The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance will present Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, opening February 16 at 7:30 p.m. Performances will be held in Westhoff Theatre and will run through February 24.

This imaginative dark comedy explores how stories change to fit the needs of the time. Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, follows a group of survivors as they cope with the collapse of civilization by piecing together the plot of the The Simpsons episode “Cape Feare” from memory. The second act features the same group, now a theatrical troupe, seven years later, with the final act skipping ahead to humanity an additional 75 years in the future. Like a game of telephone, the episode’s retelling transforms from one era to the next, adopting pieces of popular culture, and eventually morphing into musical pageant performances that are more legendary than cartoon.

Burns is a play about storytelling,” Director Kristin L. Schoenback said. “It addresses the idea that the stories we tell truly infiltrate our lives in every way—not only shaping us individually, but building and shaping our culture and society. This play examines the way stories evolve to fulfill changing cultural needs, how casual storytelling evolves into theater, and theater evolves into ritual.”

Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play runs February 16, 17, and 20–24 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on February 17 and 18 at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in Westhoff Theatre.

For tickets or more information, please contact the College of Fine Arts Box Office, which is located in the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts is open 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday, at (309) 438-2535, or purchase tickets online by visiting Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Free performance parking is available in the School Street Parking Deck in spots 250 and above, at 400 W. Beaufort St. in Normal.