“Slasher” dramatically kills the patriarchy

In the last theatre performance of the semester at Minnesota State University, Mankato, “Slasher” brings a horrifying comedy that redefines the feminist perspective.

“Slasher” focuses on Sheena, a young woman who gets casted in a B-roll slasher film, an exciting opportunity for her to make it big and leave her small town. Her mom, Francis, is a superfeminist and when she discovers the role Sheena is cast in, she will stop at nothing to stop her daughter from getting the opportunity. 

When director Sarah Honerman pitched the idea to faculty at the beginning of the season, she was thrilled when they picked it up. Honerman believes the message of self-defining feminism and how society continues to boost women was one of the reasons she hopped on the opportunity to direct the production.

“Horror has not always been kind to women and [the show] lets old-wave feminism and new-wave feminism play out in a horror lens,” said Honerman. “It’s a beautiful look at how horror has championed and failed feminism altogether.”

Billed as a horror comedy, the show’s complexity of balancing topics such as feminism with comedic elements drew senior McKenna Prill to audition for the show. Prill plays Francis, Sheena’s superfeminist mom who wants to stop Mark Hunter’s heinous production that Sheena stars in. 

“Originally, when I was reading the script, I didn’t know who to audition for and when I got cast as Francis, I was shocked as I’d never done a horror comedy before,” shared Prill. “The more I read about her, she was so complex and complicated. It was a fun challenge.”

With women’s rights being a hot discussion in society, the ability to transcend those modern ideas and old-wave feminism movements is demonstrated throughout the production and done well in an exciting manner. Senior Via Logan, who plays Sheena, is fond of a certain line that manages to blend the two worlds together.

“In one scene, Francis says ‘You’re dragging us down, you’re supposed to finish what we started,’ and Sheena says, ‘I’m pulling myself up’ which shows that feminism looks different from woman to woman,” said Logan. “I think it really encapsulates the dichotomy by saying that one isn’t better than the other. It’s just a new wave of feminism.”

The overall hope of the show is that audiences will come for the laughter, but leave with a new introspect on how feminism is defined by society’s standards and factors that cause different views on feminism.

“I hope that people laugh but realize that the fright doesn’t come from jumpscares. It comes from the real world of danger that the male characters inherently possess and the true physical harm that they can cause outside of the context of the play,” shared Logan. 

“I hope they hear the message that we’re trying to get across. It’s not a slap in the face about feminism, it’s a sneak. I hope they hear the little tidbits that add up throughout the whole show,” added Prill. 

“Slasher” runs in the Andreas Theatre from Nov. 17 to Nov. 20 with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and children under 16 and $8 for MNSU students.

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