GIVEAWAY: Mockingjay.net Talks to ‘The Hungry Hungry Games’
In just a little over two weeks, The Hungry Hungry Games (@HungryGamesShow), a live theatrical parody of The Hunger Games will begin a 20 city tour of shows. Earlier this year they did one show and it was such a success that they have made it into a much bigger production. They reached out to us for an interview and we were able to connect with them for a quick interview. I spoke with head writer and director of the show Jim Millan as well as writers Alice Moran, Colin Munch, and Jon Blair. Keep reading to learn how you can win tickets to one of their shows!
Could you tell our readers a little bit about the show and how it got started?
Alice: We all worked together last summer on a different parody show called Spank, the 50 Shade parody, and then afterwards we were all very excited to work with one another again so we started thinking about things we love and we kind of love teen murder so The Hunger Games was a natural fit.
Colin: Alice and I had worked on an improv show called The Hungry Hungry Games with our theater company last fall so it was already in our brains and we kind of had an idea for the groundwork already from working on that improv show and we thought it would be fun to turn it into a full scripted play.
Alice: Yeah and we played Katniss and Peeta so we had a lot of material stockpiled on playing really awkward, terrible love scenes where neither of us was particularly savvy at love.
Obviously with a subject like hunger you run the risk of being offensive. What was most difficult part of turning your show into something that people were able to laugh at?
Colin: Well yeah, you said it. Finding this balance between poking fun at this dystopian society and going too far with it, it would be very easy to be offensive and that was something that we really tread the line every day in the writing process.
Jim: Also it seems like some of the broader ideas of the show, sort of the reality tv angle and various things that relate to pop culture that Hunger Games does brilliantly felt like it was also suitable for parody and so it was really great to write it with a group of us because we sort of bounced off each other as well as referring back to the book, there was a lot of different styles of things we got to play with which was a lot of fun.
Jon: And I think too, the first thing that really struck me when I was reading the book and I think they brought it to life really well in the film is that the world that these characters inhabit is so dark. It’s so awful and dark that the only way to make a comedy about it or write anything else about it at all is to turn that up to 11 and make everything so dark that it becomes kind of silly. It’s like the world is cartoonishly bad in our version of it. And I think that’s the only way we can get away with re-writing a world like that, is to make everything so over the top.
Alice: Yeah, Jon actually did a really cool thing where at one point in the show all of our character rap and Kat’s rap is just the bleakest stuff you’ve ever heard. It’s just hot jams about how her dad died in a coal mine.
Colin: My favorite character of the show is our monologues of President Snow, President Snew, who has become this hip-hop rock star like cartoonishly evil guy who is so excited to be the most powerful man on the planet. Like just so enthusiastic about how evil he is. A very, very fun character. Definitely my favorite part of the show, his little monologues to the audience, when he’s telling people in the Capitol where their place is.
Do you guys have a particular scene that you’re most proud of?
Jim: For me, I think it’s the showstopper, is the rap battles. Once when we were in the training sequence, early on in the process we were discussing if there would have to be training for anything and the word battle came up and I just thought rap battles would be hilarious and the way people have written them in hysterically funny. And the work we’ve done with it and the audiences have seen earlier versions and have really responded to it so that’s some great fun.
Alice: My favorite scene is actually in Act I as well, Kat and Peter the night they go into the Hunger Games, having that last little chat on the roof before they go off to fight to the death and it’s just like so much painful teen awkwardness, it’s just that heightened experience of when you were a teenager and you so wanted to be cool and you just can’t.
Jon: Yeah, creating that scene was a lot of fun. Alice and I have a lot of improv experience so we had sort of a written framework and then we just hung out in Jim’s kitchen and improvised that scene, developing that was really fun. That scene’s probably changed the most of any other scene in the show because every other time we did it in a reading it changed completely because we would just play off each other.
What was your audience like the first time around? Was it mostly teenagers or did you have all age ranges?
Jon: That’s interesting. We had a really kind of broad range of age ranges, I think.
Colin: Yeah we had a couple of really young people in the audience, but also kind of the regular attendees of the theater we were staging it at. It was a pretty even mix of ages.
Jon: We also had a couple of straight up babies. Like real babies. I don’t think they got a lot of it.
Colin: Yeah, they loved the rap battle!
Alice: But the babies were like, “Could you add more jangling keys?”
Jon: And a bouncy castle. We were going to put a bouncy castle.
Colin: Yeah, we just didn’t have the budget for it.
Were most of the audience fans of the Hunger Games already?
Jim: I think there was a mix. I think there were people who were interested in The Hunger Games and because of Spank a lot of people were curious to see what we would do next. And we also had hardcore fans who actually were super enthusiastic and I talked to some of them. I don’t think the real fans, of course they’re protective of the thing, but I think they also are smart and interested in seeing what somebody does going off in another direction with it, cause it’s still another way to celebrate the book.
Jon: First and foremost what we’re doing is we’re making a show for fans. You know, people who have read the book and who’ve maybe seen the film, that’s what we’re doing first. Then we want to get everyone else, the people who haven’t. So hopefully there’s something in there that even if you’re not completely familiar with every in and out of Hunger Games, you’re still going to have a good time. But we really did want to make it rewarding for the people who are gonna understand all the references, know all the parts in the story, know all the characters.
Jim: What we’re hoping is that the nine weeks we’re touring this fall will lead to even more touring, so we hope this is just the beginning of the story so we’ll be sure to keep your readers updated in what’s happening with this and hopefully it’ll have a long life on stage.
The Hungry Hungry Games tour starts September 11 in Rutland, Vermont and ends November 5 in Detroit. The nice folks behind the show have offered us a pair of tickets to give away at each of their 20 stops:
September 11, 2013: RUTLAND, VT – The Paramount
September 25, 2013: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Paramount Theater
September 26, 2013: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
September 27, 2013: FREDERICK, MD – Weinberg Center for the Arts
September 28, 2013: WILMINGTON, DE - DuPont Theatre
October 2, 2013: GLENSIDE, PA – Keswick Theatre
October 4, 2013 – WILKES-BARRE, PA – F.M. Kirby Center
October 9, 2013 – BOSTON, MA - Wilbur Theatre
October 10, 2013: WORCESTER, MA – Hanover Theater TICKETS CLAIMED
October 12, 2013: – NEWARK, NJ – The New Jersey Performing Arts Center
October 13, 2013 – TARRYTOWN, NY – Tarrytown Music Hall
October 18, 2013: YORK, PA – The Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center
October 19, 2013: BROOKVILLE, LONG ISLAND, NY - Tilles Center For The Performing Arts, LIU
October 20, 2013: CONCORD, NH - Capitol Center for the Arts TICKETS CLAIMED
October 29, 2013: GREEN BAY, WI – Meyer Theatre
November 1, 2013: MADISON, WI – Capitol Theatre, Overture Center TICKETS CLAIMED
November 3, 2013: MILWAUKEE, WI – Turner Hall TICKETS CLAIMED
November 5, 2013: DETROIT, MI – City Theatre TICKETS CLAIMED
If you are able to make any of these shows, we are giving away the tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis if you do all of the following:
- Comment here with the funniest “Capitol Pick-up Line” you can think of.
- Tweet about our contest with the following: “Enter to win a pair of tickets to @HungryGamesShow from @mockingjaynet by submitting a Capitol Pick-up Line! http://youburnwith.us/15dSNm2″
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your comment and tweet and then tell us which city you’d like tickets for.
Mockingjay.net will not provide any travel costs. Contest is for tickets only, which were sponsored by The Hungry Hungry Games. Contest will end once all tickets have been awarded.