“Why Star Trek?” asks Christina Allaback, an adjunct theater professor at the University of Oregon. “Why not Star Trek?”
Allaback is speaking about Trek Theatre, a new company aiming to bring stage works inspired by Star Trek: The Next Generation to Eugene’s growing theater scene. After a popular run in Eugene this summer, and drawing inspiration in part from Portland’s successful Trek in the Park (which stages episodes of the original series), Trek Theatre currently is rallying support for its second show with a fundraiser Dec. 11 at Sam Bond’s. The troupe is hosting the fundraiser to keep Trek Theatre performances free to the public.
Allaback is the group’s artistic director, and she’s sending out word to local Trekkies about this latest voyage, as it were, of the starship Enterprise. “We are a brand new group,” she says of Trek Theatre, which is seeking nonprofit status. “We performed one show in Sladden Park this summer and it was such a success, we want to take it to the next level.”
The next level involves an upcoming performance based on the Next Gen episode “Measure of a Man,” which, says Allaback, “brings up lots of human rights issues we are dealing with currently and have dealt with as a society” — like due process of the law and self-determination. The troupe, she adds, hopes to partner with other nonprofits, like the American Civil Liberties Union or Amnesty International, to raise awareness through their performances.
But what about bringing all those whiz-bang special effects to the stage? “I totally believe that science fiction can be performed as live theater successfully,” Allaback says, and especially a show like The Next Generation, which “is some of the best television ever written. It’s not just phasers and aliens … although that’s a lot of fun, too.”
For now, however, Allaback and the Trek Theatre crew, which includes founder Chris Anglin, are busy drumming up awareness and support for this bold new move into stage futurama. The fundraiser will feature sci-fi themed belly dancing, a “Trek Trivia” contest, a raffle and live soul music by The Soul Restoration Project.
For further information about this and upcoming Trek Theater events, visit the troupe’s Facebook page.