Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The fine line between wooing and stalking

by Jordan Bubin

Boy Gets Girl opens at Theatre Intime this weekend, and yes, as a disclaimer, I’m part of the cast. That said, you should go see the show—first, because it’s a wicked good drama, and second, because the play explores sexuality, feminism, and eroticism.

The play focuses on a New York magazine journalist who is stalked after a blind date. Since this is a stage production, and not a film, it’s not an hour and a half of running, but a more psychological look at what it feels like to be captive to someone you can’t see. I have no interest in giving away too many details of the plot, given my own little conflict of interest; so let me tease you in a different way.

What’s the line between wooing someone and stalking them? It doesn’t seem that difficult to figure out, but what about a basic romantic comedy plot? Say, a boy decides that he likes a girl, and the only problem is that she’s with some schmuck; the first boy decides that he and the girl can be together if only he shows he proves himself. There’s likable characters, and fun music, but come on—if the geeky guy from work started following you around, and climactically bursts into your wedding to scream that you’re making a mistake, it’s going to be a little strange. A surprise gift of flowers could be unwanted, and shrugged off—or not; several flower bouquets could be the sign of a romantic bent on convincing you to meet him for coffee, or it could be time to call the police.

Dating typically involves a little chase, from one side or the other, and it almost always involves ignorance of the other party’s intentions, at least at first. Boy Gets Girl, in part, is about when that ignorance is dangerous, and SHARE is joining in by sponsoring a discussion after the Saturday matinee.

Almost every interaction and line of dialogue offers some take on the objectification of women, the social construction of beauty, and opportunity for women. The characters—including the sexualized office assistant and the elderly porn producer the lead must write a piece on—help draw out the tension in these issues.

Of course, the play isn’t a morality piece. Nor is it a political diatribe. There’s plenty of food for thought, but it’s worked in between knives, smashed phones, and dirty old men; if you want to see a play that will touch on feminist issues this weekend, this is it. The is matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m.; nightly shows Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m.


At December 2, 2008 at 8:11 PM , Anonymous Roissy said...

Amusing how the same actions become charming or morally depraved, depending entirely on whether the woman finds the man attractive. The best way not to get accused of sexual harassment is to be alpha.

At December 3, 2008 at 12:01 PM , Anonymous jkis said...

I think there's a little more nuance than that-- the line between charming and depraved depend on whether or not the man is respecting the woman's boundaries and comfort level with his ovations. If she finds him attractive, her comfort level might be much higher than if she didn't (and it's worth pointing out that not all women find alpha-men attractive).

The best way not to get accused of sexual harassment or stalking is to listen to and respect the boundaries of the person you're wooing.


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