Flip The Script: Sabina Berman, Four Plays

Today’s Flip the Script is technically Episode 5, but I’m making it Episode 4, because of things and stuff and this is four plays and oh look it’s starting…

That’s So Jacob Presents: Flip The Script

Episode 4: Sabina Berman, Four Plays

Hey, it’s Sabina Berman…remember her? Of course you do. Today, we will be exploring more of her dramatic side, in four plays lovingly translated by Adam Versenyi, who also happens to be a friend of mine. Well, more of an acquaintance, but we’ve met several times at ATHE and we’re friends on Facebook, and when I gave my first paper at ATHE 2010 in Los Angeles, he was sitting in the audience, with a name tag on and everything, so I was super nervous but I was also like, “I know who you are, and I read your translation like four years ago, and now you’re about to hear me probably make a giant fool of myself.” Something tells me he’s going to find this blog post and laugh, so in that case, hi Adam! Will you be at ATHE this year?

But enough about that.

Obviously, I love me some Sabina Berman. I believe I read most if not all these plays in undergrad, but it’s been awhile so I’m going to approach them with fresh eyes.

The Agony of Ecstasy


This play consists of three vignettes, each revolving around the good-looking, androgenously-described He and She. In the first, “The Mustache,” the title object is passed between the two: for He, sexual gratification, and for She, repelling others. He spent the previous night with another woman, but returned to She when she cried for help and they end up together again.

My Thoughts

Like always, a tour-de-force with some mystical, metaphysical, hyper-theatricality thrown in. “The Mustache” had a distinctly Salvador Dali feel, and addressed the politics of sex and sexuality. At some points, He seems like a woman, and She, a man. This is among Berman’s finest mind games.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s