So it has come to this: the man, the myth-maker, Scott T. Barsotti, playwright of The Revenants. We’ll be talking to him today about new challenges, zombies with purpose, and What Scares Him.
1) What was your introduction to horror?
The Schwartz/Gammell Scary Stories series got me hooked on the genre, as well as video games like Shadowgate and The Uninvited.
2) How would you define horror as a genre? What, to you, is the perfect horror story, & why?
Horror is any type of story or art that is primarily about fear. It is, inherently, a reactive genre; the most interesting horror stories are the ones that are not about a scary thing or event, but rather about how ordinary people react to and deal with that scary thing or event, how they process it, or fail to process it. I think The Exorcist might be the perfect horror story. There’s psychology, there’s faith, there’s love, there’s the unknown, there’s such a great deal of humanity in that book and film, and ultimately it’s not a story about a possessed little girl, it’s about the people around her: the very different impacts her possession has on her mother and the young priest who is himself grieving and having a crisis of faith. And it’s terrifying.
3) Zombies: Fast or Slow?
Slow. Fast zombies are effective in their own way but they kind of defeat the purpose. Fast zombies create more terror and slow zombies create more horror; and to me, horror is always more interesting than terror.
4) In re-visitng The Revenants, what challenge surprised you the most this time around? What lessons have you learned from this project that you’re excited to use in the future?
Mainly that Zagoren guy. SO DEMANDING. The thing that’s always challenging to me is how to deepen a play or tell a story better, even when it’s been done a bunch of times likeThe Revenants has. I tried to make re-writes and revisions based on the excellent work being done by Brad and the cast, and I added a brand new scene that I think may now be the best scene in the play.
5) What Scares You?
The human brain, in all its weird mystery. Who fuckin’ knows what that thing can do?
The Revenants MUST CLOSE this weekend! Final performances Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 3 pm–don’t miss it!