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Author(s): Duckface
Date(s): 2015-02-03
Length: 3689 words
Genre(s): multiverse, absurdism, metafiction, authorfic
Fandom(s): Homestuck
External Links: AO3, Archive link,

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THEATRE OF COOLTY is a Homestuck fanfic by Duckface. It is written in the style of a playscript and the Theatre of the Absurd. The summary contains references to the works of Milan Kundera and Tom Stoppard. Like its source canon and the genre it parodies, it is rife with allusions, repetitive and nonsensical dialogue, wordplay, existentialism, discussion of the concept (and debate over the definition and best use) of irony, and surreal and artificial behavior. It is often associated with Detective Pony. As of August 2022, it has more than 1,500 kudos, making it the most popular fic in the Dirk Strider/Dirk Strider tag.


The premise: four different versions of Dirk Strider meet in an odd liminal room, and must work out which of them created the situation they're in and what to do about it.



The fic also contains allusions to (incomplete list): (obviously) Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty, "Six Characters in Search of an Author," Star Trek episode "Wolf in the Fold," the Decameron, Roko's Basilisk, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, DC Comics's Crisis on Infinite Earths, "Un Chien Andalou," Schroedinger's Cat, Orwell's 1984, Barthes' death of the author, and Aristotle.

Theatre of Coolty (The Movie)

In July 2016, Naked Bee made a dramatic staging of the fic, Archived version which, like Wobblevision, used plastic dolls and miniature theatre sets. The video received high praise and is almost as prominent in the fandom as the original script version of the fic. As of June 2022, it has over 65,000 views on Youtube.

Fan Responses and Reviews

This is like the Rose version of SBaHJ. Which, incidentally, is pretty much the highest compliment possible for a work of fiction.

TheBigKahooner, 2016 [1]

Holy shit I literally just saw this and was about to post it. It is the greatest masterpiece of our time. Never again will we see the likes of such ingenuity and craftsmanship brought together in an ironic tragedy lampooning Hussie, his opus, and the theatre of the absurd all while accurately depicting and deconstructing the character(s) of Dirk. Fucking incredible is what it is.

LittleUggie, 2018 [1]

Every Homestuck should watch this weekly, if not daily. It should be the Talmud to Homestuck’s Torah.

dukeofriven, 2017 [2]

I’ve watched it several times already and I’m very fond of it. Everyone with 24 uninterrupted minutes to spare should give it a shot. It takes a fantastic fic and makes it truly surreal.

anthrop, 2018 [3]

yknow what fuck the epilogues it should just be a link to this masterpiece

corvid_teeth, 2019 [4]

Other Fandom






  1. ^ a b Theatre of Coolty (The Movie)" - I have no idea to describe what this is, just watch it., Archived version. A recommendation post to the Homestuck subreddit made by u/MrCheese with comments by others. Posted 2017. (Accessed 27 June 2022)
  2. ^ Every Homestuck should watch this weekly..., Archived version. Recommendation post on Tumblr by dukeofriven, with followup comments by others. Posted 21 December 2017. (Accessed 27 June 2022)
  3. ^ Did you know there's a YouTube video version of the Theater of Coolty?, Archived version. Tumblr Ask, posted 7 May 2018. Accessed 27 June 2022.
  4. ^ AO3 Comment, Archived version by corvid_teeth. Posted 18 April 2019. Accessed 2 August 2022.