Perpich Theater Goes to Camp with “The Bloody Chamber”
December 18, 2023
On December 14th and 15th, 2023, the Perpich Theater and Musical Theater students brought a very camp version of “The Bloody Chamber” to life in the Black Box Theater. Using Angela Carter’s story, the group devised a piece influenced by camp theater styles of Charles Ludlam & Charles Busch. For those familiar with the fairy tale of “Bluebeard”, the students used elements of Angela Carter’s heightened language mixed with 1950’s hipster slang to retell the tale of Bluebeard as a 1950’s B-movie horror.
The production was in the style of Story Theatre, which is the dramatic presentation of one or more stories told by a group of actors who play multiple roles and provide narration. It is characterized by the use of simple “scenery” like chairs and tables arranged to suggest various settings, simple props used in different ways, and costume pieces like aprons, glasses, or a hat. Music is also often incorporated into Story Theatre performances. The actors played character roles and also served as narrators throughout the production.
Tory Peterson, Theater Instructor, said, “It was great to see the students grow into their roles. Fun was had by all in the development of the piece. This was a difficult style done magically.”
Maeve Filkins (Theater 2024) said, “This whole project came to be by a bunch of friends screwing around and joking with each other until it became something that we thought would be cool to put onstage. I’m really lucky that when I think back on this show in the future, I will be reminded of how much fun I had playing around with my friends. I don’t think a lot of actors have the luxury of learning how valuable play is until they’ve been doing it for a while and they realize they could have played around a lot more. I’m really grateful for Tory and Kevin [Hohlstein] for teaching us that, and for the entire cast for just being so much fun.”
Zoe Bielinski (Musical Theater 2024) said, “It took tons of dedication and perseverance, but we were determined to bring this incredible show to the audience, and the result was an absolutely memorable and uplifting experience.”
Greta Kunene (Musical Theater 2024) shared, “This was my first time doing a ‘camp’ show and it was so fun! I got to learn so much about how to act in a camp style and I really feel like this experience has added another tool to my acting tool box.”
Rebecca Bullen, Arts High School Principal, raved about the performances. “What an amazing show! The actors were wonderfully animated and really brought in the ‘camp’ I was hoping for. I laughed and found great joy in being immersed in their witty dialog and song,” said Bullen.
Anja Wuolu from the Sun Post wrote an article about the show; click here to read more.
Congratulations to all those involved in the show!