Three macabre plays which were later transformed into movies will make up the 2013-2014 season for Molotov Theatre Group, the company announced this Valentine’s Day.
The Capital’s only theater specializing in Grand Guignol will start off with a production of Extremities, William Mastrosimone’s play about some piece of human offal who attempts a sexual assault on a woman, only to have her turn the tables on him, big time. Extremities, which in its film incarnation won a Golden Globe nomination for Farrah Fawcett, will run from October 10 to November 14 of this year.
From February 27 to March 14, 2014, Molotov will produce Anthony Neilson’s Normal (sometimes titled Normal: the Dusseldorf Ripper), the story of serial killer Peter Kurten. Kurten, who was also known as “the Dusseldorf Vampire”, used a variety of methods to kill nine people (and to attempt seven other murders) during his 1929-1930 crime spree, including stabbing, strangulation, and murder by a hammer.
Kurten has been the subject of a substantial body of both nonfictional and fictional work, including Clive Exton’s Peter and Maria and Robert Hossein’s The Secret Killer; many speculate that Fritz Lang’s M was based upon the crimes of Peter Kurten. Normal – which became the 2009 Czech movie “Angels Gone” – is told from the point of view of Kurten’s defense attorney.
It was not a successful defense. Kurten was executed on July 2, 1931 and his mummified head now resides in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
Molotov will close its season with Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe, the story of a desperate man who hires a contract killer to murder his mother for insurance purposes, but who is unable to meet the killer’s fee. As a down payment, therefore, he offers to let the killer sleep with his simpleminded sister. Things do not work out well in this family drama from the author of August: Osage County. This play, whose extremely controversial film version had a brief run last year, will start June 5 and end June 24 of next year.
Co-Artistic Director Michael Wright will direct Killer Joe. The company is still looking for director for the other two productions. “Our reputation was built on dark horror and suspense,” he says. “As we continue an exploration of the human monster we want directors that embrace the Molotov style while also bringing a unique perspective to the work.”
Alex Zavistovich, Molotov’s other Artistic Director, notes that the cinematic theme is being done in recognition of the distinctive tastes of Molotov’s audience. “Generally, Molotov’s audience members are not typical DC theatre-goers,” he says. “They’re usually more interested in film or other forms of creative expression than theatre. We are bringing provocative scripts to the stage that will resonate with this group.”
All productions will be in the DC Arts Center, 2438 18th Street NW in Washington. Season passes are on sale now.
The company advises prospective directors to send their resumes to both Artistic Directors at [email protected] and [email protected], and to read the “Molotov Manifesto” on the company’s website before submitting.