CAVEAT: I have worked on a number of projects with Kelvin Hatle (and most of his cast) in the past.
SHOW TITLE: Damned If You Do
PRODUCER: Schroedinger’s Dog
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Work is Hell. Marriage is Hell. Life is Hell. But most of all, Hell is Hell. Come join a fresh-faced devil on his first day on the job. It’s going to be… dare we say it? Hell.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: Kelvin is an inspired comedy writer/performer, and I’m a sucker for stories set in the underworld, so…
INTERVIEWEE: Kelvin Hatle (writer)
Just who do you think you are, anyway?
I’m a middle-aged, follicly-challenged nerd who has been doing theater and improv for a distressing number of years. People may best know me from shows with The Scrimshaw Brothers and Vilification Tennis, or from one of the four one-person shows I’ve done at the Fringe (Death Perception, Someone Is Wrong On The Internet, The Press Conference At The End Of The World, and Giving Grief.) Once I got recognized from an improv show I did at Knuckleheads in the Mall of America, roughly five years after they stopped doing improv shows. I consider that one of the most gratifying pieces of feedback I’ve ever received. I also just watched season 2 of Rick and Morty.
So what’s the big idea?
It’s a comedy about four devils in Hell. One is a noob, the other three are vets. Hell isn’t what it used to be, which ironically makes new Hell more Hell than old Hell. Did I mention it was a comedy?
How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?
I wish I could remember. My material tends to mutate rather drastically from the original idea, and this one followed an even more serpentine path than usual. All I recall is that I really wanted to do something with multiple actors, and that this really screwed with my usual working method of gross procrastination. Somehow, I wound up with the idea of three or four devils arguing about the nature of evil. But straight philosophy can make for boring theater. Then it moved on to three devils tormenting a new soul in Hell, but the new soul is too genuinely nice and decent a guy to be tormented. I couldn’t come up with an ending for it. Finally, I arrived at my current script, sort of a messed up workplace comedy with a twist.
Why should I care?
it follows the rough arc of most of my other material: Absurd comedy with serious underpinnings, and a heartbreaking climax. People tell me I’m good at that sort of thing. It has Dawn Krosnowski being evil in a cocktail dress. It has Nick Glover as an enthusiastic dope. It has Lana Rosario getting pissed off at dumb crap. Also, it’s pretty funny.
Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.
Looking for devils
Throughout all the Seven Hells
When they are next door.
Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!