Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Meet Christopher Krovatin: Fighting the Good Fight Against Boredom

Tiperary Explores Horror Movie Tropes in an Original Context 

In just fifteen pages, Christopher Krovatin's play Tiperary touches on kink negotiation, suspension of disbelief, the fetishization of virginity, and sexualized violence against women in the horror genre. Artistic Director Chelsea Holland chose this play to direct for the Best of Fresh Blood festival, and the first performance is Thursday, July 17 at 7:00pm.

The play centers on Nick and Diana, a married couple, who are attempting to navigate the intersection of sex and violence as they role-play a slasher-movie fantasy scenario. And, just as some horror movies (or plays) can be inadvertently hilarious when things go wrong, Diana's sexual fantasy is continually interrupted by hilarious failures. It seems reality just can't compete with the idealized scene the couple is trying, at times desperately, to create. We interviewed playwright Christopher Krovatin to ask him about his inspiration for the play, his greatest fears, and the challenges of writing horror.

The scenario that Diana describes is fairly specific, but it also hints at some familiar horror movie genre tropes. Early slasher movies established the convention - now more of a cliché than a rule - that if someone has sex in a horror movie, they'll be dead by the credits. Only the virginal female (the "Final Girl") has any hope of escaping the killer. Diana's fantasy casts her as the virginal female, and her husband as a hungry-for-revenge murderer. The specific motive she gives the killer is actually rather similar to Mrs. Voorhees' motive in the original Friday the 13th. By exploring horror movie tropes and exploiting audience expectations, Christopher Krovatin has created a thoroughly original, thought-provoking, and frequently hysterical play.

See Tiperary by Christopher Krovatin for yourself - along with four other terrifying plays at The Best of Fresh Blood, July 17-19 at Stage Left Studio.

-- Claire Fishman

Christopher Krovatin is Why I've Read Yelp Reviews of Sex Stores

When you're producing or directing or otherwise working on a horror play, you get used to carrying around things that, were someone to stop and search you, might appear rather odd. (I remember one day when I was carrying a hammer, Tupperware containers of what looked like blood, rubber gloves, cleaning wipes, and several yards of plastic sheets such as you would use if you were painting - or disposing of a body.) You get used to being the recipient of weird looks from the next table over at the diner where you and your Artistic Director are discussing everyday office supplies which could be used as weapons of gruesome murder. And you get used to the idea that anyone who happened to be monitoring your browser history probably thinks you are a sick, twisted freak. 

Yesterday, thanks to Christopher Krovatin, and his play Tiperary, Chelsea and I discovered one more side effect of producing that might take some getting used to, as we studied the Yelp reviews for local adult boutiques. That's right, kids, La Petite Morgue made its first official company expedition to the local BDSM shop. What can I say? The script for Tiperary calls for a few very specific items that we just couldn't find at Halloween Adventure! We wanted to video the momentous occasion, but the store had numerous signs explaining that photography was prohibited. So, I only managed to take one quick shot. Behold:

A producer's work is never done.
We actually did manage to cross one item off our Props To Find list, but the experience was harrowing. The sales clerks were pushy and prone to over-sharing. Which you would think would not be a tremendously successful sales strategy in their industry - but what do I know? I was tempted to write a Yelp review of my own, but anyone monitoring my computer is already perplexed enough by my browser history... and besides, with the Best of Fresh Blood Festival only nine days away, I've got too much else to do.

-- Kellie Powell

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