Let’s face it, everyone gets stuck from time to time – whether it be your typical writers block, during a daily double on Jeopardy, or even your sweet early 80’s manual BMW breaking down on a road trip – it is a universal trial humans are obligated to endure. But in some cases, getting stuck can be a totally original experience, at least that is how Jessica Hatlo saw the predicament of one particular woman.
Inspired by a news article about a woman from Ness City, Kansas who was physically stuck to her boyfriend’s toilet seat, Hatlo paints a background of the lives of the two individuals to explain just how something so strange could happen.
Washington Ensemble Theatre had the honors of debuting Jessica Hatlo’s first production last Friday to a packed house. The lovely Jessica sat down with me to talk ‘Stuck,’ her collaboration with Director Sarah Grosman, and a few of her future endeavors.
Why did you decide to tell this story?
Certain stories are so unsatisfying compared to what the event would have actually been like. I wondered what could have changed in the boyfriend to make him call (the police) that day, after two years. The article didn’t explain that situation. It’s a play that talks about what changed- what made that day special.
Like Amy (the one stuck to the toilet), there are a lot of people who shut out reality and can go to extremes. This particular person has an outlandish consequence for a familiar story – the consequence is she looses everything by shutting out the world and keeping just one thing (her boyfriend.) And when you lose that one thing, you lose everything.
How did you come to collaborate with director Sarah Grosman?
Sarah and I went to school together. She was a few years under me at Cornish. She has these uncompromising standards that I appreciate.
We collaborate really well and she was very receptive to me and the play. I knew how much she cared about the story- and she got the concept… I think she did a great job – I’m glad I got to work with her in this stage of her career. She is going places. I’m happy to be apart of that journey with her.
What do you want people to take away from this show?
What I would like this play to do is pull that sort of person (Amy) to the forefront. That you grow to accept these people and see that they’re no that different from us… Amy’s biggest crime is not participating in society.
What’s your link with Washington Ensemble Theatre?
When I was still in school, I was an intern with QTET for their 4th season. I was there for four years after that as an ensemble member and Artistic Director. I stayed on good terms with the ensemble and I’m glad they took response (to Stuck). It is my first produced play.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
QTET will soon take up a lot of my time, it’s coming up on its 5th production in June. I’m also involved with Pe-mo. On June 5th we will have a dance performance at the Seattle International dance festival. Blink- full length version is also next on the horizon. And I’m writing my next piece.