Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4PLAY: SKOKIE - Jessica Hedrick Interview PT01

Leading up to FOURPLAY's screening at Outfest, here's an interview with the screenwriter of FOURPLAY: SKOKIE, the witty and sweet Jessica Hedrick. In SKOKIE, Gail, a closeted lesbian church choir member, pines for the wife of her Methodist pastor. When Gail offers to dog sit their nightmare of a dog, Myra, she works hard to win the pooch over, and ultimately accomplishes much more than that.  It's a bestial comedy of sexual manners!  Hence the photo above of Jessica on a camel.  - Kyle

What and/or who inspired you to write SKOKIE?

Coming on board the FOURPLAY project, I knew that Kyle was interested in exploring how "deviant" behavior manifests in everyday lives. The focus wasn't on the psychotic or criminal element, the fodder of real crime shows, that invite the viewer to take refuge in their own "normality." And as someone who came of age in the early 1990s, I was uninterested in glorifying or promoting the idea of a radical "otherness" for its own sake.

I have always been fascinated by the taboo of bestiality, especially as it emerges as s theme in art, paintings and poems from around the world. The "animal spirits" that live inside of us are projected onto the creatures who live in the wild. Here in New York, where there is very little "wildnerness" to speak of, animals take up an increasingly fraught role in our lives as cherished pets. We find in them sources of innocence, of unconditional love, and of utter comfort in their inhabiting of their bodies. I wanted to write a story that took off from these projections. Having been raised singing in a wonderful amateur church choir, I was drawn to that setting as a place to ground the "normal" characters as they embark on their journey. I wanted the audience to feel safe with these characters, and to be able to laugh rather than freak out as the events unfold.

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