It’s the year 2018 and women feel more empowered than ever to tell their stories. And that’s an incredibly good thing because representation matters. So when a very talented friend of mine posted about the play she’s written and trying to produce, Hell Is You: A Play About Female Friendship by Rebecca Jane Stokes, I gladly offered up some space here on the blog to help promote her Kickstarter campaign.
But I decided it would be even more interesting to ask her some questions about her play and its inspiration. So I did an interview with Rebecca about her play so that everyone can see why they should throw money at this project. And when you’re ready to donate, you can do so here.
What’s the rundown/description of Hell Is You?
I keep telling people that the play, plot-wise, is like if Mean Girls and Waiting For Godot had a bastard lovechild, and that’s totally true.
The story is about Crystal and Sarah, two women who have nothing in common except that they went to high school together. Crystal, driving drunk and high, hits and kills Sarah with her car and they both wind up in hell together.
As you might expect, shenanigans ensue! They both want out (obviously, it’s hell) but in order to do that they are going to have to work together – which means sorting through their past and learning how to relate to each other in present.
What originally inspired you to write this play?
My fear of death and frustration with the way the world perceives women and how we’re portrayed in film, plays, and television. Ha!
By and large I feel like I keep seeing cliches of how women are supposed to be. But if you happen to be a woman you know that we don’t all fit into nice tidy boxes or definitions – we’re complicated, and I think you see that best in the way we interact with other women.
Also I’m a comedy-horror junkie, and the chance to write one of those was irresistible.
You call this a “play about female friendship.” What is the predominant theme or idea that you want audiences to take away with them at the end of the show?
I really want people to walk away from the show realizing that however scary and isolating life can be, as long as we aren’t afraid to take a risk and make ourselves vulnerable by getting to know other people there is always going to be hope.
I want people to realize that the stories of women and minorities and members of the LGBTQ community are just as important as the less marginalized stories that are told every day.
I would love to over hear some queer nerd chick after the play say that she FINALLY saw something that felt like her own experience.
And frankly, if I make some people think about what could possibly happen after they die or get a couple of jump scares, then that’s good too.
What led you to put this project up on Kickstarter? What has the response been like so far?
So much of what I want to do with this play is build a community, so turning to Kickstarter to raise the money to get it done just made sense. I want the people backing this play is feel like they are helping build the play – because they are!
Kickstarter has been great, great, great. They’ve picked the play as one of their Projects We Love, and they’ve been right there with plenty of love and encouragement.
That said, it is not easy. This is the first time I’m producing a play 100% on my own and passing the hat is daunting. I don’t think I’ll be taking an actual full and deep breath until the campaign is funded.
What is your ultimate goal for Hell Is You (other than getting it kickstarted)?
I want Hell Is You to the be start of something. I’m hoping that this is just the first in a line of plays and projects produced by women for women . I’d love to be able to produce a play a year and help more artists out there with important stories to tell have the chance to tell them. Any profits from this play (which, lol, profits from theatre) are going to go right back into the production coffers to support whatever happens next!