UNBECOMING written and directed by Corrina Hodgson, with Lindsey Clark, Jordana Commisso, Lesley Dowey and Larry Smith. Presented by Out of Bawdy at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. August 6 at 9:30 pm, August 7 at 11 pm, August 8 and 14 at 2 pm, August 11 at 3:30 pm, August 12 at 5 pm, August 13 at 8 pm. Rating: NNNNN
Sorting out sexuality as a teen seems an insurmountable problem, especially if you're a woman. "I'm delving into the fact that the only sexual power young women are given is that of victim - it's warped and backward," says playwright Corrina Hodgson about her play Unbecoming.
The play's central figure, 14-year-old Ginny, had her father disappear three months earlier, has a crush on her best girlfriend and is in serious therapy with a shrink who's sorting out his own troubled life.
"All teen girls are scared of themselves and their bodies," says the playwright, whose script won in the student division of the Jane Chambers Playwriting Competition, named for American lesbian author Chambers.
"What I wanted to create was a model of sexual power that doesn't include victimization, but even that scenario needs playing out before it can be rejected."
Hodgson's script shifts time, place and reality in the manner of David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, but she's sure the audience will clue in to her style.
"I learned in a fiction-writing course that it's OK to be confused as an audience member as long as I know I'm going to land in a safe place again, that a point will come when I get it. Viewers don't have to walk away with an exact ordering of the episodes for a play to make sense.
"I actually appreciate being given the chance to put things together myself rather than simply be a passive audience member."
And it's a funny play, too. Look for a vibrator to be part of the action - sometimes put to surprising uses.
"If you're talking about teen sexuality you'd better lighten it up a bit," laughs Hodgson. "I didn't try to write funny. The humour comes from just being honest.
"It's not easy to talk over dinner about various ways of pleasuring yourself, so I decided to put the discussion onstage."