Lois Lancaster is a big-city journalist writing about the current state of mental health facilities. Her research takes her to a hospital populated with a unique group of quirky inmates who imagine they are crime-fighting superheroes. Speed Freak thinks he can run at incredible speeds, while Dim Bulb, the most enthusiastic person on the face of the earth, thinks he has the ability to turn off lights with his brain. Mental thinks she can read minds, despite being prone to sudden outbursts of bizarre non-sequiturs. Kevin, much less quirky and flamboyant than the other inmates, doesn’t embarrass himself with a ridiculous code name or costume...at least, not initially. Dr. Gail Eisner appears to be a kindly hospital administrator, a steady influence needed to effectively run a madhouse like this one. At first Lois finds their elaborate superhero fantasies to be an entertaining diversion, the wild delusions of unstable minds, until something unusual happens that makes her wonder .... Easy to stage and insanely fun for cast and audiences alike. (This script is also available in a community theatre version entitled "Insane With Power." A one-act version is "Superhero Sanitarium.")
PLAYWRIGHT SCOTT HAAN
TALKS ABOUT “SUPERFREAKS”
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: I’ve always been fascinated by the possibilities of live theatre, which has provided a valuable creative outlet my entire life. I’m also a fan of comedies, of super-heroes, and of stories with interesting twists and surprises, and I found a way to combine all of these interests into one show. The world is serious enough, and getting darker by the day. I wanted to take people away from that for a few hours, and hopefully make them smile and laugh for a while.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: Without giving anything away, there’s a soft spot in my heart for the end of Act I. The twist there always elicits a huge response from audiences, even if they saw it coming. The reaction to that reveal is always my favorite moment whenever I watch the show.
Q: WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART IN CREATING THIS WORK?
A: Turning off the idea faucet was a challenge. I loved writing these characters and exploring their world, and I could have easily written a 4-hour play with all of the ideas I had for them. Streamlining the story and keeping only the best material was tough, but it paid off because the end result is a much tighter and faster-paced story (and won’t make the bottoms in the seats go numb).
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: Entertainment, pure and simple. My theatre experience has taught me that there’s a direct correlation between how much fun a cast has during rehearsals, and how much fun the audience has when the show opens. So I set out to write something that actors would really enjoy performing, that would let them be silly and loose and moronic. When we staged the world premiere, several veterans in the cast said it was the most fun they’ve ever had onstage, and our audiences laughed their heads off, so mission accomplished!
Q: ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SAY?
A: I hope you enjoy the script. This is not a show that pretends to be more important than it actually is. It’s not pretentious or preachy. It’s people in ridiculous outfits acting silly, and having the best time doing it. You don’t have to be a fan of super-heroes, or know anything about them, to enjoy it. You just need a sense of humor. Have fun!!!