Molar Die!” just to name a few. They introduced such characters as “The Seekers,” “Fred the Egyptian,” and “The Counts of Consciousness”; produced a “wildly” popular comedy review featuring the Shenanigan Brothers (“Wild!” followed by “Wild Too!”), and even a summer children’s adventure, “Simon and the Big Seed,” with its own coloring book.
While one show was running, the next ensemble worked in the “wings,” preparing for their Evoteck premiere. Each play ran for six to eight weeks, with another one right on its heel. Every evening at Evoteck was an amazing experience for all involved and presented more understanding than an everyday brain could contain.
Behind the scenes, what it amounted to was the ultimate Work task, led by Jan Cox—though he provided no directives as to the format or the content—testing the limits of creativity with the Aim to make what we did approachable to any who might be interested and want to hear more. Those so interested were invited to attend meetings apart from the public presentations.