Click HERE to read a long-form interview with Hookman playwright Lauren Yee. Here’s an excerpt with my favorite bit:
IMB: Given that you don’t love horror movies, and you shy away from scary, shocking genres, what made you want to dive headfirst into a play that demands massive amounts of stage blood, and violence, and suspenseful discomfort?
LY: I think I felt like there’s room out there in the horror genre for something that is scary, but is also awkward; that there’s more than one way to look at death, and see the different facets of it. Also, as someone who doesn’t like scary movies, it was a way to deflate the genre for myself. If I could take horror, and make it kind of awkward and goofy and uncomfortable, that might be kind of fun for me. There could be a horror story that I could sit through.
IMB: Did you watch any horror movies in preparation for this?
LY: [long pause] Not really. I thought back to all the trailers of horror movies that I watched, and got terrified by. I know some of the stories but…
IMB: …The trailer is enough.
LY: Yes. The trailer is enough. I admit it. I did not watch a lot of movies to prepare for this.
IMB: Do you remember ever having watched one all the way through?
LY: I watched The Ring. All the way through. One of my friends was a big, big Japanese horror fan, and it terrified me. I went home and – the premise behind The Ring is that you watch this kind of grainy videotape – and I turned on my TV, and it was like the grainy videotape quality, and I turned it off. I couldn’t – yeah.
IMB: Did it follow you around? Like, when you see these things, do you carry that discomfort with you for a while after you see it?
LY: I think so. I think you begin to see the ways in which your normal every day life begins to warp to accommodate these horror images.
IMB: That feels so connected to this play, that idea of being so uncomfortable about something that –
LY: – That your mind begins to change things right in front of you. Or, that you begin to see more into silences, or objects, than you should.