Post-show discussion – Sunday, November 19

We had our best turnout yet for a post-show discussion Sunday afternoon – it was a sold-out show, and it seemed that almost everyone stuck around to talk.

One audience member asked Michelle Courvais (playing Theresa Bedell, a woman whose life is permanently and violently affected by her experiences as a victim of stalking) if she had had similar experiences, or knew someone who had, to draw from in creating her portrayal of Theresa. Michelle talked about her surprise in working on this show to find out how common an experience it really is. At our first rehearsal, with the full cast and crew gathered to read the play together for the first time, director Steve Scott asked how many people had been stalked. About half the hands in the room went up.

Most of our experiences don’t go to the extreme seen in Boy Gets Girl, but most of us had felt the unwanted attention of an unpredictable and possibly dangerous admirer at one point. Judging from the conversation in the theatre Sunday afternoon, I think many in the audience had as well.

We spent some time talking about gender roles, stereotypes and assumptions, looking at the story from an academic perspective. There was an interesting discussion about Theresa’s place in the context of feminist theory (my own opinion: Rebecca’s characters (thankfully) are almost always too complicated to fit neatly into any -ism), and a somewhat heated discussion on the affects of telling this story with the gender roles reversed – i.e. the story of a man being stalked by a woman who becomes progressively more violent and dangerous. An interesting point came up here – that a man wouldn’t feel the guilt or sense of responsibility that a woman feels for being the victim of stalking. It’s an idea that surfaces briefly in the script – Theresa asks Madeleine Beck, the detective working on her case, if this is her fault:

THERESA      I keep thinking I did something.

BECK            That’s only because you’re human. 

THERESA      I am. 

BECK            (Smiles.) Yes.  Men, though, never think it’s their fault.  They just always go, “Oh, that’s chick’s crazy.” 

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