Restoration Dogs is a transformative work with aspects of parody of the cult film Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino 1992). This work-in-progress is both visually stunning, and an outrageously fresh 'genre-mixing' approach to storytelling. We're using a well known film style and blending it with a well established theatrical style to create a new experience for the audience.

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In this re-imagined story , eight criminals plot to steal the Crown Jewels of King Charles II . The setting is London 1671. The text is mostly in verse. The period is known as the 'Restoration'. The story is told in part, by the two town gossips. Although the identity of these rogues is not known to each other, we find that there is a 'rat' within their midst. This action is played out with the high-style and language of Restoration Comedy with all its witty wordplay, transforming this parody into a new comedic perspective on "It's all been done before."

Originally this work started out as a writing exercise, as the opening scene only. I called it the 'Assumption of the Virgin scene' a parody of the opening of Quentin Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs (1992). I passed it to a few friends to see if they would get the humor and references. I figured if they got it and laughed I might have something here as a creative endeavor. They did and I was encouraged to continue my exercise. Having performed as an Actor, and written some small scenes and papers in the style of Restoration Comedy and Moliere, I discovered that I had a talent for writing verse. More importantly, I enjoyed it. In total, a full eighty percent of the work is in verse. Not one word is the same as the brilliant original film.

I finished the first draft of the stage play Restoration Dogs in a few weeks. I've held two staged readings (one at The Sacred Fools Theater in Los Angeles). The play has been re written several times, and the 'Town Gossip Ladies' were added to give it a 'Greek chorus feel' because the original film has the aspect of a Greek tragedy, as well as creating the ability to have the Ladies characters comment on the action like the actors of the Restoration stage did with asides to the audience. Also added, were many other famous film references through the filter of verse and heightened language the classical text offers. It has always been my goal to create a transformative work through the social commentary that parody provides. Restoration Dogs takes the high-style of the Restoration Comedy of the 17th century English stage and power-mixes that with a 20th century 'cult-crime' drama giving new life to both.

What does 'transformative' mean? in this work it means to change the form, condition, and character. It glorifies the original work by homage and creates a new tradition. Combined with parody it creates social commentary by fairly using the original and transforming it into a new work. Most all parodies, re-makes, or even re-imagined works are a derivative of an original work. I think of Picasso's version of Da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa.' Re-imagined visual art to be certain. In theater and film, the work or story is usually from the past set in the present, future, or some nebulous time period. It is then considered to be updated, refreshed or a 're-make' of the original work. The setting in some way has been altered and changed. In the Theatre world, the stage works of 'Shake-speare' are often cited, King Lear is set during the U.S. Civil War, Richard III or Julius Caesar is set in contemporary times or Nazi Germany, or Arthur Miller's All My Sons is staged to reflect new perspectives after 9/11. Of course many films are re-made to take advantages of properties owned and the new technology in realistic effects, and new actors in familiar roles for a new generation. As for parodies; the overwhelming are short pieces, playing off recognition long enough to elicit humor as their only goal. Think Saturday Night Live.

I've searched to find any story that was blended with some historical fact, set 350 years in the past and takes two different genres and mediums and brings both to life together. This makes Restoration Dogs an exciting new work. The Restoration theatre, especially the comedies, permanently changed theater history and influenced that generation. Quentin Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs has achieved respected cult status and has also influenced a generation. My art as a Writer, Producer and Filmmaker is to use that recognition to open up an audience to perhaps a 'new' time period and genre with it's own social customs that parallel our experience today.

Just as Restoration Dogs is a transformative work, so too it may transform. The aspects of parody are used for humorous effect to be sure, but just as the characters are different, so too are the deeper meanings of their world. We may as an audience be transported to another time and place and see it for the first time and perhaps understand it deeper. In a time when the future feels uncertain, the past offers some valued perspective. An old story told in a new way is a new story. All art is an expression to elicit human emotion and to stimulate a response. All artistic growth in any medium requires its character and conditions to change.

In this scene below, Sir Chartreuse (played by Fee Waybill) admires himself prior to the jewel heist at the tower in Restoration Dogs.

In this scene from the play Restoration Dogs, Colin Martin plays Sir Or'ange who is dying for 'his' King Charles II in 1671.

Restoration Dogs script and music (sound recordings) is registered with Writer's Guild of America (WGA/w) and protected under U.S Copyright(s). Restoration Dogs is a registered trademark. Copyright 2012 The Silver Stage Productions and Manxman Films.