Q&A with Catherine Waller, Writer and Star of “The Creeps”

Q&A with Catherine Waller

The Creeps, written and performed by Catherine Waller, is an immersive play making its off-broadway debut at Playhouse 46 at St. Luke’s from September 1st through November 5th. In The Creeps, five characters who are a conflicting mixture of disturbing, hysterical, and morbid, explore the psychological nuances of desire, fear, and the unknown. And audiences just may find they are invited to participate.

I reached out to Catherine Waller for some information on her inspiration for the show, what makes it resonate with audiences, and her plans for the future!

What was the inspiration behind The Creeps, and what can audiences expect from this unique theatrical experience?

The Creeps is a discussion about humanity – maybe the darkest forms of our humanity. And at the same time, it shows the real likeness we have to one another, even those we think we don’t have a lot in common with. A lot of the inspiration comes from what I call ‘the heartbreak of circumstance’, when something happens in a person’s life that is very challenging, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes through no fault of their own (they meet the wrong person, take a wrong turn, make the wrong choice) and their life drastically changes. We have all dealt with specific things in life, I know I have, however, I’ve never crossed that fine line. I’m so excited for the audiences to come experience this show, because they should be ready to expect the unexpected. The Creeps takes you on a ride with ups and downs and surprises that make it a real thrill. I always love when I see people’s eyes wide and mouths agape by the range of emotions they’ve gone through. Both light and dark, dark and scary, yet funny and moving. It’s a really fun ride.

What elements do you think make The Creeps stand out and resonate with audiences?

The interactive element certainly stands out. People have asked me if I had people planted in the audience because the improvisation was so surprising! Which is a great compliment. Another thing that resonates a lot with people is the ways they connect with the characters – even the ones they don’t expect.

Can you tell us a little about your background?

I was trained at a conservatory (The New Zealand National Drama School) and was lucky enough to be taught by extraordinary teachers and Directors (some from Europe and the UK). We learnt a range of tools that, to this day, impact how I perform The Creeps; including mask work, clown work, and physical theater that I’m able to draw from constantly when performing The Creeps. And every project I’ve worked on has been an opportunity to learn and get better at telling stories. I’m so grateful for the training and experience I’ve received!

Could you elaborate on how the themes of fear, desire, and the unknown are portrayed in the production and the impact they have on the audience?

The themes are really apparent through each character and the audience’s interaction with them. Like life, we don’t often know what’s going on with someone, and the things they are dealing with. The Creeps is really special because the audience gets a window into these characters’ lives, and they start to fall in love with the humanity within them. It really unites people in this interesting way, because I think we are so used to walking past people – even making judgements about people – especially those on the fringes of society or who we think we don’t have anything in common with, but we don’t know the nuance of what has them where they are. The audiences in The Creeps are always left caring so much, and they are often even brave enough to share a bit about themselves. We also use a lot of amazing lighting and sound design to create an environment that is psychologically dark and scary. So it’s a great theatrical experience as well.

How does the audience participation enhance the overall experience and contribute to the unique atmosphere of the show?

It makes it so alive! It is bubbling with excitement and “now-ness” in the theater. The nature of improvisation is so thrilling to encounter – even for me! I never know what’s coming. So it’s even more special, considering it’s never the same show twice.

With the limited nine-week engagement of The Creeps at Playhouse 46 at St. Luke’s, what are your hopes and expectations for the show? Are there any plans for future performances or potential collaborations?

Yes! We’re already planning a UK and US tour. And I hope to take it to Broadway one day. There’s also a world and a universe where The Creeps could be adapted into a film or TV series, so I’m already thinking about how I would want to do that as a writer.

Get tickets for The Creeps HERE.

Read Beauty News NYC’s other Q&As HERE.

Gemma Lolos

Social Media Manager + Staff Writer

Gemma Lolos is a fiercely proud native New Yorker who is devoted to the arts in all its many forms. She loves to sing and listen to music, read great literature, experience inspiring theatre and film, and stream addictive television. She works full-time as a Marketing professional in New York City and does freelance writing on the side. In her free time, Gemma tries to immerse herself in the NYC Arts scene as much as possible, eat great food, and travel whenever she is able.

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