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Theatre Is Why I’m Still Single (Or, Is There Such A Thing As A Date Play?)

Well, Valentine’s Day came and went again, and while some of you may have enjoyed heartfelt gifts or candlelit dinners, I learned that eating chocolate after 11pm now gives me heartburn. Oh, the joys of adulthood.

As fellow theatre practitioners, we can all acknowledge that finding free time can be tough. So when I am faced with a busy schedule and a budding romantic interest, I often have to marry the two.

A couple weekends back, I took a date to see The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh at ArtsEmerson, a show I was required to see for my playwriting class. When I reported back to my professor my experience of seeing Irish theatre with an Irish date, she stops me mid-sentence to say, “Oh honey, that is so not a date play.” And you know what, SHE’S RIGHT! SHE’S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, WHAT WAS I THINKING? The playwright wrote the film In Bruges for heaven’s sake; McDonagh is more interested in throbbing hearts rather than he is in heartthrobs.

And this isn’t the first time. I tried to take a date to see the play Significant Other, and given the overwhelming presence of marriage in that play, that was the last date I had with said person. Which, given this track record, I have to ask myself, am I just terrible at planning dates or is there a lack of date-worthy plays to go see?

I’m not suggesting that the  theatre need be a romantic comedy, but I have to wonder, is there ever an opportunity for the theatre to become a popular date night? Could companies ever market certain shows as such? I don’t like reading plays before I go see them if I can help it, but now I feel as if I have to prescreen so as not to scare any more potential suitors away. I think this could be a great potential marketing strategy. The same way local fitness centers offer Valentine’s Day specials offering two-for-the-price-of-one classes for anyone who brings a first-timer to the studio, why can’t theaters create a similar incentive with a play assured not to have your date running for the hills?

Comment below if you already know of any date-worthy plays. Or comment with any experiences you’ve had bringing a date to the theatre. Or comment with any helpful tips for curing heartburn.



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