Danny and the Therapist reading at Spooky Action Theatre Company

Date:
December 15, 2016
Location:
1810 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009,
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Description

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Spooky Action Theatre Company will be reading a play of mine for the fourth time, as part of their New Works Worshop series.  The piece will be directed and cast by Rebecca Wahls.  Danny and the Therapist was developed first as a one-act and produced by Sanctuary Playwrights Theatre (NY), at Theater at the 14th Street Y, in December 2013.  It was then expanded to a full-length piece under impetus from Athena Theatre Company (NY), and was part of the Athena Playwright reading at A.R.T.-NY, in December 2015.  This is a completely new version of the piece, as it was rewritten after the reading with Athena.

Synopsis

Danny has reached the end of his rope.  He is studying the writings of Carl Jung for answers, but finds none.  He lays down for a nap. 

He dreams he is in therapy.   But it is unlike any therapy he has ever heard of.  He tries to talk through his problems, but things spin quickly out of control.  It turns out that the Therapist is the one with the secrets.  Finally, Danny can take no more and pulls out a gun to try and make the Therapist listen better.  “Do you know what this is?”  He asks.  “A penis,” the therapist replies.  Obviously.

The Therapist wrestles the gun from Danny and makes him switch places.  Danny is in the Therapist’s chair and the Therapist is lying down.  The therapy chair confers wisdom and an extensive vocabulary. 

The Therapist shares his secrets.  They are actually Danny’s repressed memories.  Danny is alternately at peace with his new role and terribly uncomfortable.  Chloe, Danny’s wife, dances into the Therapy session.  She too has secrets.  She too takes a turn on the couch.

A metaphor is wheeled onto the stage.  Is the whole scene just a metaphor?  If so, for what?  The three grow confused, as they trade roles back and forth.  One shoots another, but it is just a metaphor.  There is talk of love and ultimate meanings.  Sometimes one is leading, sometimes another – leadership takes many forms.  The play ends.  Then ends again.  Finally, after the third ending, it is over.