Pillow Fight Therapy

Marriage counseling. These are the two dreaded words that never fail to strike fear and tension into the hearts of married couples around the world. However, the true meaning of “counseling” becomes much more absurd and problematic when the counselor is caught in a passionate love affair with one of his patients. Later, a nervous wreck goes on a disastrous first date. These hectic, hilarious scenes went downhill at a ridiculous pace in last Friday’s drama labs “Pillow Talk” and “Gave Her the Eye.” Alex Cope ’09, director of “Pillow Talk,” said, “I wanted to direct a play all about physical comedy. The more uncomfortable things I could get my actors to do, the better. However, I was surprised by how much I had to invest into the play as a director. I had to read and reread the play a dozen times to get to know the characters’ actions and motives inside and out. I had to carefully block the entire script, which was a challenge in such an active play. It was definitely a learning process for me, and it was nice to be in a position of power for once.” “Pillow Talk” revolves around a distressed couple in need of counseling, Mark (Eli Grober ’09) and his Jaydeen (Joanna Wang ’11). The scene opens with Mark timidly stumbling into a bizarre, pillow-filled room to be loudly welcomed by the even more bizarre Tiffany (Kaitlin Freedman ’08), the receptionist of Creosote and Heaven. The absolutely psychotic Tiffany mercilessly prods and pokes at Mark’s delicate personal life, telling him to face his “noogies” by smashing one of the pillows with a strange, paddle-like device called the battaka. “Confront the noogies, and slaughter them!” Cope added, “I love pillows, so having so many amassed in one room was quite a sight to behold. As for how it turned out, the only problem with the final showing was that the laughter sometimes drowned out the actors’ dialogue.” Mark, who finally snaps, begins to beat the pillow in a vicious rage while screaming, “Damn you, Jaydeen!” at which point Jaydeen walks in. The violent, sadistic noogie-confronting continues between Jaydeen and Mark until the counselor, Roger (Kevin Zhai ’08), appears on the scene. He seems to momentarily take control of the outrageous situation. However, instead of pacifying the upset patients, he upturns whatever hope of peace there was left. As it turns out, he and Jaydeen are having a sizzling-hot public affair. Imagine a love-rhombus of sorts. From here on out, things only continue to go downhill. Audience member Emerson Stoldt ’09 said, “My favorite moment of the entire night was definitely when [Jaydeen] started undoing Roger’s belt. I wasn’t expecting anything that racy to happen, and it was absolutely hilarious”. “Gave Her the Eye,” directed by Rebecca Konolige ’10, was just as dramatic and bizarre as “Pillow Talk.” The ironic title “Gave Her the Eye” described the play perfectly in both its literal sense as well as its underlying reference to flirting and dating. The performance opens with what appears to be the beginning of a disastrous first date. Dex (Michael Scognamilio ’10), who is dressed in an old, wrinkled shirt and a slack necktie, seems to be an absolute nervous wreck as he attempts to make small talk with Donna (Emily Hutchenson-Tipton ’10). However, when Dex suddenly removes his eyeball from his socket and begins to unravel a wild story about alien abductions, human experimentation and a race of genetically modified people, his chances at a second date with Donna seem bleak. To make matters worse, Dex attempts to seduce his date into sleeping with him with highly suggestive pickup lines, which only push Donna further away. According to Mollie Lee ’10, “It was eccentric, new and exciting. My favorite moment was when Michael washed his eyeball in his drink and gave it to Emily.”. “It was a little nerve-wracking in the beginning, since finding the props was kind of hard. Getting it all together in the last week before the performance was really crazy, but it turned out great. The actors did a great job.”