Thursday, August 20, 2015

Donkey Punch

Contributed by Conor O'Brien

Sexually adventurous Kareena delves into monogamy with her boyfriend Teddy, while her inhibited best friend, Sam, starts dating Kyle, a pornographer. After a makeover, a scandal, and a documentary; the real question is, who is the donkey?



This is the description offered by The Ivy Theater Company, for their three-time 2015 IT Award nominated production, Donkey Punch - previously titled The Feminism of a Soft Merlot or (How The Donkey Got Punched). Donkey Punch was written by Micheline Auger and Directed by Audrey Alford. The production was presented at the SOHO Playhouse. This production is nominated for Outstanding Original Full Length Script, Premier Production and Actress in a Lead Role (Diana Oh).

The mission statement of Ivy Theater Company states: Ivy Theatre Company is dedicated to dynamic storytelling that explores the human condition in a visceral way in order to provoke thought and challenge both the artist and the audience. Our work climbs inside, up and over the walls that have confined and silenced the voices of the few and the oppressed.

Director Audrey Alford stated what attracted her the production: “Micheline has such a distinct voice and I was so excited to read a play about two complex female characters struggling with their respective roles in their friendship and romantic relationships. We have Kareena struggling to keep her agency in a monogamous relationship and Sam testing her boundaries with sex. I have been both of these women and I thought it was so important to see women with depth, flaws, and unique senses of humor on stage.”
Audrey added a quirky (and innovative) note on her reflections of this piece. She
stated that “the funniest part of the production was definitely the donkey mask. He took on a life of his own. We took it everywhere and got some amazing pictures with it on. Donkey had his picture made with Lea DeLaria, Jenny McCarthy, Constantine Maroulis, and lots of tourists. He also had us cracking up in rehearsal.”

Diana Oh portrayed Kareena and is nominated for the 2015 IT Award for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role. An innovative and layered role as Kareena would undoubtedly come with challenges. Diana stated that the most challenging aspect(s) of playing Kareena was, “Diving deep into a character who seemingly has everything together but is afraid to admit out loud that she was afraid of commitment, of love, of being loved, of showing love....(it) made me question and realize people's tendencies to self-preserve and irrationally protect and judge their "soft" feelings. And by people's, I'm pretty sure I mean my own.”


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