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An Artistic X-Ray: Adam Stone and Screw Tooth

Adam Stone performing as The Indestructible North.

Adam Stone at a prom, but not his own.

ScrewTooth fundraiser performance with Adam Stone and Andrew Novick.

Denver's new theater company Screw Tooth is genre-defying, experimental and brutally honest, just the way Founder and Artistic Director Adam Stone wants it. Show #1.5, 2GD2B4G-10 (that's alphanumeric for "too good to be forgotten") starts Dec. 13 at Buntport Theater in the Art District on Santa Fe.
Screw Tooth Artistic Director Adam Stone will take the stage solo for his new original comedy, 2GD2B4G-10, a dramatic departure from the 17-member cast featured in his production company's first show, Some Kind of Fun.
Stone, the 27-year-old multimedia master, musician and maverick in Denver's creative scene, announced in February the inception of his new production company, Screw Tooth, for which he is sharing space with Buntport Theater Company at 717 Lipan St. 
The first of four shows this season, Some Kind of Fun, enjoyed a three-week run in late August, and since Stone has taken the last few months to co-write the follow-up with New York-based writer Chessy Normile.
Screw Tooth Show #1.5, 2GD2B4G-10  (that's alphanumeric for "too good to be forgotten"), is the first of Screw Tooth's half-integer shows. It will be a shorter-run, original work that, according to Stone, allows for "experimental collaborations and alternative formats." 2GD2B4G-10 is slated for a four-evening run, Dec. 13, 14, 20 and 21.
"The way the half-integer shows work is to take some element -- be it the imagery, concept or even a single bit of text -- from the corresponding whole integer show that preceded it, and explore it in a new way, or go further with it," Stone explained, sharing his intention to play with new processes and new media. "With Show #1.5, it's taking the idea of self-exhibition in the context of a live performance and exploring it in an almost opposite manner."
Perhaps that abstract description from the writer/actor himself wouldn't be so curiously titillating had Some Kind of Fun
"I'm excited by people," says Screw Tooth Artistic Director Adam Stone. "I love to research and build and make things on my own, but the times I feel most energized are when I'm in dialogue with collaborators."
not aimed for a "360-degree experience inside the mind itself: creating, becoming, destroying, rebuilding, composing, consuming, childishly tormenting, reeling, reveling, dreaming and seeing."
But to follow #1 -- the sensory feast in which audience members sat on small, white stools and two-person, black benches in the midst of the action, while actors, music and film continuously and chaotically competed for attention from all angles and sides -- 2GD2B4G-10 will examine a "man with very little depth … in the year of the selfie," in a less elaborate format. 
"Where Show #1 put a single character's 'self' on display by using a large cast, 360-degree, heavily designed set and constant overstimulation with sound and action and video, Show #1.5 uses a single performer and a more focused performance area," Stone says.
With this tighter space and a singular character, Stone describes 2GD2B4G-10 as "a one-man museum." The performance will include two video cameras with "a few Skyped-in friends," but otherwise Stone will be alone onstage to unpack the "perils of 2013."
As opposed to the first survey of an artist haunted by the characters he has created and their puzzling evolution in his head -- Stone considers 2GD2B4G-10 more humorous.
"The premise has an inherent absurdity," Stone says. "No question it is, in many ways, a comedy. Chessy is an incredible writer of comedy, and for the show to work, it needs to have a lot of humor in it. The show taking itself too seriously would be deadly in terms of achieving what it aims to."

A collaborative approach
Stone says that an overarching desire for all of his artistic contributions is that they are "generous." He calls the Denver art community "supportive," and says he's pleased with his peers' eagerness to collaborate.
"I'm excited by people," he says. "I love to research and build and make things on my own, but the times I feel most energized are when I'm in dialogue with collaborators. And by dialogue, I mean everything from brainstorming with co-writers to the director-performer rehearsal process, to exquisite corpse drawings and more."
And, no, "corpse drawings" isn't a typo. To paint a more vivid picture of Stone's art: For a future project, he is asking visitors of his website to "Describe hell," and goes on to ask, "What is your 'hell?'"
When Stone is not directing, his solo music project, The Indestructible North, features lyrics such as: "I am bullet stopping building crashing weapon … I don't feel anger, panic, envy or aggression, yes, I could fly and could withstand the fires of hell."

Art without boundaries
Moving forward, another Stone side project is a collective art magazine he's compiling and calling Slug Tooth, Pile 1, the theme of which is "Butterfly Teeth & Hospital Meat." He's asked for submissions of visual works including: drawings, doodles, comics, photographs, collages, illustrations and paintings from local artists.
Judging by the wildly diverse nature of Stone's artistic endeavors, it seems unlikely that the creative explorer will be slowing or sticking to a single show, project or medium anytime soon.
Stone explains that the name Screw Tooth derives from the X-ray photo that is his profile picture on the Screw Tooth Facebook page. He calls it "the most honest photograph I have of myself." 
And honesty is something he demands from his artistic collaborators. "Everyone who gets involved is asked, first and foremost, to approach the work starting from a point of what truly excites and engages them within the given project's context, and then we go from there."

Read more articles by Gigi Sukin.

Gigi Sukin is a Denver-based writer-editor. She currently works as an editor at ColoradoBiz and previously worked as an editorial intern at 5280.
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