Running now through Oct. 4, Theater Emory presents
the world premiere of Elizabeth Wong’s Dating and Mating
in Modern Times, a series of monologues performed by seven
actresses on the joys and pitfalls of today’s fast, frenzied
and sometimes frustrating world of sex and relationships.
Covering topics such as cybersex, speed dating, hookups and penis
envy, this full-length play opened Saturday, Sept. 20, in the Mary
Gray Munroe Theater. There will be a special “Singles Night”
(Sept. 27), and on Sept. 21 the cast and playwright hosted a a pay-what-you-can
performance and “Artists Up Close” talk-back session.
“Lots of guys think this is going to be one of those emasculating,
castrating chick shows,” said Wong, an acclaimed playwright
and screenwriter whose work has been performed in New York, Los
Angeles and abroad. “But by the end of the run, I predict
we’ll be knee-deep in guys, panting and drooling to see this
Wong described Dating and Mating as “a celebration
of men, the libido and the white-hot desire for connection between
the sexes.” She directs a cast of Emory students and Atlanta
professional favorites, including Jill Jane Clements, Mary Lynn
Owen, Valerie Payton and Widdi Turner. The actresses portray characters
as diverse as a teenage skater girl, a Vegas showgirl and a Southern
beauty queen, and will perform what Wong calls “wicked, naughty,
nasty, wise and provocative” monologues that delve into the
pleasure and pain at the core of the modern dating scene.
Dating and Mating was commissioned last year by the Playwriting
Center of Theater Emory and was further developed through workshops
during February’s Brave New Works Festival.
“Since Theater Emory’s Playwriting Center is strongly
committed to the kind of new work our research university setting
encourages, I’m thrilled to see the collaborative creation
and discovery experienced with Elizabeth’s development of
this play,” said Vinnie Murphy, artistic producing director
of Theater Emory. “She is generating what promises to be one
of the more daring, hilarious and popular works to premiere in Atlanta.”
Wong’s work has been produced to acclaim across the country.
Her spicy satire Kimchee and Chitlins, about the black
residents’ boycott of Korean stores in New York, premiered
at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. She also won acclaim as a
writer on the ABC sitcom “All-American Girl” with Margaret
Wong has received commissions from Actors Theater of Louisville,
Denver Theater Center, Cincinnati Playhouse, Omaha Magic Theater,
the Mark Taper Forum and recently the Kennedy Center to write the
libretto of her play The Happy Prince as an opera for young
audiences. Her play China Doll won the Kennedy Center’s
Mark David Cohen Award and was featured at Arena Stage’s inaugural
New American Play Series.
Remaining performance dates and times are Sept. 25–27, Oct.
2–3 at 8 p.m.; Sept. 28 & Oct. 4 at 5 p.m.; and Oct. 4
at 9 p.m. General admission is $15; $12 for faculty, staff and discount
groups; $6 for students. For more information or to order tickets,
call the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404-727-5050 or visit www.emory.edu/ARTS/.
Parental discretion is advised; this play contains material that
may not be suited for those younger than 17.