Deathscribe 2015 Submissions Open Now!

Submit 2015_05

Submissions are now open!

Deathscribe 2015 is now open for submissions! Get to writing your own horror radio play to submit to our international annual festival. All the information you need for rules, how to enter, radio play format samples, Mayan DeathLuck spells, and deadlines is on the Deathscribe page.

New Elder Gods… and Fresh Blood

We here at WildClaw Theatre are oozing with excitement over the big changes in store for the future of Chicago Horror Theatre. As we head into our 8th season, we are pleased to introduce our new Artistic Director and Managing Director: Josh Zagoren and Moira Begale.

Zagoren will be taking over for Aly Renee Amidei as Artistic Director and Begale will be taking over for Brian Amidei as Managing Director. Aly Renee Amidei is stepping down as Artistic Director to join the faculty of UNCC as an Assistant Professor of Costume Design. Both Aly and Brian will remain with WildClaw as company members, helping to oversee the transition and contributing artistically as writers and adapters of future work.

Joining the company as well will be four new artists: Krista D’Agostino, Sarah D. Espinoza, Norine McGrath and Christopher M. Walsh. The new leadership officially began on July 1st, 2015.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Actor Nick Freed

nick fNick is new to both WildClaw and to horror theatre, though he is definitely a horror fan. One thing I can say for Nick is that he really puts all of himself into this show…. or at least, significant pieces of himself… You can see him in Hanger On, The Bridal Suite and Coulrophobe this weekend!

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
I absolutely do consider myself a horror fan. More so in the last maybe 5-10 years than before. It’s been a recent development where I’ve gotten way into horror movies in general. My favorite genre, which is kind of hard to find being made these days, is psychological horror. More recent movies like The Strangers where it’s more about tension and mind games than it is about slash and gore. Movies where they rely less on jump scares and noisy soundtracks, and more on an overall feeling of uneasiness is where my favoritism lies.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
I read a lot of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when I was in grade school, and Poe stories. My mom wouldn’t let me watch horror movies, so I had to stick with creepy books at the start.

Does acting in a horror piece present any unique challenges or opportunities? Have you done any horror theatre before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about being in a horror piece?
I think horror plays are a wonderful thing. It gives you a chance to really get under an audiences’ skin because they have to confront it head-on rather than having the barricade of a movie screen to save them. I love the idea of practical effects, and figuring out how to make those scares work on a stage with no computerized effects or movie magic. This is my first experience with horror theatre, and it’s so fun.

How have motels played a role in your life?
I have a kind of Romantic notion of hotels and motels; motels especially. There’s something delightfully seedy about any motel no matter how clean and well-kempt it is. Just the idea of a uniform place, where many different people share such a private moment as sleeping, creates a world of possibilities for backstories and dreams. I always enjoy it, and love the relaxation it can provide where you don’t have to worry about tidying anything or taking care of much.

If you could take on any role in any horror tale what would it be and why?
I have always wanted to play the role of the meticulous killer. I really enjoy how logical characters like that can be in their own minds; like Hannibal Lector, or Dexter, or Kevin Spacey in Seven. The power of just a plain spoken explanation that is just on the other side of sanity where it seems it could so easily be anyone committing these acts. What that says about me mentally is…somewhat unsettling hahah, but is still very interesting to play/think about.

What is the one thing that scares you the most?
I have a reoccurring dream/nightmare about walking into dark rooms and not being able to turn lights on. The switches flip, but nothing happens. So much so that in real life if I walk into a room at night and the lights won’t flip on, I won’t go in.
Or my own subconscious…either/or.

 

TWO SHOWS LEFT! Motel 666 runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and closing Sunday at 2:00pm.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Scott T. Barsotti

scottwriter shotScott is a WildClaw member and regularly contributes his skills both onstage and off. You may remember being terrified out of your seat (or running to wash the infected blood off your pants) during the run of his play, The Revenants, earlier this year at the Athenaem Theatre. Scott shared his twisted ideas again with us by penning Hanger On for Motel 666.

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
Yes, a thousand times over. Horror is what made me want to be a writer, actually, ever since I was a little kid. To me, when it’s done well it’s the most imaginative genre. As an adult, my favorite genre is probably body horror, because the ways in which the body and mind affect each other terrifies me. I love a good ghost story, too.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
I’m sure I came across it in many other places beforehand, but my earliest memories of really getting into horror was the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Shit gave me nightmares, but I always wanted more. I was also that 7-year-old who was really into Beetlejuice.

What is the main challenge to creating short form horror stories? Have you done any horror writing before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about writing a horror piece?
The main challenge with any short piece no matter the genre is developing character. You can create moments and action in plot in a short time, but character is trickier. I usually find I develop character mainly in how they treat/respond to other people; rather than telling us who they are, their interactions imply it more clearly. Writing a short horror piece means you have less opportunity for a slow burn, but hurling characters into an intense situation is pretty revealing of who they are. As a playwright, I primarily write plays that are genre horror is that somehow take inspiration from the genre; this is my fifth production with WildClaw. Thematically, they interest me but I also think horror is a uniquely theatrical genre; it invites bold design choices and offers different kinds of conflict than we usually get to see onstage.

How have motels played a role in your life?
I haven’t stayed in a lot of motels in my life, but HOTELS. Yes. Love old hotels and their histories, and I’ve stayed in multiple hotels that are supposedly haunted. In the town where I went to college, there’s a little family inn that’s apparently one of the most haunted inns in the US. My wife and I once stayed in the room that’s said to have the strongest energy. And…yeah, we got a story to tell our grandkids out of that night.

Why did you choose to make the characters sisters rather than friends? Do you think that it is inherently scarier to have a family member impacted over a friend?
Dealing with family rather than friends adds a different kind of stakes to a high stress situation.  In a sense I do think it’s inherently scarier because your family is your blood, so especially if you are close with your family, the level of obligation you feel toward them is extremely high, coupled with history and love and complications and guilt, etc etc that you don’t necessarily have in the same way with a friend. If your family is threatened, it’s an existential threat to your DNA. That’s fucked up.

 

THREE SHOWS LEFT! Motel 666 runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and closing Sunday at 2:00pm.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Make-up Designer and Artistic Director Aly Renee Amidei

alyAly is the Artistic Director for Wildclaw theatre company, and is heavily involved with each of the season’s productions. If the makeup for Motel 666 makes you sick or horrified then she’s done her job!

What is your favorite genre of horror?
I love a “meatlocker”….where folks are trapped or isolated and dealing with craziness.  The Thing, Alien, Cabin in the Woods, etc.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
I saw Alien far too young and remember being VERY concerned about the cat.  Then I read the Shining when I was in middle school and that was terrifying and fantastic.  When I was 15, I got a job at the Dairy Queen and next door was a comic shop.  I started picking up Clive Barker comics and got mad excited about Hellraiser and Nightbreed.

What is the main challenge to designing makeup for a production in this genre? Have you done any horror before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about makeup for a horror piece?
People often expect movie levels of violence…but seeing it live on stage is a very different experience.  Subtlety can be your friend in the theatre. The suggestion of gore is often all that is needed.  As a makeup artist, I have a ton of fun doing horror and it calls upon so many skills as a designer. I get to sculpt, invent, get gross, and enjoy watching the actors giggle like crazy the first time they get to burst a  the drippy sticky blood pack on stage.  It is cathartic, visceral, and good fun.  That is what I love about good horror.  Is that catharsis…that moment when feeling scared or disgusted or weirded out…that moment reminds you to enjoy and cherish your life.  You leave the theatre energized, with your blood pumping and your mind racing.  It can take you to a dark place, make you look at your own darkness, and the ugliness in the world…but also makes you hold onto the beauty that much harder.

How have motels played a role in your life?
There was and still is an old seedy motel just outside of my Chicago suburb.  I have never been there but when you drive by it everyday for decades, you get to wondering about the people in there and their stories.  Motels are temporary and sometimes anonymous.  Motels are a resting point in a line of action.  You are trying to go somewhere or leave somewhere and you end up at a motel because you can go no further….your action is interrupted by physical or practical needs which are served by the motel. The motel is never the desired destination which makes it the perfect place for the unexpected to happen.

What is your favorite makeup design you have ever done for a WildClaw show?
The masks I sculpted and painted for the Deep Ones in Innsmouth were super cool.  you only saw them for a brief moment at the end but that is all that you needed.  I also really loved Kill Me.  I think it was a really integrated makeup and costume design for the four miseries (as we called them).

What is the thing that scares you the most?
I am fairly terrified of the ocean.  I can get it in eventually but it takes me awhile and a fair amount of hyperventilating. Boats too.  I can swim fine…it is the thought of what lies below. Sharks, icky things, eels, bitey things, sharks…grabby seaweed.  Since I had my baby, zombies are far more scary than before. I started having nightmares about taking care of the baby during a zombie apocalypse…like keeping him quiet so as not to drawer the attention of an undead horde.  Yeah…these are the things a WildClaw company member/new mother lies awake and ponders at night.

 

ONE WEEKEND LEFT! Motel 666 runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and closing Sunday at 2:00pm.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Playwright Ele Matelan

infected 3 (1)Ele is another one of Wildclaw’s multi-threat company members – she not only acts and writes but is also our in-house foley artist. You may recognize her from the yearly Deathscribe event, where she creates the macabre and unsettling soundscapes for each radio play. Ele wrote “The Bridal Suite”, another piece described as a stand out part of Motel 666 by NewCity.

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
I totally consider myself a horror fan, particularly at the intersection of horror, sci-fi and comedy. I enjoy the freedom that those three mediums have with cultural criticism, and opportunities to explore familiar but previously undefined concepts. Most of my favorite stories are apocalypse-based, and I’ve always been a sucker for dystopic deadly game shows. It seems like more and more sci-fi has been horror-flavored in the recent past as well, and I can’t help but wonder how much that relates to the U.S.’s flagging standards in STEM education–attempting to justify our fear of what we don’t understand.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
I was a fraidy-cat for most of my formative years, with an overactive imagination. I cried at the end of every single movie I saw probably up until I was four or five, because it was so jarring for the credits to run and to have to “come down” back into the real world. Which is all to say I had a pretty fast and loose definition for horror early-on, and apologies to Mom and Dad for being such a lousy movie-date. But the earliest I can remember something freaking my shit out was when I was four, at the end of Superman III where Vera Webster gets trapped by the supercomputer and turned into a cyborg. Her mechanical gait, the blue cartoon lasers shooting from her fingers, and my non-existent grasp of the Uncanny Valley gave me nightmares for weeks. Thirty-two years later, I’ll say it’s possible I may have overreacted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuSsSwg9MXs

a) Have you done any horror writing before, or is this your first time? b) What is the main challenge to creating short form horror stories? c) What is your favorite part about writing a horror piece?
a) I wrote “Fidget,” which was featured in WildClaw’s 2014 Valentine’s Day salon, Open Heart Surgery. I have more experience writing monologues or poetry, but I use horror tropes frequently.
b) People think in stories, largely because so much of our formative edutainment is fiction-based. We use stories as a way of bonding, teaching lessons, sharing memories. Western culture also bases our identities on the sum of our experiences (“You are what you do,” “Actions speak louder than words,” etc.), and this affects every aspect of how we interact with the world, whether we’re explaining how we broke the phone we’re trying to return, or picking someone up at a bar (or online). Technology also encourages us to truncate these stories, because they travel, become canonized, and get played out faster than they ever have before–Hollywood greenlights “gritty reboots” of stories we all know because the more familiar the WHAT is, the more unfamiliar the HOW needs to be. So we speak in movie & tv quotes, use only half of figures of speech, or cite only the punchlines of jokes. This can all work to your favor in shorts, particularly in horror, since it’s a genre with very well-versed fans that are going to be eager to find the risk in whatever situation you set up. It’s tricky, though, because there are fine lines between “slow burn,” and, “I get it–be over,” as well as between an earned twist and a quadruple Shyamalan.
c) I think the part I enjoy the most about writing horror is how big the toy box is. I get bummed out by horror stories that are relentlessly dark and humorless the whole way through–trust your audience to know they’re seeing a horror story unfold, and then help them forget. Then eat their face.

How have motels played a role in your life?
(Do inns count? Let’s say inns count.) La Quintas will always make me think of my maternal grandparents, with those swipable little soaps. My family also took a cross-country car trip when I was nine, which involved a lot of interim destinations. One night somewhere in Florida, it was too hot to leave the room and our entertainment for the evening was eating watermelon in the motel bathroom and spitting seeds into the tub. My first-ever solo trip was driving to Chicago to relocate from Texas after college. I felt very grown-up checking myself into a single at the Comfort Inn just outside Branson. And then asking for a different room that was actually non-smoking, not just hideously over-air-freshened. And then checking out entirely and finding a new motel. Had I stayed at the first one, I probably would have been devoured in the night by some sort of Glade-monster.

Any bridal showers you’ve been to that inspired this piece? 
I’ve been a bridesmaid a couple of times, and one time a guy friend asked me, as if it were an obvious question, “Who is the bitchy bridesmaid?” I wanted to explore the cyclical nature between what presumptions people make about groups of women, and the resulting limitations we put on their stories.

 

ONE WEEKEND LEFT! Motel 666 runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and closing Sunday at 2:00pm.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Playwright Brett Neveu

brett neveu-1

Brett Neveu joins us today – a longtime horror fan, he not only writes but teaches the subject! Brett’s play The Chair of Death is the third piece in Motel 666, and has been reviewed by New City as one of the stand out pieces of the production.

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
Yep. I’m a horror fan. So much so that I teach horror script writing at Northwestern. My favorite genre of horror would be stuff with a more supernatural vibe, from pure ghost stories like “The Others” to more mixed fare like “A Tale of Two Sisters.”

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
That would probably be in two different spots. One being the Jaycees Haunted House from my hometown, which scared and thrilled me to no end, coupled with watching the “Salem’s Lot” miniseries with my family back in 1979. That scene with the boy scratching on the outside of the window? Damn.

What is the main challenge to creating short form horror stories? Have you done any horror writing before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about writing a horror piece?
I suppose that would be capturing tone and controlling mood. It all happens very quickly and a good genre audience will be looking for overused tropes and easy escapes at every turn. Attempting the true scare in short form is difficult, but there’s always a way to mix it up and plan for surprises. It’s also good to think about how the piece can linger in the imaginations of the audience well after they leave the theatre. This makes for sustained horror that bleeds into their waking (and dreaming) lives. I’ve written a number of horror pieces, from screenplays to television scripts to a medium-sized pile of horror plays (ODRADEK, produced by The House Theatre Company 2011 being one of my favorites). In fact, the second play I ever wrote was called “Arrrg! And… You Shall Never Return!!! Arrghhh!” and was an adaptation of three H.P. Lovecraft short stories set in a rural haunted house.

How have motels played a role in your life?
My dad was a salesman and had a large midwestern territory, so he was always staying in small, roadside hotels. I had a notion that these places were both spooky and interesting, so from a young age I was interested in these weird little spots. I also travel a lot (like my dad, but instead it’s for plays), so I end up in hotels for extended stays. Sometimes these temporary digs are nice, but sometimes they’re especially creepy, like the time I stayed at a Elizabethan hotel in Stratford, England. It felt like the place was alive with ghosts, but it was probably just the weirdness I felt from the low-hanging wooden beams and bathroom the size of a broom closet.

Are you a collector of bar tales and have you heard one that sticks in your mind?
Not especially, mostly because if I’m at the bar, my friends are talking way to loud to fully understand them and I’m not sure if what they’re saying would qualify as a “tale.” I will say that I do like a good ghost story told in any location, whether it’s a pub or a basement or someone’s backyard over by the grill. A story that sticks with me best is the one I heard most recent, and that’s the story by the grill. It involves some friends living in what they believed to be a haunted house and finding a stick-and-string ornament inexplicably stuck to their back door. This, coupled with moving objects and figures seen in the dark, made for a pretty great story shared by the hot dogs.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Maura Kidwell

mauraMaura Kidwell returns to us this weekend for the final four performances of Motel 666! You can catch her on either end of intermission in Hanger On and The Bridal Suite.

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
I’m not a fan of blood and gore. cruelty in entertainment is instantly nauseating to me, despite it being a necessary part of many stories. But being on the other end – the creative end- of a horror piece is different, and not nauseating so far. I do, however, consider myself a huge paranormal fan, in movies, books, TV, and especially in real life. I’m a junkie for it. Motel 666 has a fair bit of that.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
Night of the living dead. I saw it when I was about five.

Does acting in a horror piece present any unique challenges or opportunities? Have you done any horror theatre before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about being in a horror piece?
This is my first time doing horror theatre, and I’d say the biggest opportunity/challenge is leaving reality at the door and giving over to absolutely absurd circumstances.

How have motels played a role in your life?
I totally hate motels, hotels, sleepover parties…anything that isn’t my own bed.

If you could take on any role in any horror tale what would it be and why?
I’d like the opportunity to play a real life serial killer, like Charlize Theron did in Monster. It would be fascinating to crawl around in a mind like that for a while and figure out what the hell went so horribly wrong.

What is the one thing that scares you the most?
That changes all the time. Right now, it’s house centipedes because one of those little fuckers decided to take a shower with me this morning.

 

ONE WEEKEND LEFT! Motel 666 runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and closing Sunday at 2:00pm.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Actor Stevie Chaddock

stevieStevie Chaddock is another member of the “my first horror experience was a Stephen King movie and it messed me up” club, which seems to be a running theme with Motel 666 artists. She brings a lot of diversity and power to the stage with her three performances in Sirens, Bridal Suite and Coulrophobe, and this weekend only you can see her in Hanger On as well!

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
Yes. Absolutely….though these WildClaw cats put my fandom to shame… Not sure I have a favorite genre. Psychological horror definitely scares me the most. And the bloodier the better I always say.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
Ah, yes. Children of the Corn. I saw this film at the ripe old age of seven at a friend’s house. I was TERRIFIED. I made my parents come pick me up at 2 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep. But after I got over my initial shock, I realized how fun it was to scare and be scared.

Does acting in a horror piece present any unique challenges or opportunities? Have you done any horror theatre before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about being in a horror piece?
I think horror theatre in particular has to be very collaborative. There are many effects that are necessary for the story (and hell, just plain fun), and they can’t be achieved without lots of hands-on-deck. My favorite part? Blood! And guts! And eyeballs! And vomit! And ALLLL the bodily things!

How have motels played a role in your life?
Well, I really hate motels so my hope is that they don’t play a role in my life ever, but a few years ago my family went to Paxton, IL, for a reunion and there are ONLY motels in and around that town. In our room, there was an armchair with a GIANT dark red stain that went from the back cushion down to the seat cushion. The front desk manager seemed unconcerned. Because it was late, we didn’t want to venture out for another option. I didn’t want my bare skin touching anything in that room so I slept in my clothes…and then burned those clothes when I got home the next day.

If you could take on any role in any horror tale what would it be and why?
I don’t know that I have a particular role that I’m dying to play. However, I can say very definitively that I love playing the monster, villain, killer, “bad guy/thing,” etc. in any horror story. I’ve always been small and fairly sweet-looking so playing roles that are very much the opposite of that type are super exciting to me.

What is the one thing that scares you the most?
I really hate spiders, but honestly, losing my memory scares me more than anything.

 

Motel 666 is OPEN and runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Understudy Mike Ooi

MO_grayMike Ooi will be onstage with us all weekend filling the roles of James in The Chair of Death and Bellamy in Coulrophobe. Don’t miss your chance to see him this week!

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
I’m not a “horror” fan. I don’t go for all of the “something different is going to jump out at you in the dark” or “now the devil’s in Mommy but with a twist” or “what if Facebook eats people” movies. But my favorite genre of video gaming is survival horror. Resident Evil, Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, Silent Hill, and Eternal Darkness. I love the settings or horror stories – the supernatural, the sci-fi, the dread. The difference is being in control. I often get very frustrated about how stupid people can be in movies, horror movies especially.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
Freddie. But the first thing that genuinely scared me, kept me thinking for months, was some TV movie about killer bees. The idea that it could happen, that it WOULD happen. And that my tween self couldn’t do a damn thing about it.
Everyone can relax. It didn’t happen.

Does acting in a horror piece present any unique challenges or opportunities? Have you done any horror theatre before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about being in a horror piece?
There are some technical elements at play that are important to get right. Things like blood cannons.
My favorite part of being in a horror piece is hearing the audience react, especially when it’s heartfelt and coming from a place that is outside our sense of decorum. Not rude, but being totally unconcerned about being polite, because it’s so spontaneous and visceral.

How have motels played a role in your life?
I’ve always loved hotels and motels. Whenever I am staying in one, it’s because something different is happening in my life. I’m traveling, taking part in a wedding, performing on the road – something other than the usual grind.
If you could take on any role in any horror tale what would it be and why?
The guy who spoils all the virgins so that Dracula has to move on to greener pastures.
Why? I dunno…I guess I just like to be helpful.

What is the one thing that scares you the most?
Oblivion. The most plausible outcome of this sentient life.
Maybe that’s why horror doesn’t scare me. Like the Hulk says in The Avengers, “I’m always angry.”

 

Motel 666 is OPEN and runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm.

Motel 666 Spotlight Interview: Stage Manager Lindsey Miller

Lindsey might have one of the hardest jobs on this production – staying behind the scenes to ensure that it all goes smoothly. She is responsible for just about everything, from keeping the blood from getting on anything that is dry-clean only, to playing sound cues at just the right time, to making sure the actors don’t accidentally get possessed by a demon during a pre-show ritual…

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
I actually don’t really like horror; I’m okay with campy horror or old horror, like Frankenstein, but I can’t handle it if it’s too scary or realistic. I get too stressed and anxious watching scary and/ or horrible things happen to people.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
I saw IT when I was probably about 6; I’ve never been able to watch the whole thing, to this day the farthest I’ve gotten is when they go into the sewer tunnel. Then, I when I was about 9 or 10 I watched Leprechaun at a sleep over; this is most likely the reason I don’t like to watch horror.

What is the main challenge to stage managing a production in this genre? Have you done any horror before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about working on a horror piece?
I’ve worked with WildClaw on Shadow Over Innsmouth, that was more suspense and low on the gore-spectrum so it was pretty typical for me. The main challenge for this genre, for me, is tracking where the effects go and how they work. I don’t mean when in the script they happen, but trying to anticipate what the blood, goo, fluid, etc will actually land on and preparing for that. If there’s a delicate costume piece being used is it in the same scene as the blood? Is there a way to keep them away from each other? If there’s a possibility of hitting an audience member with bodily fluids I want to make sure I know about that in advance. Also, having back up plans in case an effect doesn’t fire correctly.

My favorite part of working on horror is the above; that I get to help figure all that out and then watch it get executed. The bonus of stage managing is you’re often the first person who hears the audiences responses and with horror those responses are often very visceral and full of awe.

How have motels played a role in your life?
Motels have always been these seedy places to me. I’ve never stayed in one, or had to; but my dad used to work near a really dilapidated motel off Lawrence and Lincoln (it’s a park now) with hookers out front and all these skeezy looking guys out front. Though I do love the Heart of Chicago Motel because it has a great neon sign.

What is the one thing that scares you the most?
Any spider bigger than a daddy-long-legs and/or that is hairy. Seriously keep them the hell away from me. Also, disappointing people.

 

Motel 666 is OPEN and runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm.