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The Adventurous Adventures of Redundant Man is a two-part stage play script developed by the Dozerfleet founder in 2001, as part of that year's Young Playwrights Festival National Playwriting Competition.

PlotEdit

This 2-part script features Redundant Man, a clueless superhero who speaks in redundancies, as he battles the evil self-contradicting minotaur Oxymoron and the nefarious Dr./Professor Jargon who speaks only in technical terms.

Act IEdit

After terrorizing a small girl, Oxymoron steals her favorite rubber duck toy. Redundant Man shows up to put a stop to all the bullying. After the two exchange several punny insults, they start fighting. Act I ends with a careless accident leading to Oxymoron's defeat.

Act IIEdit

Professor Jargon and his assistant Higor try to make a giant duck monster named Duckzilla, but are interrupted when Redundant Man shows up out of nowhere. Acting bored, Jargon dismisses a lot of Redundant Man's taunts and boasts. In the end, his plans are foiled not by Redundant Man, but by a friend of Redundant Man who also shows up out of nowhere: the non-sequitur-speaking Detective Red Herring.

CharactersEdit

  • Redundant Man: A superhero that is always "repeating himself repetitively." He is believed to be a man named Barry who suffers brain damage, but nobody is really entirely certain what his issue is.
  • Little Girl: She loses a bath toy to Oxymoron.
  • Oxymoron: A minotaur of unknown origin, Oxymoron is always contradicting his own sentences compulsively. He is mean, brutal, cruel, and has red eyes.
  • Duckzilla: A monster about to be created in a lab.
  • Professor Jargon: A mad scientist who speaks only in technical terms. He wants to create Duckzilla for some unknown reason.
  • Higor: Jargon's assistant.
  • Detective Red Herring: A sleuth who dresses in a maroon trenchcoat and fedora. He is always pondering how everything relates to everything else, even if only he can contemplate how the two things have anything to do with each other at all. His non-sequiturs confuse everyone, but he seems to be oblivious to that fact.

DevelopmentEdit

The Young Playwrights Festival notice for 2001 was issued to the SML class by instructor Jan Macy, and she urged as many students as possible to submit something to the contest. Very few students actually did submit anything, but the Dozerfleet founder was determined. Inspiration came from having taken grammar classes with Mrs. Richardt.

Instead of the usual settings for a play, the Dozerfleet founder felt the need to make Redundant Man in his rise to the stage feel...different. It was decided that the best way to use up as many punchlines as were available in the play for use, the whole thing had to play out like a cartoon. Therefore, the entire aesthetic for building Redundant Man's world was set up to imitate a cartoon. Interactions between Redundant Man and Oxymoron were not unlike the kinds of interactions between characters one would expect in an episode of Darkwing Duck.

Detective Red Herring was not originally going to appear, but soon showed up and stole the show in Act II when it became obvious that the jokes that worked so well for Redundant Man had been mostly used up in the first act. Red Herring was able to use non-sequitur humor to fill in the blanks, and finish the play.

Original instructions were that the play had to be under a half-hour in length. However, the six-page play covered a lot of detail in spite being so short, and resulted in a play that could easily be performed in about ten minutes. This made it too short to be a finalist in the contest, but resulted in the Blank Theater showing some interest in the Dozerfleet founder.

ReceptionEdit

A response to the play was mailed several weeks after its submission, serving as both a rejection letter for the finals and a letter of praise for the work's "being full of color and punch."[1]

The anonymous critic went on to say: "This world you've created rings with life; and could just as easily be made for television as for the stage. It seems this should have been written for television instead."[2]

The review also emphasized that there needed to be more emphasis on background details, as these are critical when developing something for stage. However, the review also praised the work for its emphasis on character details. Overall, the review emphasized that the plot was heavily action-centered; much more so than what usual submissions were. There was some curiosity on why Duckzilla was being created to begin with, as no prior motivation for Dr. Jargon to create Duckzilla had been given. Another issue was with the lack of clear continuity between Acts I and II. "This is okay for an actual TV cartoon, which doesn't require continuity," the anonymous reviewer remarked.[3]

In the end, the reviewer remarked: "Maybe, you'll one day write for a cartoon."[4]

Relevance to other worksEdit

The rowdy, ruthless energy and anarchic humor of Redundant Man would later be recycled for such works as LWW Ritzed and The Trapezoid Kids. This work's emphasis on character theme would be inspirational, and art style would lend itself also, to Replox: Abstract Foundations.

Its pursuit of using the stage in unorthodox ways to recreate effects normally seen only in film and on television would not be the last. Instead, the Dozerfleet founder would later envision a variation of Inherit the Wind for the stage. That play would envision a black-and-white world using Sin City-like color filtering. This resulted in a stage play with fleshtone faces and food with black-and-white outfits, props, and backgrounds. Anything that could be black and white on stage was made so, with the exception of a pink dress that would be symbolic of the character's "being more full of life than anyone else in the story." Otherwise, viewers went to a stage play and felt like they were watching a black and white film. This approach has been criticized, however, as being "overly heavy-handed on design, and with little justification."

Not to be confused withEdit

This work was created around the same time that author Alexandra Erin created her story titled The Redundant Man Who Was Redundant. Alas, her work and this have nothing to do with each other apart from the name. There is also a site for the unemployed in Britain titled RedundantMan.com, which is not at all related to this story. GoHurbi.com's Frog Blog also includes a character named "Redundant Man-Man." (Note: the Frog Blog has nothing to do with Slushy the Bullfrog either.) There are possibly hundreds of variants of other unrelated Redundant Men, available to anyone with little more than a Google search.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Anonymous. "Review of The Adventurous Adventures of Redundant Man." National Playwriting Competition. Young Playwrights Festival. 2001.
  2. IBID
  3. IBID
  4. IBID

External linksEdit

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