When a stray kitten turns up at her sister’s wedding reception, Avery decides to give it a temporary home in her family’s laundry room. When she checks in on the kitten later that night, Avery discovers that a portal to outer space has opened in the wall, a T-Rex is trying to eat the washer and dryer, and the kitten can breathe fire. Then a unicorn shows up. And some aliens. And a few mythological deities. Avery is convinced it has to be a dream—but it’s not. Her life is about to get a whole lot more interesting, and she may never be able to complete another homework assignment again. About 25 minutes.
PLAYWRIGHT BRADLEY WALTON TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY FIRE-BREATHING KITTEN
Q: What inspired you to write this play?
A: I'd been seeing a trend in T-shirt graphics involving cats in crazy fantasy situations, and it got me wondering...what if you brought home a kitten and it breathed fire? When I started writing, the script evolved into a parody of those images, which I know seems like an odd thing to say, because those shirts are so over-the-top already, but part of the play's humor stems from its simple representation of elements that most audience members would associate with digital effects.
Q: What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
A: "The universe is a vast, wonderful, and magical place. I'm a kitten. Trust me, I know." To me, that line says amazing things can be found just about anywhere if you're looking with wide-eyed innocence and the belief that anything is possible. (And if you can do it while riding a unicorn through outer space and shooting down flying saucers with lightning bolts from Thor's guitar...that's even better.)
Q: Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
A: The kitten is sort of an amalgam of the two cats with whom my family and I currently share our home. One is mischievously adorable...she does naughty things and then looks at you with big eyes and purrs, and it's impossible to be angry with her. The other cat was a stray, hungry kitten who showed up at my brother-in-law's wedding reception, and much of the play’s opening was inspired by that night. Thankfully, neither cat breathes fire or travels through time. So far as we know.
Q: What did you try to achieve with this play?
A: I tried to make myself laugh. And I laughed a LOT. Anyone who's familiar with my work knows that I'm into absurd humor and situations. I think this play manages to push beyond of boundaries of anything I've attempted before...and that's saying something.
Q: Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
A: Writing this play was similar to writing “How to Kill a Mockingbird” because both times, I approached the work with the mentality that nothing was too ridiculous. The humor in “How to Kill a Mockingbird” seems to have connected with a lot of people over the years, and I hope “Fire-Breathing Kitten” will connect with audiences (and performers!) as well.