IN CORPO (in development)
2017 - Workshop
2018 - Residency at the Atlantic Theater Company
2018 - Work-in-progress showing at Judson Church
2019 - Work-in-progress showing at WP
2020 - Work-in-progress showing at Theatre Row
2021 - Planned world premiere at Theatre Row
Created by Ben Beckley & Nate Weida
Music & Lyrics by Nate Weida
Book & Additional Lyrics by Ben Beckley
Directed by Jess Chayes
Scenic Design by Nic Benacerraf
Sound Design by Asa Wember
Costume Design by Kate Fry
Dramaturgy by Stephen Aubrey
Produced by Lucy Jackson
Associate Producer Emily Caffery
In Sector 13-G of Corpo, the world’s final corporation, employees no longer look at each other when they communicate. Corpo’s three distinct communications systems are driven by technology and created to maximize efficiency and profit. They're also, as our show opens, on the fritz, after a recently thwarted act of resistance. IN CORPO is a musical about communication--its limits, possibilities, and perils. How do we behave within an oppressive system--and what happens when that system breaks down?
IN CORPO draws freely from Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel The Castle, Herman Melville’s classic short story "Bartleby the Scrivener," and the artists' own experiences negotiating hellish bureaucracies and corporate “day jobs.” The common thread: a deep interest in the individual’s relationship to forces that curtail autonomy and limit self-expression, as well as the ways employees adapt to and against these forces through coping strategies and methods of resistance.
The show's near-futuristic office culture is defined in part through electronic music and the musical harmony of employees at work, while individual arias offer cathartic expressions of rage or hope. These songs invite us to dive into the fantasies that the characters harbor for their liberation, which eventually lead to an onstage revolt against impossible odds. As the system breaks down, the instrumentation transforms from electronic to acoustic. Throughout the show, we riff on the weird, dark humor of Melville and Kafka, as well as the autocratic absurdities of modern-day America.