Extreme Role Play
Directed by Jess Thomas
Featuring Christian Haines, Anne Kobori & Norman Gee
Setting: Dr. Fried's office Time: Present Characters: Amy and Chris: A couple trying to salvage their fractured relationship. Dr. Fried: Their counselor and a proponent of extreme role play in therapy
Amy and Chris are dressed as drag versions of each other They stand back to back as though preparing to duel. Dr. Fried is in between them.
DR. FRIED Before we begin, I want to thank you both for trying this unconventional exercise. Extreme role play is risky but I've seen it improve countless relationships. Remember to avoid mockery. Try instead to see yourselves, and each other, with compassion. Do you agree to this approach?
AMY I agree.
(Exaggerated feminine voice) So do I, Dr. Fried.
AMY Is that supposed to be my voice?
CHRIS I'm just warming up.
AMY You sound like Marilyn Monroe on steroids.
DR. FRIED Alright, try to focus. In a moment, you'll turn and face each other. Please don't taunt or make fun. This is about finding common ground. (pause) Have you turned your signed waivers in to my receptionist?
DR. FRIED Good. On the count of three, turn around and interact in reversed roles. I'll guide the process. One...two...three.
Amy and Chris turn around and take each other in.
AMY Do I ever wear that much make up?
CHRIS I wanted to look pretty. What's with the polo shirt?
AMY This would look great on you.
CHRIS I get it. Dress as the boyfriend you want, not the one you have.
AMY Yeah, and since when do I wear panty hose?
CHRIS I needed them to hide my leg hair and keep my python at bay.
AMY It's really more of an earthworm, don't you think?
DR. FRIED Let's pause a sec and review. First off, I don't see any role play happening. Second, there's a lot of resent coming up. Before we continue, I need you both to take your resent and put in in your pocket.
Amy and Chris are puzzled.
DR. FRIED Go on.
Amy pantomimes putting her "resent" in her pocket.
DR. FRIED That's right. You don't need that now.
CHRIS I don't have pockets.
DR. FRIED Then put it in your pocketbook.
CHRIS My wha?
AMY Your purse.
Chris puts his "resent" in his purse.
DR. FRIED Very nice. Let's begin again. This time, communicate as though you are the other person. And start with a compliment. Ready...set...go.
CHRIS Hey honey...Your delts are looking strong today.
AMY Shoulder pads. You seem....very perky, babe. Are those oranges in your bra?
DR. FRIED Good attempt. How about we go beyond your attire now. No more talk of padding or produce. Let's sit down and discuss what lead you to this point.
They all sit. Amy and Chris try to assume each other's postures and voices.
AMY Where should we begin? Probably with all the lies I've told you.
CHRIS Or how I drink bourbon out of a hot water bottle at night. It's more discreet than a flask until I start slurring.
AMY You only drink when you're disappointed. And I happen to be very disappointing.
DR. FRIED Well, it didn't talk long for that resent to get loose. Alright, let's back up. What kind of lies have you told her?
AMY Big ones. I pretended to be a millionaire when we met. Ha! More like a thousandaire.
CHRIS You aren't the only liar. I said I attended the Sheboygan Conservatory of Music. I can barely play the ukulele.
AMY That's nothing. I faked erectile dysfunction and claimed no woman could arouse me, knowing
you'd be up for the challenge.
DR. FRIED And how did that make you feel?
CHRIS Hot. I enjoyed working my sexy magic.
DR FRIED Is that so?
AMY We did have some fun. At first.
DR. FRIED Then what?
AMY I told her I was moving to South America. Another lie.
CHRIS Have you forgotten you were being chased by the mafia because you witnessed a murder? Maybe you wanted to keep me out of danger.
AMY I guess I was trying to protect you.
CHRIS Of course. You came clean about everything eventually. And you tried to tried to let me go. So I could have a better life instead of getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop.
DR. FRIED But wouldn't the other end of the lollipop be the stick? Is that really better?
AMY Who knows? The point is I was honest with her for once. And even though the situation was far from ideal, she wanted to be with me. I couldn't talk her out of it.
DR. FRIED And here you are in therapy. Tell me, has any of this been an exaggeration?
CHRIS That's how it went down.
DR. FRIED Then it's clear your issues stem from the toxic way your relationship started. It wasn't built on a foundation of trust but rather in a swamp of deceit.
AMY I think it was more like a graveyard of treachery.
CHRIS That sounds about right.
DR. FRIED Given the pretense under which you met and pursued each other, extreme role play isn't the way to resolve your problems. I'm afraid I was mistaken.
CHRIS There's got to be some way to work it out. I love him.
AMY And she loves me. What can we do, Dr. Freud?
DR. FRIED It's Dr. Fried. You flatter me. Not even a brilliant mind like Freud's could help in this case. But I know someone who can: Dr. Phil. This kind of quandary is his specialty Here's his business card.
AMY Thanks. Is it okay to stay dressed like each other? Just for a while. It's growing on me.
CHRIS Me too. Especially the panty hose. They make me feel safe.
DR. FRIED Go for it. At least this wasn't a complete waste of time. I should probably pre-screen my patients in person. You can only learn so much through Facebook. My apologies.
CHRIS (adjusting his nectarines) Nobody's perfect.