This week I will see the production of my short play Blood on the Knockers, originally titled Behind Each Door. A bedroom farce set in an asylum centered around the desires of Lucy, a woman on the verge of insanity, who finally gives in to her impulses and satiates her urges...by killing. This play embodies the word play.
I wrote this play with one goal in mind: have fun. I wanted to write a short play that I would want to do: no higher meaning; no pretense; no bullshit. Just a fun, dumb play. Something more closely related to the musings of a child after his favorite cartoon ends and he runs to the backyard to create his own adventure. Like this child, Blood on the Knockers is an amalgamation of plays I've been a part of this year: Dracula, A Murder has been Arranged, Irma Vep, No Sex Please, We're British, and Or,.
The game, in hindsight, ended up being, "What have I learned?" In two years at Hedgerow Theatre and over twenty various productions of classical and kids plays, what had all the lessons boiled down to? If my answer is Blood on the Knockers, a play not afraid to make a pun and a blood stain, then I must say I am not deterred.
Why can't a play be stupid? Ridiculous? A fool's romp? No one said it had to be literature. In fact, after I wrote this play and experienced it's first, second, and ump-teenth reading, after many rewrites and cuts, it is still a joy to shake my head and say, "That is so dumb."
We seem to celebrate the downtrodden and the hurt. Plays about addiction and familial problems are taught in colleges around the nation and lifted up as "art." Fuck art. We are too worried about art. Around the country, we are teaching students of theatre that if a play does not set the world on fire then it is a lesser form. Yet, when we look at what audiences crave, we see the other half of the equation clamoring for good "shit."
Shakespeare knew how to craft a good play, and perhaps it is contrived to site the Bard but his work is basically the ground we all walk on. He combined comedy with philosophy, using Falstaff to make us laugh and Hal to make us think.
People are fascinating creatures. We are the most joyous animals on the planet one day, and then murderous wrecks the next. We created works of art such as the Statue of David and we created Angry Birds. Yet, it is all beautiful. From Henry IV to "Kill la Kill", "War and Peace" to "Hush" it is a joy to live in this mad world.
Brock D. Vickers
This is the beginning of a new part of life: a habit: an idea: a routine to dig at what makes a man great.