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The Intergalactic Nemesis’ to flip through mediums of storytelling at the Wexner Center

Courtesy of The Intergalactic Nemesis

“The Intergalactic Nemesis” blends radio, theater and comic books into a live-action graphic novel stage show. Three actors provide the audio to a two-story-tall comic book, telling the tale of normal characters thrown into an extraordinary situation.

“It makes it fun to perform knowing we’re the only ones out there,” said sound effects designer Buzz Moran, adding that, to his knowledge, there’s no other show with a format like “Intergalactic Nemisis.”

“Intergalactic Nemesis” is scheduled to be performed at 7 p.m. Friday at the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Mershon Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for Wexner Center members and $18 for the general public.

It tells the story of Molly Sloan, a prize-winning reporter who stumbles across what director Jason Neulander called “the story of the century.”

“The story is that Earth is about to be invaded by sludge monsters from the planet Zygon,” Neulander said. “This story is about me getting into my own personal 12-year-old (self).”

“Intergalactic Nemesis” grew out of a coffee house radio play put on by Neulander and his friends in 1996.

“(It) was very quick and dirty, very different from what it is now. But in the creating of that project, I personally fell in love with the characters,” Neulander said.

Shelly Casto, director of education at the Wexner Center, saw the show at a performing arts showcase in Austin.

“I’m not a particular comic book fan or alien fan. I didn’t expect it to be a show that would appeal to me, but it won me over right away,” Casto said. “It’s hilarious, excellent acting skills, really unique format and it’s a lot of fun.”

The show has only three actors, who voice the characters. A keyboardist performs the music live on stage, and Moran makes the sound effects.

“The funnest (sound) to do is the five-tone musical tubes,” Moran said. “They’re corrugated tubes that you whirl around over your head to make a musical sound. We call them whammy tubes. There are two of them, one cut shorter than the other to give a different tone, and I whirl them at the same time. It’s the sound effect for the villain of the show’s mind powers.”

Moran said revealing the villain’s powers isn’t a spoiler.

“It happens right when we meet him,” he said.

Moran was the sound effects artist for the show when it was formerly only a radio play in Austin, but he has stuck with the show throughout its ascent.

“On again, off again, we stuck with it,” Neulander said. “It started to get a little bit of a following, and I brought the evolved version of the project into the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, a 2,400 seat theater. It was extremely flattering to be invited to do that, but I felt like the venue was way too big for watching a radio play.”

Looking for a way to adapt the show to larger audiences, Neulander turned to a comic book artist, thinking about making a comic book from the show.

“While we were working on that, I got the idea: What if we took the comic book art and put it up on a huge screen to visual spectacle that can fill a hall that big?” Neulander said.

After stopping in Columbus on Friday, “Intergalactic Nemesis” is scheduled to visit theaters across the United States, Canada and Scotland.

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