Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Theatrical Experience

When I was a sophomore (18 or 19 yrs. old) at Boston University, I was in Equus starring Brian Bedford and performed at the Shubert Theater. That is, I was in one performance.

My friend, Teague, was a theater major at Northeastern University. She asked if I wanted to see the play Equus. She could get us special student tickets which allowed us to sit on stage. We would be medical or psychology students seated in an amphitheater and listening to the psychiatrist (Bedford) describe his treatment of a disturbed young man, Alan. Perfect! I was born to the role as I was a pre-med student studying psychology. We arrived at the theater and were shown to our seats on stage.  We sat on risers with other students. I didn't know the play, but it was very exciting to not only watch the performance, but to be "in" the performance. Until...

Jill, a stable girl, entices her co-worker, Alan to go into the stable late one night. Jill pulls off her sweater and peels out of her jeans.

 Okaaay. I squirmed a little in my seat. It's nothing more or less that I haven't seen before.

And then Alan takes off his shirt.

 I fidgeted a little more which earned me a hiss from Teague. Sit still!

Alan fumbles with the waistband of his jeans.

Ohmygawd, he's not going to...And then my parochial school training kicked in and I was repeating small prayers (coincidentally called ejaculations). Jeez Louise! He's not wearing his Holy Fruitofthyloomies! Jeeze Louise! He's Mother Buck Naked.

I could feel the heat rising to my face and my ears were burning. My eyes were bugged out of their sockets like a cartoon character, the pupil detached from the iris, which was detached from the eyeball, all stretched beyond the character's nose. I was sophisticated. I had traveled to Germany. I was a pre-med major. I had studied Anatomy and Physiology. I owned a Merck manual.  I'd seen the diagrams of the male anatomy.  But the young man on stage didn't resemble those flat pictures, and he was obviously excited to be on stage.

Understand, this was Boston founded by Puritans. Boston where Hey, Little Suzie by the Everley Brothers was banned. Boston where I had attended parochial school,  where the nuns wouldn't allow us to sing Louie, Louie because of the suggestive lyrics.

I didn't know where to look, and I was sure my eyeballs were going to burst into flame. Then an angel saved me. In the first row of the mezzanine, I could see a man in a dark suit and white turtleneck. I focused my attention on his turtleneck until the scene ended eight days later with the psychiatrist mercifully wrapping Alan in a blanket.

So ended my theatrical career.

1 comment:

  1. LOL Great story! But the thing that amazes me the most is that you know the words to ‘Louie Louie’? We could never make them out!