Iowa City – After the seriousness of 1984, Dreamwell ventures into comedy with Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy. Directed by Nicole Reedy, the show runs November 13, 14, 20 & 21 at 7:30. Performances will be held at Public Space One, 120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City.
From the Dreamwell website:
Bruce and Prudence are deeply into therapy. Prudence’s macho therapist is urging her to be more assertive while Bruce’s wacky female therapist wants him to meet women by placing a personal ad. She does not fully comprehend that Bruce has a male lover who is not pleased by Bruce’s desire to date a woman: Prudence. Bruce doesn’t know how to handle poor nervous Prudence and Prudence doesn’t know what to make of her unpredictable new boyfriend. They do learn to live beyond therapy in this delightful Off Broadway hit that moved successfully to Broadway.
A few months ago, in our Deep Dive of Dreamwell’s season, we asked three members of Dreamwell’s play selection committee (Chuck Dufano, Rachael Lindhart and Nate Sullivan) to talk to us about Beyond Therapy. Here’s what they said:
As noted, Beyond Therapy is the one comedy of the season. The play is over 30 years old. Does it stand the test of time? Will you have to do any updating for a modern audience?
CHUCK: I think the themes hold up – people still have the desire to find their true love, talk over their problems with a therapist, and have disastrous first dates. It’s actually kind of depressing things haven’t changed that much in 30 years. Hmmm, what time is Dr. Phil on today?
RACHAEL: Beyond Therapy is vintage Durang. And I think it has stood the test of time as about the best of his early plays. It is a play that deals with big issues in a rather deceivingly realistic world — much more realistic than, say, the world of Baby with the Bathwater.
NATE: I think the play holds up based strictly on the quality of the dialogue and the characters. Sure, it’s full of ’80s references, but even if you don’t understand them (and since I was born in 1987, I don’t), the play is still incredibly funny and the issues of self-identity and self-validation are very relevant to today’s culture of obsession with things like social-media personas.
RACHAEL: I don’t feel that we will need to do updating; I think it will be possible to be funny in the period in which the play is written.
CHUCK: I agree with Nate — the only fear we have regarding updating for a modern audience is when the lead characters are advised to place a personal ad, 20-something year olds aren’t going to snort, “What’s a newspaper?” while thumbing through match.com on their Smartphone.
NATE: Chuck, Dr. Phil is on at 3:00.
Tickets are available online here.
Bruce: Jordan Running
Prudence: Kelly Garrett
Stuart: Brad Quinn
Charlotte: Jessica Wilson
Bob: Bryant Duffy
Waiter: Andrew Cole