Ghost Story The K of D, an urban legend: One Actress, Sixteen Roles
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Quotes & Highlights
- ". . .a delightful night out for anyone who likes a good ghost story." —Examiner.com
- "As thin and wispy as the reeds lining Leo K’s stage, Friedman shows great dexterity playing an entire town’s worth of characters: mothers, fathers, bombastic teenage boys, shrill teenage girls, even a randy, villainous neighborhood brute named Johnny." —<em>Seattle Metropolitan Magazine </em>
- Visit the official <a target="_blank" href="http://www.thekofd.com/index.html">website</a> for <em>The K of D</em>.
Written by Laura Schellhardt
The K of D, an urban legend began with a mystery of its own. In 2005, playwright Laura Schellhardt returned to St. Marys, Ohio, the small town that was her summer childhood haunt and is now a professional harbor. She was at a cottage near the lake working on another project, and was up early one morning...
"I was looking out the front door of the cabin, and I saw this little girl by herself down at the lake, wading into the water," Schellhardt said. "I thought that was unusual for a kid to be down there that early in the morning, and I usually take a walk, so I went and got my coat, and by the time I got my coat and got out the door, she wasn’t there anymore."
That image of the vanishing girl was the spark, and The K of D was born there at the lake.
Schellhardt had always wanted to set a play in St. Marys, a down-and-out sort of Anytown USA where summer days were spent "telling stories, and trying to trick each other and playing pranks; coming up with ways to scare each other and building forts," Schellhardt said.
And she wanted to tell a ghost story.
"I’m interested in fear in the theater and if it’s even possible to have a creepy story in the theater anymore. It’s easier on film," Schellhardt said. "So that collided with the idea of an urban legend, which is sort of our version of ghost stories; those are the stories that fly around the country so quickly."
After the play’s first reading in Seattle at ACT in 2006, The K of D bounced around the country, its relatable sense of small-town life and characters resonating in Washington D.C. (Wooly Mammoth), Chicago, and New York for the New York International Fringe Festival. Four of those performances — two in Seattle, one in Port Townsend, and the New York run —have featured Seattle actress Renata Friedman in the center of the play’s whirlwind 16 characters.
"There are not a lot of actresses who can perform it," Schellhardt said. "That’s the trick: finding an actress who can move through the characters so effortlessly that for them it’s a marathon, but for us in the audience, we can forget that we are watching one actress."