Raja Feather Kelly | the feath3r theory’s The KILL ONE Race, a seven-episode game-play, premieres virtually at 7 PM June 4. The performance-based work is commissioned and produced by Playwrights Horizons, where it was created and filmed during the pandemic.
In the part-documentary, part-theatre, part-reality TV game show, the characters recreate a macabre game first envisioned in the fictional 1963 dystopian novel Kill One. Over the course of seven days, seven contestants compete to be proven the most ethical—and earn the singular prize of death.
“On broadcast television, 15 of the top 20 highest-rated programs among the younger adult group are reality or unscripted shows. Are we aware of the negative psychological effect, the insidious impact on our behavior, or the real estate this form occupies in our moral landscape?” posits Kelly. “ As we get more and more information from reality TV, we become more and more desirous of competition. People are willing to give up their families; they’re willing to give up their money; they’re willing to be embarrassed; what’s next? I believe that if we don’t start making fun of it and pointing a finger at it, the premise of these shows will soon be, ’who’s gonna be the first to die?’“
The KILL ONE Race is conceived, production designed, and directed by Kelly, whose recent credits include director of Young Jean Lee's We're Gonna Die at Second Stage, as well as choreographer for Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview at Soho Rep and Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop at Playwrights Horizons.
Kelly appears in the work alongside a cast including Chris Bell, Alexandra Giroux, Amy Hoang, Claire Gieringer, Jamen Nanthakumar, Alexander Paris, Fana Fraser, Rio Sofia, and Lucien Zayan.
The creative team includes Laura Snow as media producer and lead editor, CJ Ferroni as director of photography, with lighting design by Tuce Yasak, set design by You-Shin Chen, music by Remy Kurs, and creative architecture by Sophie Maguire. Brandi Holt is company manager, Colm Summers serves as assistant to director, and Iliya Vidrin and Jessi Stegall in place as ethics consultants. The series is co-produced by Snow and Kelly.
The series can be streamed at TheKillOneRace.com. Episodes 1 and 2 are available June 4, followed by Episodes 3 and 4 on June 7, Episode 5 on June 9, Episode 6 on June 11, and Episode 7 on June 12.