Thrust Review

Thrust Goes Beyond Skin Deep Look at Sexuality
-Carol Wells

Perhaps because my first experiences with plays were all with the Storefront theatre, with its exuberant embrace of nudity and sexuality, I’ve always thought about going to the theatre as analogous of sex. It is intimate. It is exciting. You prepare for it as you would for a date, with makeup and pretty cloths. The actors are willing to be honest and vulnerable, and if you are open to it, you become honest and vulnerable, too. And every fantastic now-and-then, the relationship goes beyond merely thrilling and you wind up falling in love. “Thrust” is perfect, in that it does what it sets out to do with complete mastery. Directed by Michelle Seaton, it consists of 15 vignettes, some hilarious, some tragic, most both, about different aspects of sexuality. All but one of the vignettes is written by actors who perform them. Experiencing this play made me aware there here is an aspect of life that is completely ignored in popular culture. We are constantly keep-deep in sex, but it is smarmy stuff of wink-wink-nudge-nudge variety. This play understands that sexuality is not separate from our lives, but that it winds through everything: love, friendship, work, and self-image. Each of the vignettes contained something I could relate to, reinforcing the common human experience of female, male, straight, gay, individuals, couples, and threesomes. The setting for the entire play is a bed. This is the most intimate space for most people, not only where we most often make love, but also where we go to cry, to wrap ourselves in blankets and feel secure, and to dream. Deanna Wells is achingly sympathetic in “Kathunk,” which refers to the sound a heart makes when it breaks. Also beautiful is “14,” written and staged by Matthew Zrebski, in which each member of a second-marriage couple come to terms with the fact that they are no longer even close to the cultural ideal of physical perfection. The actors are naked to themselves, to each other and to us. Michelle Seaton and Micah Sunshower Klatt are fabulous. Both ensemble pieces are terrific. “What turns you on?” It is a very funny mime about relationships and sexual fantasies. “Enter my skin” is a dance. Go see “Thrust.” And be open to falling in love.