The next production, “Couchophilia,” a love triangle involving a man, a woman, and a couch, was written and directed by Mike Mariano. The play was well-written, but, unfortunately, poorly directed. Performances by Ryan Wagner and Elizabeth Livingston were smarmy, and the actors seemed uncomfortable in their roles. The subject of the play is so absurd, it only becomes funny when the characters do not appreciate the bizarreness of their situation. Any realization of the absurdity—realization that abounded in this production—kills most of the humor. Mariano’s writing is, however, commendable for its originality and wit.
So good play! Bad direction. Well actually, while I can understand where the review is coming from, I don’t necessarily agree with it. There were some self-conscious gestures in the play, but their humor comes from the understatement. Just because Tony gives a laugh to the effect of, “Yeah, I’m screwing this couch,” doesn’t make it normal that he continues to do so. I can understand directing the “realization” comment to me, because my face is too obvious, and very easy to read, I really don’t think the comment can be fairly applied to my actors.
But all in all, it was a well-received show, and one mixed review isn’t going to break my heart. If anything, I think the reviewer gives too much credit to my writing.