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East In Red: 10 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2014 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 13, 2014

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Ten Questions. Ten Answers. And One Big Decision: Rock, Paper, Or Scissors?


East In Red

Estrana Theatre Company

Based on Jack The Ripper and The White Chapel murders. A Psychological Thriller that will have your heart racing from start to finish. Who survives when a serial killers on the loose in The East Village? How far would YOU go to get justice for your friend you’ve lost by their hand?

Show Times:

  • Sun 2/23 @ 2:05PM
  • Tue 2/25 @ 5:30PM
  • Sat 3/1 @ 8:25PM
  • Tue 3/4 @ 5:30PM
  • Wed 3/5 @ 8:40PM

Answers by Mike Backes (Director)

1. Your tag line is out there on postcards and press releases so we know the PR version of what this play is about.  But when you talk to your family and friends, how do you explain the show to them?

MB: I guess I would talk about a couple things – the fascinating journey we get to go on about a serial killer with so many twists and turns, it’ll make your head spin. I also talk about how well it’s written and ask them what would you do to avenge someone you love…how far would you go?
What’s so great about the show too is the dark comedy that’s built in so smartly, again that’s a credit to Ryan Sprague. His writing is so inviting you get drawn in fast and get lost in the story…and there are moments where you’re laughing, and it’s creepy, and you catch yourself, and say, why am I laughing at this? One of the characters in the play says and I’m paraphrasing here, she says there’s a darkness in everyone and we definitely find that out quickly in this one.

2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink.  What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?

MB: This is a hard one, especially if i don’t wanna spoil anything. Hmmmm, I guess if we did our job right I’m hoping they’re fighting about who they thought “The Killer” was and also if they were in Marie’s shoes, would they have handled the situation differently.

3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?

MB: I think it’s both the plot of a Serial Killer on the loose and also these juicy characters these actors get to play that drives the story. For everyone there’s so much to sink their teeth into.

4. In rehearsals, read-thrus, or prior incarnations, what’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you (or the team) the most proud?

MB: I think what makes me most proud is the work my actors are putting in on and off the stage. Everyone is so committed to making this a show to remember. They’re also so open to my ideas ferociously brave and willing to try anything that I throw at them.

5. Let’s fantasize for a moment. Let’s take the “off-off” off. Imagine this show is on Broadway. Would that change the production itself?

MB: Oh I’m sure!!! With a budget like Broadway could provide, we really could create the dark world and do a lot of special effects when things start to get interesting. Trying not to spoil anything.

6. Taking that one step further – after paying everyone what they’re worth of course, what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless thing you would spend money on if there was no constraints?

MB: Well, ya know Rain curtains in a musical, it literally rains onstage..I’d want the same thing just with Blood, and the apartment the play takes place in would be very realistic looking.

7. Is there a scene, a moment, a gesture … anything at all in the show that you anticipate may get a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?

MB: With the writers permission we went ahead and changed the ending, anxious to see reactions to that each night we perform. Ryan really wrote something that will leave you numb and not knowing what to think. (Very Breaking Bad)

8. What’s your favorite line from the show?

MB: I’m all about the whiskey. HA!! No seriously it’s a line!

9. Is the world of this play sustainable outside a theatre? In other words … do you think people live the way the characters do? Would you want a world where they do?

MB: It’s possible that people live the way these characters do, but I wouldn’t wanna be around for it.

10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?

MB: My father. He passed away 7 years ago, and I really wish he could’ve seen my Directorial debut in NYC.


Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH

In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?

scissorsCHALLENGES:   We’re coming for all of them!!! They better be ready!! HA

THROWS: Scissors.

Now that’s what I’m talking about!  One bloody massacre as you blot out all of your competitors with the deadly scissors!  Slash slash slash!  Let’s see how you’ve fared, East In Red


First, the bad news. here are the shows who threw ROCK and SMASHED your bloody scissors to bits:

Real Dead Ghosts
Steve: A Docu-Musical
Boogie Of The Apes
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gardaí
My High-Heeled Life: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos
A List of Irrational Fears for Future Leaders of the World
Professor Ralph’s Loss of Breath
Leaving you with a MASSACRE of NINE deadly LOSSES. Oof, East In Red, that is one serial slaughter.

Now, the DRAWS. The following shows all threw SCISSORS as well and fought bravely. While they didn’t win, everyone walked away with their scissors in tact:
scissorsEating My Garbage
Something Wicked
Double Happiness: A Tale of Love, Loss, and One Forever Family
Shooting Abe
Óscar Tango-Bravo
That’s FIVE peaceful DRAWS where no one got hurt.

Now let’s see who you DESTROYED! The following shows all threw PAPER – great at defending against the mighty rock, but absolutely defenseless in the arena against the furious power of the sharp steel of scissors:
Drag Queen Stole My Dress
I Shall Forget You Presently…

That’s TWO WINS where you raise your shears like Sweeney Todd and let go a roar of victory!

Thanks East In Red for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2014 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially SCISSORS in any and all challenges.  You lost more than you won, but who knows – maybe there will be a lot of PAPER throwers in the next batch of interviews! You may be the champions yet!  This is how it works in the crazy world of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH!

For the rest of you don’t forget to check out East In Red!


Feb 23, 2:05PM
Feb 25, 5:30PM
Mar 01, 8:25PM
Mar 04, 5:30PM
Mar 05, 8:40PM
The Kraine Theater | $12.00 / $16.00


Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 8th Annual FRIGID New York Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) February 19-March 9. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at or by calling 212-868-4444. 


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