Friday, May 15, 2009

GO-GO KILLERS! Interview with Sean Gill in PaperMag

GO-GO KILLERS! in Tom Murrin's Stage Notes

It’s 2009, and the country is in the initial stages (perhaps) of a potentially devastating financial crisis, there are clearly widening gaps between the haves and the have-nots, and severe global warming is on the horizon. If you were an imaginative, experienced playwright/filmmaker like Sean Gill, you might wonder what it’s going to be like 10 years from now. Well, he has, and the expert director/choreographer Rachel Klein is going to help him fulfill his apocalyptic vision; with a cast of 22, most of them strong, fierce women who dance, fight and take no prisoners. I spoke with Gill.

So, Sean, things are bad now; how bad are they going to get?
The play takes place in 2019, and by then the shit has totally hit the fan. Global warming has gone unchecked, the sea levels have risen. The rich and the super-rich have all the power and the money, and they choose only to irrigate themselves. The only organized opposition that is left are the Girl Gangs.

And they roam the countryside, making calculated strikes against the super-rich. They're attempting to kidnap or kill everyone on the list of the country’s wealthiest citizens. The girls have chosen mythological names to convey the mythological degree of justice they wish to unleash, like The Fates, the Sirens, the Gorgons, and our heroes in the story, The Furies.

OK, so what’s going to happen?
The major conflict is when The Furies are kidnapping and killing at a high society soiree, and there’s some tension between the gangs as to who gets to do what. Every gang wants the glory to themselves. There’s competition between the predators over their prey. So there are catfights. That’s the point of departure.

That all sounds great. Is it funny?
In a sense, it’s prophetic; but yes, it’s funny and it’s meant to be so. But it’s not a parody of those movies of the ‘50s and ‘60s, nor a spoof of them. Nor is it entirely a homage to those films that I love, like Faster, Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill! by Russ Meyer, or Switchblade Sisters, by Jack Hill. But I love the trappings of those B- movies, and I’m using those trappings, combined with the tradition of Great American Drama, capital D, to create something which is hopefully at times funny, interesting, dramatic and ultimately, worthwhile.

Also, I wanted to say that it’s the easy route to hit someone over the head with harsh words and torment, and try to make it an experiment in cruelty, but that’s not so easy to digest over 90 minutes. It bounces off and doesn’t sink in. I’ve looked at the movies of Jack Hill and George Romero, and their idea is to butter you up with babes or zombies, but then they come at you with the zingers, like social commentary, consumerism. That’s kind of what Go-Go Killers is. It sort of whispers sweet-nothings into your ears, with hot pants and ass-shaking and lots of glitter, and it lulls you into a complacency, before it starts to tackle what I call “the fun stuff," like gender dynamics, violence, class difference, and how they relate.

The Sage Theater, 711 Seventh Ave., 2nd floor. Tickets available online only at May 8- 30, Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m. $15.

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