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Playwright Bob Bartlett on his scary new play within the woods, ‘Lýkos Ánthrōpos’


Bob Bartlett is the writer of many performs, together with E2, a contemporary adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s drama Edward II; Union, concerning the poet Walt Whitman’s time in DC; and The Accident Bear, set in and staged in a laundromat. A founding member of the DC-based playwright’s collective The Welders, Bartlett spoke with DC Theater Arts about his new play, Lýkos Ánthrōpos, to be carried out in a clearing within the woods.

Bob Bartlett, writer of Lýkos Ánthrōpos.’ Photograph by Teresa Castracane.

What was the inspiration behind Lýkos Ánthrōpos?

Like so lots of my age, I grew up watching monster films and Creature Options on Saturdays. They’re most likely my old flame — monster films — even earlier than reside theater. I used to be most likely 9 or so when my aunt let me keep up late on a weekend to look at George Romero’s Night time of the Dwelling Lifeless on tv. I made it by the primary couple of minutes and didn’t sleep for every week. And I assume I’ve been pursuing that feeling — that reminiscence, that concern — all my life.

There’s something primal about horror, one thing audiences can’t escape. As a author, as a dramatist, we are able to solely dream of an viewers responding that strategy to our work and to the tales we inform. Writing horror for the stage, nevertheless, is troublesome. I’m undecided I see myself writing horror for the standard stage, except the story by some means entails a haunted theater. Lýkos Ánthrōpos is my first style play, and my first try at horror, though I’ve written very often about ghosts, most efficiently in my full-length play happiness (and different causes to die), which was produced nearly a decade in the past by The Welders right here in Washington, DC. I’ve been producing my very own work in site-specific places for a number of years, so I knew that this play — which started when I discovered myself alone for a number of days within the mountains in an remoted cabin — could be site-specific.

Whereas writing it, was there something that stunned you?

An important deal stunned me. I’m undecided I knew the story once I began writing. All through the summer season and into the autumn, I described the writing of the play as me “throwing paint in opposition to a wall.” It began with a haunting monologue a couple of man waking the morning after his first kill, his first transformation, his first full moon. I wished to know what he was feeling and experiencing as he woke on the forest ground. I cherished the monologue — it’s nonetheless within the play — and determined to maintain exploring regardless of the story wished to be.

I had the prospect to spend a month alone in Rhodes, Greece, over the summer season, the place I wrote the majority of the play — and though I’ve seen nearly each werewolf film ever made many occasions, and browse fiction and nonfiction on the topic, I wasn’t conscious till my summer season in Greece that lycanthropy dated so particularly to the ancients and Ovid’s Metamorphosis — and a fantasy about lycanthropy that Hollywood hadn’t bastardized, which grew to become the muse of my protagonist’s journey. In the previous few weeks, the play has undergone radical transformation in rehearsal, led by our marvelous director Alex Levy, the creative director of 1st Stage in Tysons, and our solid, Patrick Kilpatrick and Nicholas Gerwitz.

Patrick Kilpatrick (the stranger) and Nicholas Gerwitz (younger man) in Bob Bartlett’s Lýkos Ánthrōpos,’ directed by Alex Levy. Photograph by Teresa Castracane.

The play is carried out on a farm in Davidsonville. Have been there any challenges in staging it in such an uncommon area?

I knew late in the summertime that I wished to attempt to produce the play this fall, throughout Halloween, however I didn’t have a location. I’ve lengthy fantasized about asking audiences to park on the facet of a street and stroll into the woods to look at a play that will or will not be in progress. I lived in downtown Annapolis for quite a lot of years, and lately purchased a house in Davidsonville, Maryland, so I requested my actual property agent if she knew anybody within the space who had a big piece of wooded property who is likely to be prepared to host the manufacturing, and so I discovered an area in Davidsonville on non-public property prepared to host us. The placement, our clearing within the woods, is ideal for the play. I usually write open air, close to the water or within the woods. It was outstanding, once we first began rehearsing within the woods, how the play wished to be there.

You’ve staged performs in nontraditional locations earlier than, like The Accident Bear in a working laundromat. What’s it that draws you to those sorts of locations?

I believe it’s additionally what attracts me to horror as a style. Web site-specific theater connects with audiences, with spectators, in methods the artwork can’t in conventional efficiency areas. Within the subsequent 12 months or so, I’ll have three productions in site-specific areas, one in KA-CHUNK!! Information in downtown Annapolis — on Maryland Avenue close to the laundromat that hosted my sold-out run of The Accident Bear — and one other in a espresso store and one other on the shores of the South River solely accessible by kayak. I really like occasion theater. Each time a pal or firm is doing work in uncommon areas, I’m there.

Patrick Kilpatrick (the stranger) and Nicholas Gerwitz (younger man) in Bob Bartlett’s Lýkos Ánthrōpos,’ directed by Alex Levy. Photograph by Teresa Castracane.

What’s your favourite horror film?

Oh, wow. That’s nearly not possible to reply. Night time of the Dwelling Lifeless and the Common monster films had the earliest influence on me. I like Creature From the Black Lagoon, and something involving the satan and witchcraft, like Rosemary’s Child. Not too long ago, Hereditary, It Follows, The Conjuring sequence, and the movies of Jordan Peele have blown me away. John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel Let the Proper One In and the movies to comply with encourage me. I’ll see nearly any horror movie, though I’m not a fan of splatter horror, which is usually known as the slasher or torture style. Residence invasion films terrify me, and I can’t watch them alone. My favourite werewolf films are, in fact, The Wolf Man (1941) and An American Werewolf in London.

What do you hope audiences will come away with after seeing Lýkos Ánthrōpos?

I think about they’ll stroll away having skilled an occasion that they hadn’t anticipated. The play, I imagine, has extra of an emotional heft than I imagined it will. This isn’t the type of expertise the place spooky issues can be leaping out of the woods on the viewers. However they are going to be requested to take a deeper dive into a component of horror and monsters than they could not have had the prospect to expertise previously, particularly in the event that they’ve seen nearly any werewolf film Hollywood has produced. And we’ll ask them to park in a meadow — and to carry a fold-up chair and a lantern or flashlight and to put on wise boots or sneakers — and stroll a brief distance into the woods to see this 75-minute exploration of the werewolf. This isn’t a play for kids.

Lýkos Ánthrōpos runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8 pm from October 21 to November 6, 2002, at 8 PM in a clearing within the woods at 215 Emilys Manner, Davidsonville, MD. Buy tickets ($25) on-line.

Seating is proscribed to twenty per efficiency. Attendees ought to gown warmly, carry a fold-up chair and a lantern or flashlight, and put on climbing or hike-friendly sneakers. Attendees will park in a meadow and stroll a brief distance into the woods for the 75-minute efficiency.

Lýkos Ánthrōpos
By Bob Bartlet
Directed by Alex Levy
That includes Patrick Kilpatrick and Nicholas Gerwitz

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