April 13-15, 7:30 p.m.,
April 20-21, 10:30 p.m.
The Adams Pool Theatre
Directed by Joshua R. McTaggart ’13,
Daniel J. Giles ’13,
Mariel N. Pettee ’14
Produced by Anne E. M. McGrath ’13
If sometimes the scariest part of a horror story is how it’s presented, then “Monstrous Doubles” promises to be a terrifying show indeed. It is an event featuring “The House of Shadows”—a play written and directed by Joshua R. McTaggart ’13, a Crimson arts writer—and “[ ]’s Monster,” a dance-theater collaboration between directors Daniel J. Giles ’13 and Mariel N. Petee ’14.
Although both pieces are polished, “The House of Shadows is by no means a finished product. “The idea of the evening is we have a complete play, but it’s still evolving and it’s still not finished. I think it’s exciting to have two plays which are trying something new out....The idea is about bringing a playwright, a director, and a choreographer together and seeing what we can do,” he says. From the beginning, the cast helped out in the creative process. Taking Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Shadow” as inspiration, McTaggart and cast members Bryan D. Kauder ’14 and Peter K. Bestoso ’14 took turns hashing out the kind of story they wanted to tell. Only after these preliminary workshops did McTaggart sit down and write the working script for “The House of Shadows.”
In “[ ]’s Monster”—an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novel “Frankenstein”—Giles and Petee combine dance with dialogue in their newly devised work. “I think Dan and Mariel make the dancing component and the acting component one and the same. They’re sort of inseparable,” says cast member Emily B. Hyman ’13. Each character enacts their role in a unique dance style that emphasizes non-verbal communication. “Sometimes it’s a block of dance and then a block of acting, but a lot of the time it’s more mixed than that,” says Anna A. Hagen ’15, who is playing a character named . “Sometimes I’m doing something really different with my words than with my body, and that’s an interesting contradiction that complicates everything.”
Both productions imbue their scripts with an original vision. By pushing theatrical boundaries, “Monstrous Doubles” aims to take traditional horror stories and experiment with their structures, creating something brand new in the process.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: April 19
An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of one of the directors of “Monstrous Doubles.” It is Mariel N. Pettee ’14.