What's it about?
Kill Floor is the story of Andy Wiser, an ex-con who is trying to put her life back together after five years in jail for drug possession. Prior to being away she lost friends and her husband. While Andy was incarcerated she missed five years of B’s life, her son, who is having a hard time forgiving her for it. B is a teenager with a lack of direction. After five years, the two have much to learn about each other to rebuild their relationship as mother and son and find some common ground .
What'd I experience?
A break from the real world was just what I needed to start off the weekend, so I went to see Kill Floor at the Clair Tow Theater at Lincoln Center. I went in there blind, not expecting a thing. For the first time ever I got front row seats to a show, so this was going to be a new experience. The set was so smooth. It was divided into three settings; an office, a room, and an apartment. But I wasn’t able to get that until the play started. I was like “this is gonna be good,” I love being faced with the unpredictable. So I waited for the show to start with an open mind.
Finally it started, the theatre went black and this loud sound effect of street noises blasted from the speakers. Once the lights came on, the sounds immediately turned off. They used different sounds to establish what the next setting was going to be. This effect created suspense for me in between scenes throughout the play. In the beginning the main character Andy Wiser is introduced, she had recently been incarcerated for about five years missing five years of her son’s life. Andy is trying her best to get back up on her feet and be accepted as a citizen in society again. She felt like a broken down sad woman who is down to her last bit of strength but has kept on fighting.
Andy goes to a job interview at her town’s slaughterhouse and she’s being interviewed by Rick, a guy that used to be really popular back in their high school days. She gets a job but not the one she was going for, there was a position available down on the kill floor of the SLAUTERHOUSE (where they kill the cows).
We then met B, Andy's fifteen year old son, who happens to be a VEGAN and hasn’t forgiven Andy for her five year absence. It took me a while to figure out that B was Andy’s son. Not because B picked up more of his father’s African American genes and Andy was Caucasian with blond hair but because B acted as if Andy was a stranger. The way B acted towards his mother showed the severe damage that Andy’s five year absence did to their relationship. I love my mother with all my heart and could never imagine myself acting so distant from my mother.
Although B showed his neglect by being distant and uncommunicative he spoke his mind towards the end of the play after Andy had done everything she could to make him happy on the week leading towards his birthday. B told Andy that “(he) never wrote (Andy) back when she was in jail because he didn’t really miss her”. There I heard a rip in my head as if a cotton shirt was split open from the neck, except I felt it in my heart. B was a lonely kid.
B had one friend that didn’t really value B as much as B valued him. D was this Caucasian male who was as confused as B was. B was going through that teenage rebellious stage - smoking weed with D in B’s room. B felt like no one understood him but D. B admires D for his so called “conscious” rapping. D tried really hard to hide who he truly was with a rap persona; using the N word multiple times, sagging his pants, speaking with extra bass in his voice...etc. I immediately got an idea that the two were having intimate relations of some sort which D didn't feel comfortable showing off in public. D used B for oral sex yet was not comfortable kissing B or showing that he was gay, at all.
From beginning to end, this play gave me the most awkward and uncomfortable feelings I have ever felt in my life. EVERYTHING in the play was awkward!!! This was an awkward play!! Especially being in the front row and watching all of this go down, I wanted to scream to break the tension during the most awkward silent moments. Half of the audience laughed at some of the awkward moments but I guess the comedy was too dark for me to understand the humor behind it.
Every character is in this play is lost and in desperate search for a new perspective because they are unhappy with their current life. They all need to let out this other side of them, a side that wants to explore beyond who they currently are. Rick, Andy’s boss, is unhappy with his marriage and ends up cheating on his wife with Andy. Sarah, a women Andy meets at the super market, is exhausted from being a mother and wants some time alone. B and D are confused about their sexuality and don’t know how to deal with it. Andy is sober and having a hard time adjusting to society’s standards as a mother and a human being.
In the end, B gets assaulted by D after an argument. B texts Andy and Andy runs to him and B ends the play by saying “I got hurt” to Andy. At that point, I think Andy was going to find out everything her son was going through that he kept to himself bringing them closer than before and allowing their relationship to begin recovery. Sometimes, being at the very bottom can bring people together, especially after going through separate paths of pain, and allow them to go up.