"Unleashed: An Online Social Experiment"

James Carrey, Casey Casperson, Clay Cartland, Shawn Burgess and Nori Tecosky. (Nicole Stoddard, courtesy / December 17, 2012)

James Carrey's first full-length play, "Unleashed: An Online Social Experiment," was conceived on his Facebook page.

That comedy is having its world premier at Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale through Dec. 29 with Carrey's newly minted Crashbox Theatre Company.

"I had been doing improv for like 11 years," explains the Sunrise resident. "I got this idea to do this Facebook event…where people randomly send in lines of dialogue to be used in a play later. I thought I was going to write these little 10-minute things and I ended up writing a 93-page play. It was the absurdity of the lines I liked."

The two lines that sparked his imagination were: "I hope you are enjoying the lake view, it was much nicer when Dave was around," and "And that is why you don't put Gummy Bears in your chili you a------."


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From there Carrey wrote about two friends, Alain and Kaspar, staying at a lake house over one weekend. Alain invites a prostitute over as the subject of a magazine article, and to cheer up Kaspar in the wake of his failing marriage. Things spiral out of control with strange noises, falling objects and phantom growls as the show explores reality TV, haunted houses, porn, cooking shows, magicians, missionaries, prostitution and self-serve yogurt.

“I didn’t want to write another ‘American Pie’ or ‘Eurotrip,’” says Carrey. “I wanted something with more heart than that. I ask my self all the time: How did I go from something so funny and silly to writing the most personal thing I’ve ever written in my life? I tell everyone that if the play sucks, blame Facebook.”

"Unleashed" runs through Dec. 29 at Empire Stage at 1140 N. Flagler Drive, Fort Lauderdale. Showtimes 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sat. Dec. 29. Tickets $25 adults, $15 students and seniors at Unleashed.BrownPaperTickets.com or 954-678-1496.