How to Be A Virgin (in 12 morally ambiguous steps)

comedy · lucid dramatics · Ages 17+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by SHANE WOOD
June 07, 2016

What I liked

Katelyn’s engagement with the audience. She even locked eyes as he partner ground himself into her and she talked about how close he was to slipping in. It was awkward, uncomfortable, and a little hot, which is what a situation like that would be, and that’s what made this show work. The slides in-between scenes were a nice break from the non-sex, but the chemistry between Josh and Katelyn made even the most awkward encounters engaging. Josh has a knack for accents and physicality, and though he has a very distinctive presence, he was able to believably play all the men Katelyn adventured with.The laughter was loud and frequent, which made the poignant moment land all the harder. Without giving too much away, there are discussions of faith, rape, culture, fidelity, and medical intervention, that were all the more relatable as they were nestled between these brilliantly constructed vignettes.

What I didn't like

There was really only one thing that bothered me during the play, and it was noticeable because of the impeccable attention to detail with all other aspects. Josh’s characters were different in dress, voice, accent, mannerism, and personality, but they all kissed (with exception of the missionary) in the exact same way. I found myself contemplating each new interaction for it’s potential universal theme being exhibited by this quirk in the characters. I’m mostly curious if it was artistic choice or oversight.

My overall impression

This show takes a subject that often at its best is boring, and at its worst is alienating and makes it universally acceptable to examine, enjoy, and often cringe. It allowed all of us, no matter our sexual histories, to be with her on this journey.Katelyn’s work as the virgin is engaging and at times alarming. She so thoroughly connects with the audience, that we couldn’t help but be there with her as she explored the nebulous boundaries of her virginity. It has a universal truth strung through a very personal narrative, and all audience members, no matter their background, can walk away with a lot of laughs, and some new insights.

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