Brilliant! The Blinding Enlightenment of Nikola Tesla

September 6-14, 1996
Vancouver Fringe Festival

Brilliant! The Blinding Enlightenment of Nikola Tesla is an explosive, extradimensional and alarmingly theatrical exploration of one of the most formidable inventing minds of the past one hundred years. The story, set in turn of the century New York, chronicles the career of Nikola Tesla, the inventor of alternating current, whose work in the field of electricity ushered-in the modern age.

In Tesla’s Victorian world we see a reflection of our modern times: a world where new technology dazzles and fascinates with its promises while at the same time threatens, provoking social paranoia with its unknown implications for humanity. Brilliant! explores the human impulse for creation, as well the loneliness and isolation of an inventive mind that dreams at a scale too large for its time.

The story employs a remarkable range of theatrical language: a silent film is performed live on stage, detailing Tesla’s frenetic work in his desert laboratory. Acrobatic choreography utilizes a sphere five feet in diameter to symbolize the extraordinary vision that ultimately overwhelms the inventor. A choral piece consisting entirely of numbers gives voice to Tesla’s compulsive calculations, as he obsessively cleans cutlery before dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. At times the cast members fly on stage as a flock of pigeons who later in life became his only companions.

Brilliant! is the Electric Company’s most produced show to date, playing to sold-out crowds at festivals and main stages in Canada, the United States, and Scotland.



The Georgia Straight

“The young artists of the Electric Company display a dizzying theatrical vocabulary.”

The Georgia Straight

Herald Scotland

“With considerable charm and an abundance of invention, the Electric Company’s perfectly counterpointed quartet of actors bounce ideas off each other in dizzingly abstract fashion.”

The Herald, Edinburgh

Vancouver Courier

“This is an all-out orgy of sight and sound.”

Vancouver Courier



Best Professional Production

San Francisco Bay Area Top Ten Shows

Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition, Small Theatre (Attila Clemann)
Outstanding Set Design, Small Theatre (Craig Hall)
Outstanding Lighting Design, Small Theatre (Adrian Muir)
Outstanding Original Play or Musical, Small Theatre
Outstanding Production, Small Theatre