Face your fears with student-directed play

Brooke Bower

“Jet of Blood” director Joseph Dunn wants the audience to experience the difference between order and chaos as they tap into their fears with his interpretation of the dark play.

“The audience will be uncomfortable and surprised to see things in this play they probably wouldn’t in others,” said Dunn, senior theatre studies major. “Different scenarios in the play are so bizarre. There is a combination of all the elements of fear, and a clear concept of order and chaos.”

Show Information:


Tuesday: 7p.m. and Wednesday: 1p.m.

Music and Speech Center’s Black Box Theatre

Dunn described “Jet of Blood” as a dream because the play jumps from place to place. It features things that wouldn’t typically happen in the real world like two stars colliding and body parts falling from the sky. He said the play shows how the world is overturned by chaos.

“The play shows how nature always takes over man, and how men follow their own paths of figuring out love in their lives,” Dunn said.

He said he read the play for a class, and the issues of putting the play together intrigued him. He said Antonin Artaud wrote the short play in the 1920s to help people escape from their mundane lives.

“Society needs to see things that will wake them up,” Dunn said. “People are entertained, but not much stimulates the brain, and this presents things that will make you think and leave you confused.”

He said he liked the play because of the crazy scenes that call for a lot of special effects. He added that he has had to solve technical problems on stage since the play requires Hollywood-style special effects.

“A lot of the stuff I took my own twist on it,” Dunn said. “I’m trying to think outside of the literal use. I definitely had to open up my mind to the different possibilities, and I had a lot of good people to help me with it.”

Liz Guilford, freshman theatre studies major, plays a scorpion that falls from the sky in the play. She said they watched videos of scorpions to help them figure out how to play the part.

“It’s really hard because they are so fast moving and low to the ground,” Guilford said. “We can’t walk fast on our knees so we do more of a bear crawl. I get into my character when jungle music comes on before the scene. It helps me to be more savage-like, and my animal instincts come alive.”

She said she likes that the play isn’t conservative but is dark.

“It’s not very normal, and it’s so true in what the message is trying to tell us,” said Guilford, who also plays a vegetable peddler in the play. “It does a really good job trying to prove that message, but you have to keep an open mind while watching it.”

Guilford said the message is that you can’t stop the inevitable, but you have to deal with it.

“It’s been challenging, but it will be a unique experience for everyone,” Dunn said. “You won’t see a play like it probably ever. It’s a very dark, bizarre play.”

“Jet of Blood” opens at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Music and Speech Center’s Black Box Theatre.

Contact Brooke Bower at [email protected].