Image a dark world where most of the population has disappeared, and the likes of Thomas Kinkade haunt the Earth. Savage Umbrella has explored the idea over the past two years with a series of staged readings and workshops for Rapture. The piece gets a full production starting this weekend at Nimbus Theatre. A team of six writers worked on the piece, starting with a simple idea: What if we woke up one morning and found 10 percent of the population gone? And what if those 10 percent were all artists? The conceit gave the creators a chance to explore the meaning of creation and creativity, while also probing into our modern-day expectations of what art and artists are for. The final version was crafted by Tanner Curl, who also directs. The play focuses on a pair of creators who were, in the words of a popular Christian book series of a couple decades ago (or a Slipknot song), "left behind." The painter and her performance-artist granddaughter try to figure out why they weren't taken with the others. For the older Evelyn, this is complicated when the ghost of Kinkade — possibly as sparkly as his paintings — begins to haunt her. Kinkade, who was commercially successful while alive but universally reviled by the art community, adds an extra point where art and artists can be examined in the play. The company includes Karen Bix, Mary Cutler, Russ Dugger, Laura Leffler-McCabe, Mason Mahoney, Adelin Phelps, and Carl Schoenborn. For tickets, call 1.800.383.3006.
Thursdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Mon., March 17, 7:30 p.m. Starts: March 7. Continues through March 22, 2014