There’s something exciting about sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories with your friends; forming your own “Midnight Society” (bonus points if you get this reference) and terrifying each other with tales of the boogieman or monsters under the bed. Pulling out a good ol’ urban legend is another surefire way to spook a crowd, but while these cautionary tales are mostly just fun and games, it’s also true that many are rooted in pieces of shadowy history and oftentimes involve a warped version of an actual person or event.
Since inquiring minds want to know, we thought we’d let you all in on the secret that’s not actually a secret at all: the inspiration behind The Muddy Mary Project’s name.
As you may or may not have guessed, it stemmed from the legend of “Bloody Mary” and the numerous versions of her story. One version involves a woman named Mary Worth who is believed to have been a witch burned alive at the stake. Another attributes the name to Queen Mary I of England who was nicknamed “Bloody Mary” after her execution of Protestants during her reign. Some believe the evil behind the name “Bloody Mary” was based on the actions of Countess Elizabeth Bathory (also known as the “Blood Countess” and “Countess Dracula”), who was rumored to drink and bathe in the blood of young female virgins to preserve her youth. Of course, when most of us hear “Bloody Mary” we think of the childhood game of calling her name three times in a candlelit bathroom and waiting to see her reflection appear over ours in the mirror (and then kill us, right? Kids are scary).
The significance of “Muddy Mary” being a spin on Bloody Mary is in its call to create a platform for perspectives that have been twisted, cast aside or forgotten about. The Muddy Mary Project is a festival interested in shedding light on the part of the story that’s misrepresented or unknown. This year’s theme, “women past, present or fictional,” derived mainly from our own passions. Women’s history is certainly a muddled one, and since it’s something all three of us have a vested interest in, we thought it’d be an appropriate way to kick-off the project. In truth though, there are countless stories rooted in fact that have lost their verity and grown into something fabled, and that reality is what influenced our decision to make this a project. The word “project” suggests something that is in progress. It implies growth and change. We wanted to create a festival that has a broader goal to bring stories to the stage that might otherwise go untold, but also where the specific focus is reimagined each season. Our hope is to craft something that can evolve every year, while generating new ideas and redefining traditional spaces into something of our own (and YOUR own) imaginations.
Deadline for submissions is June 1st, 2015 🙂