The next play TFMS has in store for us this semester comes from an uncommon sub-genre of comedy, the horror spoof, poking fun at the tropes of the horror genre. The play, “Slasher” written by Allison Moore, is a theatrical addition to the growing genre, populated mostly by films such as Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Cabin in the Woods, and Warm Bodies. Directed by Prof. Mark Rhoda, who said he chose the play because “I first saw ‘Slasher’ performed when it premiered…I fell in love with the play and put it on my list of shows I’d like to direct at SMCM.” Rhoda enjoys the mixture of “part spoof of the horror genre, part indictment of the horror genre’s depiction of women.” So where Tucker and Dale vs. Evil spoofed the obscene gore and black and white, good vs. evil elements of horror, “Slasher” comments on the common tropes for women in horror.
The play has a relatively small cast of principal actors/actresses, with six in all. The “invalid” Frances (played by Delia Titzell), and her two daughters, the eldest and “Last Girl” Sheena (Emily Maginnis), and the younger sister Hildy, (Simone Lieban Levine). The other characters, the “acolyte of the Holy Shepherd Justice League” Christi Garcia (Jordan Slattery), the director of the in-production horror movie “Bloodbath” Marc (Edward Brence), and his assistant Jody (R. Austin Gore). There are also four “production assistants” who play numerous special roles: Femi Oyenusi, Rich Farrel, Windy Vorwick, and Allison Claggett.
I for one think it is a good choice for TFMS to put on this play following “Exquisite Corpse” as a less heavy production, which feels odd to say about a movie titled “Slasher.” As a big fan of spoof comedy I look forward to seeing what “Slasher” is all about. If the performers in “Slasher” are as skilled in their field as the performers of “Exquisite Corpse” were in theirs I think we can expect a wonderfully entertaining play, deserving of the classification of “hilarious romp!” from Professor Rhoda.