Theater Date with Mom?!?
Can I get a Mom-O-Meter
On the content advisory table, can we get another row for Misery with Mom as My Seat-Mate. Experiences of shows differs wildly depending on who you are sitting with. Maybe the Misery-with-Mom-O-Meter is directly correlated to the “Sexuality” score. This one is from the A.R.T.’s website for The Wife of Willesden.
I will ask for more details about how they assign the dots than is available on the website. If no dots are filled in, that means that type of content is not present in the show: “If five dots are filled in, that type of content plays a very prominent role in the show. If three dots are filled in, there’s a fair amount of that type of content.” Though, I would say that The Wife of Willesden is about sexuality. I do understand that, being theater, you have to save a dot for naked butts.
I have seen way more theater than most people, but I don’t go to the theater every week (I will change that this year). This theater has a pretty big education department, as far as theater’s go. I wonder if that content advisory uses just A.R.T.’s programming as their range. i.e. if A.R.T. never puts on shows with full explicit sex scenes - then 4 out of 5 black dots is accurate for gestures and unabashed descriptions of a variety of sexual acts. I will stay posted to see if A.R.T. does mention “brief nudity” or the like when that happens. So far this season, nary a tush to be seen.
Our 12 year-old was clear that he did not want to go see How to Defend Yourself, a show about campus rape and college student sexuality at the New York Theater Workshop. I made that decision for him while I was seeing it. Each specific topic and scenario discussed has a high likelihood of being new to him. Nothing acted out, some gestures…wait, there are more than a few motioning through it moments, come to think of it. For example, a 20-year-old talking through her conflicted relationship with S&M is probably a concept he hasn’t yet considered. He should probably get to choose when he thinks about that.
But he is 12, and in a middle school that is attached to a high school. About halfway through last year he noted that school discussions went from, “being a little inappropriate, then half the time inappropriate, then all inappropriate, all the time.” Inappropriate, like suss, seems to mean having to do with sexuality. So, I answer questions when they are asked. He seems unabashed in asking questions, but not overly curious. I thought that if I did offer for him to see the show and was clear about the content, he would make his own decision well. Clear no.
So I sent my husband! to go with his mom!
I’ll do a little interview about that one later.
How to Defend Yourself is still playing at the NYTW. If you can make it, there are a few seats left in all of the performances. I would love to hear who you would take to see this show, or if you would want to fly solo.
Wife of Willesden is closed. I think that show will keep making the rounds, though. I will let you know where it pops up next. Maybe my son will be ready for that one by then.