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 MADELINE ROSENSTEIN
June 11, 2016 · original article

What I liked

What I didn't like

My overall impression

Everything you think you know about virgins is wrong.

Carla Neuss’ play is a #SeeItLA* and reminds everyone that a person doesn’t have to sleep with someone to feel loved, make bad decisions, and have a little fun. Cleverly titled, and written, this production starts with a slideshow presentation of the steps to be a virgin which gets tossed that aside and we are taught the steps through the morally ambiguous “lovers” the Virgin has.

How to Be a Virgin’s dialogue is written in such a way that the actors don’t have to feed the audience jokes. Neuss captures language that it feels as if you’re listening to a friend’s story or witnessing a conversation.

This is enhanced by Katelyn Schiller (from last year’s Murder Blood Bear Story) who is a phenomenal actress. The show is said to be a two-hander, but it felt more like a woman-show with a male accessory. Schiller carries the show through humor and solemn moments and we were able to see her capture the essence of a person discovering their own personal boundaries and sticking to their convictions.

This show has the whole package: an excellent story and well-written dialogue, performers who can bring you into their characters’ worlds, and seamless direction where you forget the actors aren’t making the decisions in the moment.

  • Though this is a #SeeItLA, I must note that there is one major flaw that made me feel uncomfortable; in this production a white actor plays various people, including an Ugandan. At no point was he performing a caricature of a man, a respectful Ugandan accent was used; but there were lines referring to the differences of their skin colors (the actors are both white) and referencing post-colonialism. This is not to reprimand for this error in judgment, but is being said in hopes that Lucid Dramatics does not repeat this mistake again.

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