Given its title, maybe it's not surprising that William Mastrosimone 's Extremities goes beyond the bounds of narrative believability.
The 1982 play -- Susan Sarandon performed in it onstage and Farrah Fawcett was in the film version -- looks at Marjorie, a woman who turns the tables on Raul, a would-be rapist who's been stalking her and her two roommates and has broken into their country house.
The one-act play becomes a contest not so much between aggressor and victim as among the three women, who offer different views of how to handle the trussed-up Raul. There's more of a talking-heads debate than real action in the second half of the play, and the capture of Raul is something of a theatrical cheat.
But the production by a new group, surface/underground theatre gives an emotional spin to the material with an acting ensemble that really connects, especially in the women's performances. Not surprisingly, they share a history, one that goes back to Ryerson Theatre.
Shannon Taylor 's Marjorie starts out as a trusting woman who becomes tensely wound as she becomes frustrated in dealing with her attacker. Nick Abraham's Raul is a teasing manipulator who works on the three women in a believable fashion, trying to set them against each other by trading on cunningly revealed secrets.
Janick Hebert gives the insecure Terry an increasingly panicked, angry note, while Dana Rogers' Patricia, who wants to handle the situation in a straight-ahead, rational way, acts as the group's peacemaker.
The script suggests that Marjorie has elements of Raul in her increasingly dictatorial nature, but not enough is made of the comparison. And what does Raul's final speech of justification accomplish?
But those are problems with the writing. Staged by director Peter Pasyk in a storefront that used to be a hardware store, the production overrides many of the script's problems with some fine ensemble work.
Extremities runs until Saturday (February 16); part of tickets sales goes to Interval House , a centre for abused women and children. See our theatre listings for details.