The Side Project’s “Push Button Murder” – All About Drones


“Push Button Murder” takes us into an imagined stateside bunker where two burned out air force grunts sit by monitors and consoles to direct drones worldwide on intelligence and warfare missions.   They are bored and working 60-hour stints.  Their targets are global.  Their antipathy is largely aimed at the intelligence people “upstairs” who give them their missions. 



The story unfolds in two ways.  First, an outsider sent from the powers above comes to the drone bunker with an unclear agenda. 



At the same time we meet recently downsized teachers who are up against the wall as they find themselves unemployable. 



The soldiers in the bunker unravel, or rather, show us just how unraveled they already are. 



The teachers on the outside get radicalized and want to put their energies into an Occupy movement with more teeth.   The unfortunate visitor to the bunker gets more than he bargained for—but to give details would be a spoiler.


This is a script (by Stephen J. Spencer) driven by ideology and seemingly weighted down by it.   At times the dialogue is taken over by long expositions of what we can assume are the playwright’s views of the geopolitical realities of the day. 


In the coming years it’s likely we will all start marveling at things like package deliveries by drones from Amazon.  If that alone creeps you out this is probably a very good play for you to see.  


Coming our way soon is also a world where the US monopoly on military drones is a thing of the past.  Through that lens “Push Button Murder” may soon seem prophetic.


Directed by Ronan Marra, the cast (Andrew Bailes, Derek Garza, Kasia Januszewski, Amy Johnson, Meredith Rae Lyons, and Ben Veatch) does an admirable job at holding our attention and working with the script at hand.


Now through February 8, 2015.


The Side Project

1439 West Jarvis, Chicago


For tickets or information visit The Side Project website or call 773 340 0140.




Photos:  Scott Dray


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