The controversial stage play No Pictures Please is now live on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site. It is a satire that includes an actor playing the role of the Prophet Muhammad, which makes it unsuitable for traditional theater. Doug Shear, the creator of the stage play, plans to raise at least $52,000 in order to stage & film a single production of the Islamic satire.
No Pictures Please is a satire of free speech & Islam, and includes an actor playing the role of the Prophet Muhammad. This is deeply offensive to many Muslims and has, in the past, provoked acts of violence.
For that reason, No Pictures Please is unsuitable for traditional theater. The security costs alone make it untenable.
According to Doug Shear, “Keeping the cast and crew safe during rehearsals, as well as members of the audience during the actual event, makes the stage play financially unfeasible to produce more than once.”
His Indiegogo project, therefore, is to stage & film a single production of the play. The campaign’s goal is to raise $52,000 to cover the cost of the stage play, the film and a subsequent documentary.
The original premise is that a group of actors are forced to perform in front of a Terrorist, who threatens to blow up the entire theater if he finds their play to be too offensive. The audience is brought into the play at the very beginning, when they are unsure if the Terrorist is for real, or an actor playing a part.
A satirical song and dance by an actor playing the part of the Prophet Muhammad pushes the Terrorist over the edge.
“I don’t want to reveal what happens next,” Doug insists, “until after the project is fully funded.”
Doug believes the campaign will gain significant support from individuals angry about the self-censorship that is prevalent in the creative community when it comes to Islam, and particularly the Prophet Muhammad.
“It makes no sense that Muhammad is off limits,” Doug said. “Every other religious leader, living or dead, is fair game. So really this project is about free speech. I believe people who support free speech will support No Pictures Please.”
When Doug first showed the play to several friends, as well as colleagues in the Theater industry, the reaction was intense.
“There is definitely a fear factor involved,” said Doug. “Most of my advisors prefer to remain anonymous. Even my best friends told me they would not attend the production.”
But he believes their concerns are overstated. “This is not a high visibility, international event like Charlie Hebdo or Pamella Geller. And while it may be offensive, it is not anti-Muslim. It is anti-censorship.”
He expects to receive a significant amount of support from progressive Muslim-Americans who have a good sense of humor and are against censorship.
“Most people don’t like it when we make fun of their religions, but we all put up with it. The Muslims are no different. They are learning to be more tolerant and this will help them along. A nice, big helping.”
Still, according to one Anonymous Advisor, “the first advice we gave Doug was not to do it.”
Doug launched the campaign on March 29, which will run for exactly two weeks. He believes it is a terrific opportunity for people to demonstrate their commitment to free speech, support a creative project, and get some unbelievable Perks.
In addition to books and posters, Perks include Camel Pads, Muhammad Wine Openers, Fidel Castro Voodoo Dolls and 72 Virgins for all eternity.
The campaign can be found by going to the Indiegogo website and searching for No Pictures Please, or by using the direct link No Pictures Please.
Doug Shear is the author of two books. The first one, Rhubarb Culture, is about a Survivalist and his Suicidal Lover who match wits with the obese Leader of a New Age Suicide Cult.
His second book, American Karma – Twilight of the Marijuana Gods, is a memoir that chronicles his transformation from a hippie to a pyramid scheme salesman to a panhandler who finds redemption in a crack house of Satan-worshipping heroin addicts.
He is also featured in a compilation of Lip Service Stories spoken word performances published in a book called BadAss.
Just recently his monologue Escort Wanted was directed and performed by two different directors and actors at the New Theatre Festival in Miami.
His stage play, Saint Peter at the Gate, was produced in Toronto, Canada and Boca Raton, Florida.
Doug also wrote and performed A Loophole in Law of Karma at the Life Out Loud event in Ybor City, Florida, as well as three performances at the Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables, Florida.
Doug may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.