By Carolyn Gage
Directed by Jan Levine Thal
Ugly Ducklings picks up where Tea and Sympathy and The Children's Hour left off. Set in a girls' summer camp, the play explores the dynamics of homophobia in a same-sex environment. A gothic thriller, Ugly Ducklings examines the unhealthy turns that relationships between girls can take when they are not allowed their natural expression. The so-called "Ophelia Syndrome" comes alive as the cabin of younger girls, their self-esteem still reinforced by the primacy of their relationships, comes into contact with the older girls who have begun to turn against themselves and each other in their attempts to conform to the pressures of compulsory heterosexuality. Angie, a middle-class college student, is falling in love with another counselor at the camp, Rene, who is a working-class "out" lesbian. Against this backdrop of intense homophobia, the young women struggle with their feelings for each other and the problems of defining themselves in a society that insists they be invisible. The camp legend about a monster in the lake parallels the adult phobias about lesbianism, and, confronted with an attempted child suicide, campers and counselors are compelled to face their worst fears in the microcosmic world of the summer camp.
Produced by StageQ at Bartell Theater, 113 E Mifflin Street
Performances: September 28 - October 21, 2006
Performance Times: Thursdays, 7:30 pm, Friday, Saturday, 8 pm, Sundays, 2:00 pm
Ticket Prices: $10 Thursday and Sunday, $15 Friday and Saturday
Call 608-661-9696, ext 3 for reservations or more information.