Once upon a time there were three YSD actresses—a third year (the tall one), a first year (the small one), and a second year (the medium-sized one)—and they lived together in a little room with a sink on one side, a toilet on the other, and a bench in between. There was also a little door to come and go through and some pictures on the wall. These three actresses were really children and never spoke to one another. Their time was spent in pantomime and songs. Each had routines and the routine each had in common was tooth-brushing. At first it made the tall one weep, but later she did it orgiastically, with liberal lather. It was not unlike her dance routine upon the toilet, waiting for that liberating splash. For the small one, the toothbrush was a bullhorn, and brought on a kind of oral/aural seizure. And for the middle one, the toothbrush was a seductive partner at a dance.
And so the three lived and played and did little tasks—peeling a potato, going to confession, folding laundry—and sang nonsense songs and lip-synched and danced, and mimicked love scenes from Gone With The Wind, From Here to Eternity, and It’s a Wonderful Life.
A big box was delivered to each and contained something important, maybe even something each needed. For the middle one, the box held a little box she could wear, with clouds inside; for the tall one, the box gave her a light that touched her heart and sent her on wings toward heaven; for the small one, the box held a power drill that got stuck in the wall.
All three actresses have considerable comic skills: the tall one recently played Dogberry in a YSD production of Much Ado About Nothing and was very funny; here she was the sister with the most anxiety and the tears of a clown; the small one had fewer routines but she liked phallic things, like a big, thick dildo and that power drill; the middle one was the most endearing, enacting cute sock puppets making love, or giving out a succession of mouth farts.
Everything they did gave them pleasure or recalled pleasures or, like the cackling baby who was really a vacuum-cleaner, created a sense of the pleasure things have in giving pleasure to humans. And that’s why the play was called pleasureD.
The Yale Cabaret, where these three actresses performed, will be dark now until March 24-26. And then there will be a new play and it will be a musical, about a mannequin who might be a boy or might be a girl or might be both, called Trannequin.
pleasureD, conceived, created, and performed by a trio of YSD actresses
The Yale Cabaret, Feb. 17-19