2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy’ by Amie Root

Scene one, the stage directions read, “A man stands at a work table cleaning a handgun, his movements cool and collected. He is handsome, worldly, refined. His stare is so potent, simply looking at a woman who is ovulating will cause that woman to immediately become pregnant.” He is John Blade. And this is The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy, by Kyle Encinas, Live Action Theatres Capital Fringe debut.

John Blade promo photo option

In order to understand fully the journey that has led to The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy, introducing Live Action Theatre to the DC theatre community, through the wonderful platform that is Capital Fringe, first you must come to know Live Action Theatre. L.A.T. was founded by Chris Niebling, Kyle Encinas, and Amie Root, with the vision of creating theatre that not only injects high octane action directly into the audience experience, but also theatre that shows such a high level proficiency in the art of staged violence storytelling that it serves only to heighten and expand the narrative.

Live Action Theatre strives to put audiences on the edge of their seats with works ranging from action-adventure to visceral slasher stories and all the contemporary violence in between. From the beauty of martial arts, to the anathema of personal violence, fights are always treated as an intrinsic theatrical element. The company and its casts are made up of professionals who have dedicated their lives to studying how better to create the illusion of ass kicking on stage (and film as well) for optimal audience entertainment and who wish to elevate the art and practice to the highest performance standards.

So why “The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy”? Well it may be glaringly apparent, but when asked, playwright Kyle Encinas answered, with the ever so slight smirk of an inner child’s enthusiasm, “I really just wanted to put more guns, and fighting, and violence on stage. We have comic books, we have movies, we should be bringing more of this to theatre.”  With a cast that collectively consists of over a hundred years of stage combat experience, including three Society of American Fight Directors certified teachers, “more guns, and fighting, and violence” should not be a problem. However, audiences shouldn’t be surprised if they find themselves laughing as much as enjoying the multiple action-packed sequences. Even in the initial readings of the script, where the actors had no weapons and threw no punches, the tear-inducing heavy laughter filled the generously donated conference room. Consequently, though a literal side may occasionally be split on stage in The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy, so will the audience’s figurative sides split with laughter.

What exactly is this play about, along with the sword fighting and fist-a-cuffs? When asked to describe the plot, Kyle says, “Basically, it starts with the eponymous hero, John Blade, about to storm the volcano lair. He has seduced a beautiful woman to gain secrets. After that, he infiltrates the volcano lair and attempts to stop the evil Professor Lawrence Tantamount from taking over the world with his evil doomsday device. And that’s where it starts and it just spins into a wonderful cavalcade of an action film adventure.” As Director Chris Niebling puts it, “Lots of action, lots of pithy humor, and then lots more action.” “There is a place for talking about feelings,” Kyle interjects, “not here.” Here is where the fists do the talking. Come and see for yourself. You may find some twists and turns in the show you did not expect.

John Blade design logo

Warehouse: 645 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC
Metro: Gallery Place (Red Line)
Vernon Square (Green/Yellow Lines)

Saturday, July 13, 2013 8:15 PM (Opening)
Thursday, July 18, 2013 6:15 PM
Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:00 PM
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 10:45 PM
Thursday, July 25, 2013 6:00 PM
Friday, July 26, 2013 11:59 PM
Saturday, July 27, 2013 4:00 PM (Closing)

Purchase Your Tickets HERE, or call (866) 811-4111. Tickets are $17 for the show, and require a Fringe Button ($5-$7). For more information on The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy, visit Live Action Theatre’s website, or email Production Manager Amie Root at [email protected].

ABOUT CAPITAL FRINGE: Capital Fringe is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2005 with the purpose of connecting exploratory artists with adventurous audiences by creating outlets and spaces for creative, cutting-edge, and contemporary performance in the District. Capital Fringe’s vital programs ensure the growth and continued health of the local and regional performing arts community by helping artists become independent producers while stimulating the vibrant cultural landscape in our city.


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