I saw sex with strangers last night. No, not strangers having sex. Or a sex show with strangers next to me. Sex with Strangers. A play. I don’t have Strunk & White handy, so I’m not sure if this should be in “ “ or ____ so you’ll have to bear with me on the punctuation front.
The play is being shown in a small theater on Broad Street in Philadelphia and the critics, well, let’s just say, they didn’t exactly help ticket sales. But as with many Philadelphians in high-perched places, they got it wrong. They lamented that the opening scene was “implausible.” Yeah, I guess everyone knows all good stories open with only plausible scenarios. Dorothy, go back to Kansas, and Miss Havisham, clean that house of yours — we ain’t buying your stories!
The play’s opening line is very simple, “Who are you?” Without beating you over the head, the drama twists and turns itself around this question, showing light on the character’s real selves, their romanticized selves, their external personas, their “sellable” selves, and their attempts at being better selves. All with the backdrop of artists struggling to find their voice, or at least a voice that others care to hear.
They are both writers – one a contemporary blogger who found a unique topic to blog about and is trying to parlay his fame into more lucrative ventures in the hopes of writing more serious works later. The other an old fashioned, contemplative soul who hasn’t a clue as to how to market herself, much less her book, in today’s E-society.
So you see, who they are as people and who they are as writers, becomes the centerfold of the sexually-charged relationship that ensues.
I know what you’re thinking.
“Hey, Zoe, what’s with the review of this play? I thought this was a blog about female corporate traveling?”
Well, you also may have noticed I’ve taken a little blog vacation. I think my last entry had me in NY with my college housemates last summer drinking sangria in the afternoon and wishing they lived closer. I wish I could say I’ve been too busy traveling and having fun to blog. But the sorry truth is that this year has been filled with, well, let’s just say “changes,” and the thought of writing about them didn’t appeal to me.
At the crux of these changes has been a common theme, a common question. Not just asked by me, but by loved ones around me and it’s the same question Sex with Strangers asks – Who are You?
Don’t worry. I’m not going to get all schmaltzy and philosophical. I’ll just say that the answer can be something very simple and yet filled with content: I am a mother. Or something inspiring: I am finding my courage. Or something that may sound bold and sad at the same time: I am someone who doesn’t give up easily.
Please write and tell me who you are.