Southern Gothic, anyone? Want that with a leg of deep fried chicken? A mint julep?
In the world of literature, think literary giants like Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Faulkner, Carson McCullers, Flannery O’Connor, or popular writers like Holly Black, Rachel Hawkins, Karen Russell, or the children’s writer Maggie Stiefvater.
And now Catherine Trieschmann, in her play Crooked, which Virago Theatre Company is staging from Feb. 20 to March 1 at The Flight Deck in Oakland.
The genre of Southern Gothic presents characters distinguished for being unstable, “damaged,” or darkly unorthodox in their perspective. As these characters conflict with their traditional, restrictive mainstream cultures, we are caused to examine some of the unstated tenets of those cultures, and their “logic.”
In Crooked, you meet two such characters—the 14 year old girl whose body is literally contorted from the tensions she has experienced and perhaps inherited; and her new friend, the 16 year old girl who feels driven to introduce people to Jesus so that they will be saved after the horrible tragic deaths she envisions.
Characteristic of Southern Gothic literature, the point is not really about the dark uniqueness of these girls. It’s about the world they inherit from us.