By Mitchell Botting and David Bowers-Mason
Presented by Tempest Theatre Co
Since joining Do Be Us—a totally normal, not-a-pyramid-scheme company—Eric has been their rising star. Sure, his apartment is filled with out-of-season products he’s not allowed to sell anymore. Yes, he’s in massive debt from all the seminars he’s totally not forced to attend and to also buy memorabilia from. And of course, his father is sick and they’re not on speaking terms, but out of all their salesmen Eric is drowning in the shallowest waters, so silver linings and all that.
So tonight, with all those pressures totally not on his mind, it’s Eric’s time to shine. He’s got twenty chairs left to sell to you the audience before the end of the day, and if he does, he’s been promised a promotion. What that promotion entails? Great question, Eric doesn’t know either. He’s just happy it comes with a company car (that he leases from them).
Co-creators David Bowers-Mason and Mitchell Botting say their inspiration for the show came from how business tactics used in companies that are, or border on becoming, illegal, never seem too far removed from other industries that profit from individual suffering.
Through exploring the ethics and hierarchies within MLMs, the show interrogates how even if you’ve done everything right, everything that’s asked of you, you can still fail. How MLMs seek out and target vulnerable people and use their cult of positivity and unrelenting salesmanship to systematically remove said people from their support networks. So that, once isolated, they can drain them of all their money and throw away the husk.
With whacky satire, a sardonic attitude, and earnest compassion, this dark comedy aims directly at structural issues of power and money. How, if someone dangles these things just out of arms reach, people can lose their better judgement.