Thursday, December 31, 2015

Q&A with 2016 Writer-in-Residence, Annette Storckman

To ring in the new year, Spicy Witch Productions sat down for a little Q&A with our 2016 Writer-in-Residence, Annette Storckman, to chat about her upcoming play, Bonesetter: A Tragislasher, adapted for Spicy Witch Productions from The Revenger's Tragedy. Read on to learn about Annette's decision to adapt The Revenger's Tragedy; her creative opinions on blood; and her historical marry, boff, kill.

Q: Bonesetter is part Tragedy, part Slasher play. In your opinion, what is the most theatrical Classic Slasher Flick?

Oof, hard question right out of the gate. I'd say, Hellraiser 3. Sorry-- the Hellraiser movies are not technically slasher movies.
Okay, classic slasher movie.... the most theatrical would be Nightmare on Elmstreet. The Spicy Witch girls know I have a thing about this movie, but between the claws, the getting lifted into the air and slashed to death, and just the larger-than-life attitude of the film, I'd say it's the most theatric.
But ...... Hellraiser 3. 

Q: We love your mature writing but we all started somewhere. Have you ever written something you're not proud of, something that could be deemed "tragic"-ally bad?

Oh, yes definitely. When I first decided I was going to focus on playwriting in college, I was working closely with this one professor on researching "black masking" (mainly black face minstrelsy, with a focus on the relationship between the Irish and the Black community between the US and England). As part of this research, we were workshopping little scenes about the Lower East Side, which we were also trying to do with the Tenement Museum. Anyway, my writing at that time was far from mature (the internalized knowledge of how to tell a story, for example, was nonexistent), and in writing a small race relations play like that made me go pretty saccharine. It was about this Irish family doing their laundry with a family from the Indies. We rehearsed and filmed some of it with professional actors, and I'm amazed any of them still speak to me because that scene was amazingly terrible. I was going for "laundry = learned tolerance", what I got was vomit inducing babble. 

Q: What is a TV show you plan to start watching?

Fargo! I hear it's awesome!

Q: If blood weren't red, what new color would you change it to?

Blue. Blood should always be a primary color, and if blood were blue we might be able to dismantle our bloated class structure. Right?? RIGHT??? [yes, I know the phrase "blue blood" probably wouldn't exist if people already had blue blood. What do you want from me? PERFECTION? I guess they'd say "red blood" for royals, and it would be crazy. You ever seen that Doctor Who episode about parallel universes???.... *babbles for days*]
Also blue blood would just LOOK good. 

Q: Who is a playwright you admire?

So many! Tom Stoppard was a big influence for me when I first got very into playwriting (he's also the reason my fiancĂ© and I ever really spoke to each other, so thanks Tom!). But I'm in love with Martin McDonagh. I don't want to shock you, but I love humor and horror in the same piece. I think he's hilarious and a darn good yarn-spinner. "The Pillow Man" should be a bible for anyone who wants to know how to construct a story. But all of my favorite new plays are by Annie Baker (who made me feel okay about being a slow writer), Amy Herzog, Anne Washburn and Sarah Ruhl (the heavy hitters). 

Q: How did you first come across The Revenger's Tragedy ?

Funny enough, I came across it when trying to decide what piece to adapt for Spicy Witch. I knew I wanted to explore horror in Jacobean tragedies, but I didn't know which tragedy. So, I started listening to Oxford lectures on Jacobean theatre, and came across The Revenger's Tragedy that way. I got both a synopsis and an academic breakdown of the story before I'd even read it. Once I did [read it], and put the whole synopsis>analysis>personal reading together, I knew it was perfect. It's such a weird play!

Q: If you had to remake Nightmare On Elm Street as a children's story, how would you do so?

Definitely something like a Grimm's Fairy Tale, because of all the dream sequences. Though pretty much everyone would still die, Nancy would be able to save Johnny Depp, and they would live happily ever after. Total huntsman and red riding hood style.

Q: Boff, Marry, Kill: Thomas Middleton, William Shakespeare, John Fletcher?

Boff Thomas Middleton, Marry Shakespeare (duh-- honestly I wish I could justify kill, just to be original), and Kill Fletcher. Sorry Johnny.

Q: Which Spice do you most identify with?

Cinnamon. It's hard to swallow raw, but add some food, tea or booze and it goes down real smooth.

Q: Have you ever attended a Witches Sabbath?

No. There were a couple Wiccan things I wanted to attend when I worked at the New York Renaissance Faire in high school, but I wasn't allowed because I was but a babeh. I did, however, believe I was a witch when I was 13, and thought I could hex people, fly, and talk to the dead, so does that count?

Q: What can people look forward to at SWP Staged Reading of Bonesetter on January 8th @ 7pm?

The look on my face as I anxiously await their approval. 
Just kidding-- you can expect blood and yuks! And also the anxious look on my face.

Q: What would Bonesetter's New Years Resolution be?

Revenge. Duh. 

Spicy Witch Productions is hosting a developmental reading and fundraiser for Bonesetter: A Tragislasher on January 8th at 7pm! Join us to see this work in its development, participate in an exclusive Q&A with Annette, and enjoy complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres with The Witches. Tickets are $20 and going fast, grab yours here today!

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