The Looking Glass Theatre
422 W. 57th Street (between 9th and 10th)
April 4-6, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27 2002
Thursday through Saturday, 8pm
Chris — Patrick Shearer
Therese — Cat Johnson
Chuck — Christopher Yustin
Amanda — Samantha Turk
Sarah — Sarah Baker
Mark — Garrett Blair
Clark — Greg Foro
Joe — Ben VandenBoom
Director — Pete Boisvert
Playwright — James Comtois
Stage Manager — Amy VanWagenen
Asst Stage Manager — Amanda Schwab
Lighting Designer — Peter J. Scalettar
Pete Boisvert, James Comtois, Ben VandenBoom
This play that you are about to see here tonight, Ruins, I guess, was an attempt for me to articulate my unease about sex, dating and romantic relationships for people in their twenties and thirties, specifically in New York. Is unease the right word? I don’t know; disgust, malaise, anxiety, fear or loathing could all work.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. Why else would television shows such as Sex and the City, Blind Date, Temptation Island and… (well, the list goes on) be so popular? Entertainment centered on the real and fictitious sexual humiliation of others seems to be the norm nowadays.
I see a lot of people who are lonely but not alone. I see attractive and successful men and women in their twenties, thirties and even forties going out to the singles’ bars and taking out personal ads. I see my peers having copious amounts of sex but completely dissatisfied with their romantic lives. I see both people deathly afraid of intimacy and commitment and people who would rather be in a miserable relationship for the rest of their lives than be confrontational or alone.
I also see a generation that has the potential to be a very emotionally and physically violent one due to this universal unease and frustration.
Maybe we as New Yorkers are so commitment-phobic and trapped in this state of arrested development because we’re overloaded with options, perpetually playing that “What If?” game (I’ve always called this the “Call Waiting” syndrome, where no matter who you’re on the phone with, that other call may be more important).
Maybe we can’t trust others because we can’t trust ourselves, simply because, no matter how much we try to kid ourselves into thinking we don’t have a self-centered agenda when meeting someone, we do in fact have a self-centered agenda.
Whether we like it or not, we have no choice but to play the respective roles of predator and prey.
Anyway, if any of you here tonight feel angry, hurt, abused or cheated in any way by this show, I’ll most likely be at the Raven on East 12th and Avenue A, sitting in the corner and having a beer. Feel free to talk to me, yell at me, ask me things, or give me a piece of your mind.
Hell, if you get through this and want to talk to me I just may buy you a beer.
Up on his guard,
James “Ya Trust Me?” Comtois
Brooklyn, NY, 2002
Eight cast members weave us through time and fantasy following the thread of Chris and Therese's relationship over the course of 10 years in the 1990s. A modern-day tragedy of epic proportions, a tangled tale of unrequited love and unmemorable sex, the play is ultimately about the promise of true love and the harsh realities that stifle it time and time again.
"A modern-day tragedy of almost epic proportions. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's set in the bedrooms and barrooms of the 1990s -- though it starts out as a tangled tale of unrequited love and unmemorable sex, the play is ultimately about the promise of true love and the harsh realities that stifle it time and time again... Comtois has an intriguing style of playing with time, allowing the characters who narrate to have knowledge about future events...
Director Pete Boisvert did a remarkable job of making a three-act play go by in a streamlined succession of satisfying scenes.
" - oobr.com
Photos by Aaron Epstein
A Chronology of Ruins
I. A Small Apartment, 1992
II. Therese, 1990
III. Chris and Sarah, 1992
IV. Detour, 1990
V. Chris and Therese, 1990
VI. Mixing, 1990
VII. Amanda, 1993
VIII. Homecoming, 1990
IX. Chuck and the Rebound, 1990
I. A Small Apartment, 1996
II. The Reunion, 1996
III. Burst Pipes and More Wine, 1995
V. June 5, 1996
VII. The Second Reunion, 1996
VIII. International Party Time, 1996
IX. Valentine’s Day, 1997
X. Sarah (reprise).
I. Small Consolations
II. The Incident, 1997
IV. Therese (reprise), 2010
V. The Incident (reprise), 1997
VI. Finishing Last, 1997
VII. Backup Plan, 1997
VIII. Settling Down, 1998
IX. Settling, 1998 / 2000