More About Wolf at the Door
I realize that yesterday's post about Wolf at the Door could use more context. That is, it's been a long time since I talked about that play so maybe a refresher is in order.
This all started with a dream.
I had a dream that I was being chased by a pack of wolves. I was running through some sort neighborhood trying to find my house. When I find my home I see it's made of glass so even though I've locked the door the wolves come crashing in through the glass. So I run upstairs. I go to a bedroom and shut the door (which is made of wood--I guess the upstairs is a regular house). So there I am holding the doorknob as a wolf on the other side of the door is biting through the door. I can see his teeth coming through right around the doorknob I'm holding.
Then I wake up.
I describe this dream to my co-workers and when I say the phrase "wolf at the door" one of my co-workers stops me and says, "That would be a great title for a play."
Yes. Yes, it would.
I write it down.
Later that night I wonder what play goes with that title.
As someone who's incorporated quite a bit of Greek mythology into my plays I get it into my head that I want to write a myth, but one based on Latin American mythology.
I begin looking online for anything about wolves and Latin American folklore/myths. Bupkis.
So I begin searching for anything about dogs. That's when I come across a Mesoamerican belief that dogs carried the spirits of the dead across a river to the afterlife.
Wolf at the Door is set in the late 1800s (that's a recent change, I think it'll stick) on a hacienda in Mexico. And while I began the play with the intention of writing a myth, I soon recognized that I was writing a fairy tale. So yes, this is the play that kicked of my grimm Latino fairy tales cycle.
You've been warned.
Like all fairy tales Wolf at the Door is a cautionary tale. The lesson here is: don't beat up your wife. Actually, I think the play is more about Isadora (the wife) gaining agency and standing up to her husband (Septimo). The fairy tale element is the supernatural woman (Yolot) who appears on the hacienda coinciding with the burial of Isadora's stillborn baby and a pack of wolves that have been watching the hacienda.
Yolot is found naked and very pregnant sleeping in the hay with the dogs. Isadora's husband Septimo prevents Yolot from leaving and literally chains her to the bed (which was brought into the front room near the fire for Isadora). That's an image that really inspired me. One woman on the bed asleep. The other on the floor chained to it. And as the play proceeds they exchange places (though Isadora is never chained).
SPOILER ALERT ENDED
That's all I'll say about the play. Like I said it's still in early draft mode. I haven't even officially finished the first draft. But I will, especially since I have that informal table reading this month.