Lauded playwright MJ Kaufman’s skewering play SENSITIVE GUYS, presented by InterAct Theatre Company as the second show of their 30thAnniversary Season, uses the “safe spaces” of a small liberal arts college, and the passionate yet naïve students who inhabit them, to explore pitfalls that lurk on the path toward undoing institutionalized patriarchal norms. This prescient piece, though developed a few years ago through InterAct’s Core Playwrights program, speaks directly to the current cultural moment with humor, biting insight, and hopeful compassion.
SENSITIVE GUYS takes place on the campus of a small liberal arts college where a pair of extracurricular programs, the student-led Men’s Peer Education Group and women’s Survivor Support Group, work together on an ambitious plan to unlearn sexism and totally eradicate all sexual violence everywhere within just five years. Everything seems to be on track – until an incident throws all their ideals into question. Beginning as a satirical look at hyper-progressivism and modern gender tropes, the play casts a long shadow, asking what change might actually be possible when complicity is assured—intentionally or inadvertently—in the monolith of male-dominated society.
Kaufman’s play runs January 19 – February 11, 2018 at InterAct (opening January 24) and will be directed by Evren Odcikin. The cast features an ensemble of local artists including Barrymore Award-winner Bi Jean Ngo, as well as Emily Lynn, Maggie Johnson, Lexie Braverman and Brett Robinson. Performances take place in the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, located at 302 S. Hicks Street in Center City Philadelphia. Tickets cost between $25-$40 and are available online at interacttheatre.org, at the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 215-568-8079. Limited “INTER-HALF” half-price tickets are available after January 25 and must be purchased the same day and in-person at the box office (credit card fees apply).
During the run, InterAct will present further post-show audience conversations. Coffee Conversations occur on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, featuring informal discussions with the artists and complimentary coffee from Rival Bros. Coffee and treats from Insomnia Cookies. Other evenings feature Audience Discussions after performances during the run (beginning January 26). These will be facilitated by local community members to foster conversation connecting the play to the larger community.
InterAct is also pleased to continue Parents’ Day Out!, a new initiative for theatergoing patrons with children. During the matinee on Sunday, February 4, InterAct will provide theatre-themed childcare at The Drake during the performance, allowing parents and guardians to see the show without worrying about the price or logistics of babysitting.
To engage the community further, InterAct will be offering an open captioned performance on Sunday, February 4 and a Spanish captioned performance on Friday, February 9.