After nearly two years of wondering and researching this mysterious promo photo from BART, playwrights have uncovered it’s origins.
Pegged to be a horror film still taken from within the BART station on Mission Street, the Library of Congress have finally uncovered its origins. Michael Sullivan, resident playwright for the city’s venerable political theater company the SF Mime Troupe, tells KTVU that the still is actually a promotional photo for the Mime Troupe production The Great Air Robbery. The story itself sets a sci-fi detective noir tone staged in 1974 and set in a dystopian future where breathable air becomes the world’s most valuable commodity.
The play was also known for its unique casting in a predominately 70’s acting atmosphere, UC Davis theater professor, Theodore Shank, believes this to be true: “The Great Air Robbery had a black hero even though it did not focus on a specifically working-class issue. In this parody of a television detective story, Ray Von is hired by Hugh G. Magnum, an oil capitalist, to protect one of his inventors, Violent Mince. When Ray Von goes to her house and discovers her dead, he vows to find her killer.”
Other critics were skeptical of the play’s eye for naiveness: “We have a reference to “Rockefeller, D.C,” and an all‐too‐typical joke comes when a character says: “Charge it to my master‐race card,” says Clive Barnes, A New York Times critics from the early 70’s.
But hey, what’s in the past is in the past—but we would def wanna see this play in action today.