The perversity of expat theatre
Why shake off a reputation when you can embrace it? That’s the attitude White Box Theatre has taken. After its last two shows (its critically acclaimed June production of “Red Light Winter” and July production of “Gaucho”) both featured graphic sex scenes, this expat theater will open the doors for its next main-stage show, David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.”
Technical director Liam Mitchinson claims that it is not a deliberate theme. “Our directors happen to choose great scripts — scripts that are relevant, entertaining and accessible. It just so happens that the last two chosen contained sex scenes,” he said.
Despite the title, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” is probably the least controversial of White Box’s recent offerings, with no nudity or sex to be seen — merely discussed. Set in 1976, this comedy by renowned playwright David Mamet proves scene by hilarious scene that he has mastered the language of men and women alike.
“It’s basically four single 20-somethings navigating their way through dating one summer,” said starring actor Stephen Glaspie.
Think again before you label this one-hour comedy as “Sex in the City” for men or “High Fidelity.” This play is an abrasive but honest look at the state of sex in the minds of adults during the post-collegiate and early career-building years. “It may be about relationships, and it may be funny, but no one is going to walk out labeling it a ‘romantic comedy,’” director Desiree Munro said. “It’s much funnier than any romantic comedy you’ve ever seen. And much more intelligent.”
Munro is no stranger to the script, having produced and directed it in 2001 for the Melbourne Fringe Festival which earned her a “Best Newcomer” award, and is delighted to be tackling the show again. “I’ve got a great script that I’m familiar with, eleven more years of experience to draw upon and the chance to work with a native American cast. I can’t wait,” she told Groove Korea.
Indeed the script holds a special place for Munro, as it was the first piece she ever directed.
“The audience response ten years ago was astounding. People who had never seen theater before came back night after night, each time with different friends. I’d like to think it was my direction, but the truth is, it’s just that kind of play. Anyone can enjoy it. I’d feel confident inviting any circle of friends to see this. It’s entertaining to anyone with a pulse. It’s just plain funny.”
“Sexual Perversity in Chicago” runs for one weekend only (Sept. 21, 22 and 23) at White Box Theatre in Hyochang Park, three subway stops west of Itaewon. All tickets are 15,000 won and can be purchased at the door.
For a map to the venue and booking information, visit www.probationarytheatre.com.