The next production to come to the MCC Theatre stage will be Christopher Durang’s “Beyond Therapy,” a comedy that will be directed by David Vining. Productions of the play have been performed both on and off-Broadway, and the script was also adapted to film in 1987 by Robert Altman.
“During writes really accessible comedies, even though he technically an absurdist writer,” said theatre and film arts program director Kevin Dressler. “Most comedies have extreme characters, because comedy is based off extremity and incongruity. Those are the two principles of comedy; and so Durang uses those principles, but he puts them in an absurdist context.”
The play is set in Manhattan and follows Prudence, played by Kiri Mālolo, as she answers the personal ad of Bruce, played by Dakota Erickson; comedy is born of their interactions, the result of this initial meeting.Eventually the audience is introduced to the pair’s respective psychiatrists, odd characters with strange proclivities of their own. “It’s a really funny, absurdist play,” said MCC student Janae Dunn, who will be playing Bruce’s therapist.
Dressler said that the characters in this play are so extreme that they probably wouldn’t exist in real life. “We laugh at them anyway, because his images are exaggerations of things that really do happen,” Dressler said. One example of this exaggeration of the possible in “Beyond Therapy” that Dressler pointed out was the dialogue between characters.
“The language is close enough to reality that we can relate, but he gets so specific with it that most people would not phrase it that way,” Dressler said of Durang’s dialogue. The blunt nature of the characters regarding how they speak to each other, is a defining element throughout “Beyond Therapy.” In one instance, when asked about his cologne Bruce mentions that his gay lover picked it out.
Though not the main focus of the narrative, the play also manages to touch on relevant social issues. Dunn said that people will be drawn in by the play, but will also leave with something. “We’re all trying to reach out and touch someone,” was one line that resonated with her.
Shows for “Beyond Therapy” are scheduled for March 6, 7 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and on March 7 and 14 at 2 p.m.
To get tickets call (480) 461-7172
Or visit: https://www.purplepass.com/#mm=allevents/mesa community college.