What is "Mysterious Theatre 337"?
Basic information and early history about the show

By Steven Hill

The year was 1996. The upcoming convention was HME/Visions'96, the seventh annual Doctor Who/etc convention in Rosemont, Illinois. The Visions dance had seen dwindling attendance over the past few years, and it was felt that a replacement was needed. I had discussions with Jennifer Adams Kelley about what to do with it; I had been Visions dance DJ since its beginning and was also ready to call it a day. Instead of trying to find ways of changing the dance, I suggested a wholesale replacement with something completely different.

At the time I and my friends Dave Broucek and Rick Kellerman were heavily into Mystery Science Theater 3000. Quite simply, my suggestion was to present a live MST3000-style show using Doctor Who stories as source material. I got the tentative go-ahead and recruited Dave and Rick, as well as Robert Warnock, to help me create and perform the show.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 was the brainchild of Joel Hodgson, an extremely talented creative engine from Minnesota. The show began as a local broadcast on KTMA and eventually became an important award-winning show for Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel (and now Netflix). The concept was simple: a man is stranded on an orbiting space station as a part of a sceintific experiment by a mad scientist. He is forced to watch bad movies, and his reactions are observed. To cope with the situation, he builds himself a few robot pals, and together they make fun of the bad movies by cracking wise at them.

Our concept was stripped down quite a bit, because we weren't prepared to do robot puppetry. In the end, it just became the four of us sitting in front of the screen. (See the "past shows" section for more background on our first show and some of the ideas we considered.)

For our first show, we were nervous about a few things... most importantly, we were concerned that the audience would decide that their participation was warranted. So the disclaimers were made quite clear: What MT337 is not is an audience participation show. The show itself is a carefully scripted, timed and rehearsed performance. As it turns out, participation hasn't really been much of a problem.

These days we regularly present a new show at both the Chicago TARDIS convention (Chicago area, annually in November) and the Gallifrey One convention (Los Angeles area, annually in February), thanks to our hosts Shaun Lyon for Gallifrey One and, well, me for Chicago TARDIS, as of 2017 (formerly Jennifer Kelley). If you're having a convention (preferably Doctor Who or MST3000-related) and would like us to consider performing a show, please don't hesitate to drop us a line.


"Mysterious Theatre 337" is not associated with Mystery Science Theater 3000, Best Brains, BBC Worldwide or any other entity.
Shows are live and are not presented for profit. We do it for fun and 'cuz we're "just big geeks!"
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