She-Rantulas From Outer Space!

by Tim Parks

Rage Monthly

Saturday October 19, 2013

Watch the skies, San Diego: A terrifying invasion is about to beset our fair metropolis! The first sighting of this horror from beyond the stars can be seen at The Diversionary Theatre, as "She-Rantulas From Outer Space" makes its alien assault on your funny bone.

The 1950's-inspired lampoon of all things B-movie during horror and science fiction's golden age, as written by Ruff Yeager and Phil Johnson, focuses on the invasion of Small Town, USA and how one all-American mom must face the horrors at hand.

The Rage Monthly caught up with local theatre director extraordinaire, Ruff Yeager, who is pulling double duty as co-writer and director for She-Rantulas From Outer Space, to chat about the genesis of the play, how it utilizes 3-D in its storytelling and its ability to put the camp in this campfire story.

The play draws a great deal of influence from the science fiction and horror movies of the '50s. Which films from that genre would you say She-Rantulas From Outer Space closely resembles?

"The Bad Seed" (1956), starring Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, inspired us and influenced our work greatly. Deviating from the B-movie horror movie genre, it presents a view of evil that operates primarily in the mind; that is, it's highly psychological.

Our cast of characters is also inspired by the same movie; the stereotypes of the nosy neighbor, the uptight schoolmarm, the town drunk and the clueless housewife, who are all present.

Do you have a particular favorite film from this era and genre?

A favorite guilty pleasure of mine is "Teenagers from Outer Space" (1959) written and directed by Tom Graeff. The tag line on the poster: "Thrill-crazed kids from outer space blasting the flesh off humans." 'Nuff said.

A lot of those movies are steeped with unintentional campy elements, which are tailor made for gay audiences - will these be prevalent in the play? Any examples you can give the readers?

Are you kidding me? If you like camp you'll love "She-Rantulas!" This comic fartire (our special combination of farce and satire) has it all: It's set in small-town America in a stunning mid-century modern apartment, with men wearing stylish women's clothing, a little girl sprouting spider legs right before your very eyes, outrageously gruesome murders, a man wearing a fez singing happy songs, a sock-puppet show, a housewife plagued with her own special type of amnesia and lots of booze... did I mention men in women's clothing?

She-Rantulas is billed as a "comedy of horrors." How do you feel that those two factors lend themselves to one another?

Who doesn't like to laugh at a campy horror movie? Our play takes the idea of comedy, camp, and horror and turns the volume up to 13! You'll be scared to death, you'll laugh like you have never done before and your jaws will drop at the preposterousness of it all.

How will the play utilize 3-D?

Live theatre is the ultimate in 3-D performance, isn't it? You're not just watching the horror on the screen but you're living in the same room with it-breathing the same air as the crazed maniacs on the stage. You can't get much more 3-D than that!

What will audiences take away with them after seeing this play?

It's okay to be an alien, it's okay to be an outsider, it's okay to be "the other." And, if gay aliens ever invade this planet, the word "fierce" will take on a whole new meaning. So watch out, earthlings!

"She-Rantulas From Outer Space" is at the Diversionary Theatre at 4545 Park Boulevard from Thursday, October 24 through Sunday, November 17, for tickets and more information call 619.220.0097 or go to

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