THE 94 CLUB by Thalia Gonzalez Kane (Crave Productions). At the Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgman). Runs to May 12..
THE 94 CLUB by Thalia Gonzalez Kane (Crave Productions). At the Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgman). Runs to May 12. $15-$30. 416-531-1827. See listing. Rating: NNN
If the 2017-18 theatre season has had a theme, its been female sexuality. Bunny, Asking For It, Lo (Or Dear Mr. Wells) and What A Young Wife Ought To Know have all brought up urgent questions about issues like consent, sexual desire and reproductive rights. Now Thalia Gonzalez Kanes The 94 Club adds a few more notes to the discussion.
Inspired by true events, the 65-minute show looks at four 15-year-old girls in a small-town high school who decide to create a secret club named after the year they were all born to score points for engaging in sexual activity.
The club is the brainchild of Jenn (Tamara Almeida), the alpha of the group whos had the most sexual experience and who, its suggested in a discussion with the schools guidance counsellor (Jeanie Calleja), has some problems at home and so is acting out.
The others include Tommi (played by Kane) and Sarah (Shaina Silver-Baird), who are best friends and soul mates, even though one of them obviously wants to be more, and Laura (Lily Scriven), a rather undeveloped character whos also the daughter of the guidance counsellor.
Director Monica Dottors set (which she also designed) features web-like strands that the actors have to step through and around, emphasizing the obvious point that they could very well become stuck if they arent careful.
Kanes script, too, is limited in its scope and a little too on the nose. Questioning peer pressure and the practice of slut shaming is valuable, but I wish there were more themes to consider. We barely learn anything about these women apart from the number of kisses, BJs and handjobs theyve racked up.
That said, the actors navigate the script and that potentially hazardous set with skill. The charismatic Silver-Baird is particularly effective as a teen whos not ready to make any big decisions yet, and Calleja captures the careful but patronizing cadences of a woman trying to understand a world that makes no sense to her.
Dottors choreography and the music-box-like sounds from Kanes sound design add to the texture of this fascinating, if underwritten, show.