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The Best of Fresh Blood: Five Horror One-Acts

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Kellie Powell
March 2, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright.

What is your show about?
The adrenaline rises - and so does the body count - in five new works of horror, featuring (among other things) a werewolf, a mad scientist, three little girls, two murderers, and a mental patient.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
My mother started taking me to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival when I was about seven years old, and I loved it so much, I convinced her to take me to plays at the local university. And I realized that actors were allowed to say bad words without getting in trouble. I was hooked!

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
When Chelsea Holland first approached me about starting a company devoted to live horror, we talked a lot about ways that theatre can be scarier than films. You can pause a film, but you can't pause a live experience. You can't rewind if you miss something, you can't fast forward through the parts that make you uncomfortable. No two performances are ever exactly the same. And there's always the chance that the actors could break the fourth wall and force you out of your comfort zone!

Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
These are horror pieces, so I think it goes without saying there's a lot of adult content. Language, sex, drugs, and of course, lots of violence. If you don't want to watch a woman get strangled and a man get his throat slashed, these are not the one-acts you are looking for.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
SURPRISING. Horror definitely needs twists and turns, and each of the plays have at least one surprising moment. But it's also surprising to look at the five shows and see all the different things that horror can be - when most people hear "horror" they have a very specific image that comes to mind, of, like, half-naked girls running through the woods from a masked man with a knife - but being part of the Fresh Blood reading series has shown me that there's a whole world of horror beyond the cliches.

Who are your heroes?
Alfred Hitchcock and Joss Whedon. And my mom.