Today we have a simple comedy called Suppressed Desires by Susan Glaspell, the only woman represented in this early 60's collection. It's a fairly pedestrian domestic comedy. This is the kind of play that would now be found on sit-com television.
There are three characters, Steve and Henrietta Brewster, a married couple and Henrietta's sister Mabel. Steve and Henrietta are a married couple who live in New York in a Washington Square apartment in those heady days when one could afford to live in Manhattan on a single income. Steve, of course provides that income by designing buildings as an architect. Henrietta has gone to Freudian analysis, I suppose because she has nothing better to do, and has begun to see evidence of suppressed desire everywhere. This is driving Steve crazy.
Henrietta's sister Mabel shows up to visit and immediately becomes the subject of Henrietta's misguided if well-intentioned attempts at psychoanalysis. She analyzes Mabel's dreams which causes Steve to let loose with a bunch of funny one liners. Eventually Steve fools Henrietta into relinquishing her therapeutic aims by making her think he's been to see her analyst who identifies Steve's suppressed desire for Mabel. Henrietta is then reduced to a "woman fighting for her man" and agrees to stop therapy, acquiescing to Steve's need to have a wife whose interests are more in line with his. Ugh.
This is a trite little play. It could easily be an episode of I Love Lucy. It has it's roots in commedia dell'art and Molliere's anti-medical plays but it's matter of fact 60's sexism is a little grating. Also there are no surprises in the plot or characterizations. That this is the only play by a woman in this collection is also kind of annoying.
Hey by the way, feel free to "like" or comment on any of these posts. I see that people are looking at them but it would be nice to hear what you think.
Be back with another short one tomorrow, hopefully.