October 5 – 15
If you want your horror infused with some comedy, playwright Hannah A. Nielsen and producer/director Kayla Walker (Seattle Public Theatre’s Titanish) have an irresistible concoction this Halloween season with their brand-new play, Misanthropy. Described as a cross between Friends and the 2000 teen werewolf cult movie Ginger Snaps, Walker calls it “a comedy about mental health, self-transformation, the friends that love you through the good, the bad, and the bloody.”
“I love plays that are about hard topics [such as] mental health and generational dispositions for depression and addiction in entertaining, digestible packages,” Walker told The Ticket. “As we move into and continue in our ‘post-Covid’ world, I desperately don’t want the importance of discussing mental health to disappear. Normalizing it by making it an undercurrent in a comedy is so important. I think we have to laugh to heal, to accept, to process.”
Nielsen seconded that notion. “My favorite way to talk about serious issues is with a sense of humor. In real life this sometimes gets me disgruntled looks, but in play form I’m hoping to get a laugh (even if it’s an uncomfortable laugh). I’m not here to bog people down with a heavy subject. If I can shine an irreverent yet respectful light on something that’s important to me, fantastic, and if I can scare and gross people out a little along the way, even better.”
“I am also a HUGE horror movie buff,” Walker continued. “Doing horror in a comedy allows the funny bits to be really funny and the scary bits to really land since we keep reminding the audience, ‘Oh, don’t worry, you’re safe, it’s just a play,’ while giving you the thrills and chills you can only get when scary sounds are being made in the same room, in the dark…”
“It’s both hilarious and bloody,” Walker concluded. “What more could you want in October?”
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