The #SistersKoop are back this year as co-directors for Space Girl. Katy and Sarah Koop were the team responsible for The Amazing Cunt & 'Lil Bitch Take Raleigh in the inaugural year of WTF. This year their focus shifts from badass vigilante super heroes fighting sexual assault to a teenage alien just trying to make it through the terrifying landscape of high school. I caught up with Katy Koop to find out what drew them to this show and what we might expect from this season opener.
Arugula Suarez just wants to fit in. But fitting in isn't easy when you’re a 16 year old lesbian alien from the planet Zlagdor. In an alien world where the only things that make sense are Roller Derby and salad, Arugula and her father, Nancy, must find out what it means to be human before time runs out for Planet Earth.
What drew you to this particular show?
I really love the genre of theatre that talks about the surrealness of the high school experience, particularly as a woman. From School Girl Figure to Hungry, How I Learned to Drive, to the musical adaptation of Heathers— there’s something hilarious and horrifying about going back to that time of such uncertainty, change, and just plain angst. Also, it’s just funny. I love how salad, roller derby, Wuthering Heights, and class presentations intermingle to make a quirky story full of soul.
I also have a soft spot in my heart for absurdism. Throughout the play, Arugula and her father Nancy return to the planetarium where they hear these narrations from the announcer about the vastness of space and the futility of it all. It has that tinge of absurdism and nihilism that I love tapping into. Here is Nancy, a man coming to Earth to save a planet that doesn’t even know it is dying. He is on a mission to save Earth not even for the people he meets, but a tomorrow for Earth that no one will see. It almost has a Welcome to Nightvale vibe that I’m just a huge fan of.
In addition, we are also really into practical lights and projections. The show presents a lot of opportunity to make fun and interesting choices with light and projection.
How are rehearsals going? Any specific aspects of the show that you are excited about or inspired by?
They’re going well. We’ve finished blocking and have been working through the show. We’ve done some character work and interviews and we’re very excited about the work we’re doing. We’re planning on keeping a lot of the props on stage, using a projector cart with transparencies for nearly everything, so I think it’s gonna have a very gritty and interesting vibe.
We’re also very happy to be collaborating with Haus Page and can’t wait to see their amazing costumes and make sure to keep a look out for some of our sweet space guns.
What does the Women’s Theatre Festival mean to you?
My first couple years out of college, I felt very lost in the theatre community. I was sending out like 30 query letters a month for my plays and getting almost no response. I would see audition postings and wasn’t interested in a whole lot of them. If I got any parts, I would be playing a man. That first interest meeting was a wake up call to all of the women that wanted to work. I’ve seen real change in the community and gotten the opportunity to work in ways I wouldn’t have been able to. I’m glad my sister is going into a community where she can actually work. I love that it’s about working with women and not competing with them, as it often feels at auditions. I’ve made so many connections and I’ve gotten so much farther than I would have alone. It’s a great organization and I can’t wait to see how much it grows.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Come to Space Girl—sit back, relax, and enjoy the flashing lights.
Don't miss this great show, tickets are on sale now.