A thoughtful Coitus Interruptus
By Kathy Marmor.
At Mobius, Feb. 16 and 17.
By ELIZABETH WILLIAMS
BILLED AS "a performance about sexual politics and modern love," Coitus Interruptus is about sexuality's role in the definition of the female identity. Kathy Marmor, who wrote and performed this multimedia piece with Meredith Sibley, looks at mythological roles of women and how these relate to modern woman. Her study uses the three characters, Medusa, Eve, and Pandora.
Last Friday's performance was sold out and a second show was added that evening for those on the waiting list. This was no surprise, for the performance was electric, in both its message and its use of mixed media. Marmor started with a monologue in which she portrayed a woman haunted by nightmares of an ex-lover who has taken his revenge on all women for being jilted by one. It was frightening reminder of the Montreal murders of last December.
From this powerful piece Marmor moved on to a series of brief scenes. Examining the perception of female beauty, she draws makeup, hair and earrings with crayon on a projected slide of a baby, polluting the baby's image with the adornments of a "beautiful" adult female. In stereo the audience listens to a series of questions -- " have you ever been satisfied?", "have your ever been deceived by someone you care about?" In other scenes she deals with pregnancy, rape and lesbian love. She explores women's sexuality with a piece on the taboo of masturbation. Marmor's feelings of anger, pain, frustration and injustice came through clearly in an emotional performance.
Use of varied media enhanced the message. Marmor interacted with projected slides and used interviews on video and audio tape to expand the performance beyond Sibley and herself. The music used was powerful and often ominous.
Sibley played a smaller part and did not act with the passion Marmor did. The performance was a little under an hour long. This was a refreshing change from the two hour standard for theater. Coitus Interruptus said what it wanted to concisely and insightfully, leaving the audience with something to go home and think about.