THRILLRIDE MECHANICS LLC is the producing arm of Sara Toby Moore’s physical theatre/human cartoon troupe, comprised of celebrated directors, clowns, actors, composers and circus artists based in San Francisco, California, USA. This spirited, diverse company creates “restorative theatre,” a new kind of American clowning merging soulful, inclusive stories with the universal languages of music and pantomime: the clown’s opera! If love is the last great technology then it’s the clowns who’ll lead the way.
We offer a variety of productions, often accompanied by workshops, classes, talkbacks, and team-building adventures for both the corporate and non-profit worlds. We believe in the power of play and imagination and the idea that we all have within us the ability to restore our sense of innocence, enchantment, wonder and truth.
We are thrilled to be Residents in Clown at Z-Space Theatre in San Francisco!
For inquiries contact: email@example.com
A shiny reboot of the sold-out “sneak preview” that appeared under the title Atomic Clown at San Francisco’s Potrero Stage in fall of 2019.
A 70-minute thrillride of a show, it’s a genderqueer musical fantasia based on real events in Toby’s life: loss of a parent, cancer, and a heart-shattering breakup - in other words, real comedy!
Toby leads a cast of four of San Francisco’s most hilarious physical comics, with a special appearance by Sharon Gless and directed by the infectiously hilarious Sean Owens.
Forthcoming LIMITED RUN World Premiere:
San Francisco, CA
June 30, July 1, 6, 7, and 8
the Atomic comics
Adjacent to the production of Atomic Comic is The Atomic Comics, the community outreach & education arm of Thrillride Mechanics. The Atomic Comics is a newly formed collective based on the art and practice of “fusion clowning,” a combination of physical and verbal comedy, the process through which we construct our signature clown operas and comic fantasias. We do this work with a joyous commitment to diversity with an emphasis on the intergenerational, bringing together elders and teens and everyone in-between to create and perform buoyant, entertaining performances that are equal parts hilarious and soulful. To that end, Sara Toby Moore was recently awarded a $50,000 Arts Impact Endowment Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.
PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT
HUMAN CARTOONS, OR, THE D3
The D3 is the newest forthcoming creation from San Francisco’s Thrillride Mechanics troupe (Show Ho, Atomic Comic, The Supers, Wunderworld). With an all-star cast of skilled physical comics, singers and audience improvisers The D3 are three lovable morons who descend on a stage or warehouse space and enact their ridiculous fantasies, from becoming a choir to dueling in rolling La-Z Boy recliners, to garbling operatic arias, to launching a pie catapult. There’s also sweet comic poignancy around the pandemic, involving ladders & windows and where we go from here! Sonic wonders abound, too, musically and within a dynamic soundscape that acts as its own catapult for these delightful antics. This is funny stuff. The production also doubles as a training tool for the art of physical comedy & clowning. Starring Maureen McVerry, DeMarcello Funes and Toby.
Director: Colin Johnson
Poor wild-eyed, crazy-haired Beatrice is today’s Eleanor Rigby. A manic, super germaphobe who begins the show entirely covered in plastic wrap that ties her to her multi-purpose chair. Beatrice’s mouth and eyes are the only parts of her that are not wrapped. Employing the “D3” model, two other cast members bombard Beatrice with all manner of potentially terrifying germ-y prospects, causing her all kinds of physically comic dilemmas. Her special chair is outfitted with arm rests which open up on demand, producing rubber-gloved hands that offer everything from drinks to remote controls to popcorn to exercise routines to weapons. The chair’s head rest also opens to produce nonsensical items like a parasol or a head massage or confetti. Her apartment is also outfitted with a series of large, hard plastic tubes that she can crawl through, and get stuck in, to get to the door or move from one area of the place to another: rather like a “Habitrail” used for hamsters or gerbils, but human sized. Eventually her own catastrophizing imagination in the form of the annoying visits from outsiders convinces Beatrice to unwrap and boy howdy when she does, all hell breaks loose. Freedom from fear of Covid becomes a thing of the past and Beatrice discovers she is a rock star.
The cosmology of cyclone 23
If ever I had a passion project this is IT. Another human animation opera bathed in a huge comic concept: that amusement rides and those that fix them are responsible for the identities and enchantment of the human race. The problem is that all of the thrill ride mechanics have fallen down on the job and become radicalized in their own cults all over the world, so it’s up to two lonesome hero mechanics to fight the windmills of wacky conspiracies and wonky belief systems, some of which are screamingly funny. For instance, our heroes discover that the former mechanics of Blackpool Pleasure Beach on the northwest coast of England, home of the most holy of all rollercoasters, Cyclone #23, have descended into slothful madness. Calling themselves The Utopolumps, they have deduced that the most pleasurable way of spending their lives is by sitting in a bar consuming beer and buffalo wings and watching alternating sports broadcasts and drag shows. This is, to them, utopia. But their slothful ways and neglect of the rides at Blackpool produced Boris Johnson as a world leader! Clearly the same thing happened here in America in 2016. Part Don Quixote adventure tale, part musical fantasia, and all human animation!