Month: May 2014

Production Begins…


THANK YOU to everyone who has joined us on this path! We’re overwhelmed by the level of support gravitating to this project, and we’re dedicated to living up to your faith in us.

Production has begun: from writing, to illustration, to set, mask, and costume design. Our partnering band, “Cash For Junkers” has started scoring the music, and we’ve had countless volunteers helping us as we experiment with prototypes and work through this campaign. This video update gives a taste of our process so far. And if that’s not enough flavor for you, here are a couple work-in-progress photos:

design-sketches old-clay-mold

We also bring an exciting announcement. Our cast for the theatrical installation has fallen into place. We proudly welcome actors Jeff Medley, Margi Cates, and Ann Peacock to the team!

We’ll bring you new artwork and more announcements over the next several days. For now we leave you with this image from the book. You’ve probably seen parts of it before, but here’s the first full page Theo drew, before we even had an idea what the story would be about.


Thank you all so much for kicking it with us as we work toward making Mystery Mark a reality.

Next Update: The Story behind the Story….

Mystery Mark Launches on Kickstarter

Kickstart Mystery Mark with us!

It all began when Theo Ellsworth met with Scott Morris and Josh Wagner in Charlie B’s to talk about doing a new show together. Theo already had the first illustrations. He brought them in two manilla envelopes that had a “?” written on the outside. “It’s a mystery mark,” Josh said, and the story’s title was born before any of them knew what it would be about.

Over the next few months Theo and Josh conspired with imagery, characters, and concepts until the story of Clay emerged in a process both creators describe as “organic and subconscious”. Theo kept working on illustrations as Josh transformed the concepts into a narrative. Three drafts of a play were written. As Scott worked out stage, mask, and puppet designs, director Rebecca Schaffer and dramaturge Kate Morris dove into conceptual development, and a first phase installation began to take shape.

Mystery Mark is a cartoon exorcism. It’s the story of Clay, a man who is being stalked by the star of his favorite childhood television show. Clay desperately wants to surgically alter his terrified facial expression because he thinks it will help him deal with his emotional problems. He just wants to get past his anxiety and settle into a normal life, but the voice in his head has different plans.

Mystery Mark will be the result of a collaboration between a wide variety of creators: writers, illustrators, designers, filmmakers, animators, actors, musicians, and masters of the organizational arts.

A Kickstarter Campaign has launched to help provide the resources we need to complete the book and theatrical installation:

The book: An 80-100 page illustrated novella with a full-color cover, written by Josh Wagner and illustrated by Theo Ellsworth. Funds will allow us to have the book professionally edited, designed, printed, and promoted.

The installation: A looping theatrical installation incorporates the main characters and themes from the story–with actors, masks, and puppets–and features an original score by long-time Missoula band, “Cash For Junkers”. Funding will support design, build, rehearsal space rental and other production costs including set pieces, costumes, masks, puppets, and props.

Mystery Mark will launch as part of the Missoula Fringe Festival in August, 2014. Following the debut, Viscosity plans to continue development and take this show on the road.