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.


It’s Gonna Be…Read Like Crazy Month!

Today is April 30, and you know what that means?

Yes, that, and also, all seven million (read: maybe seventy or so) of my books will be due at the library, with only a few of them renewable.

So…in honor of the mountains of books in every room of my apartment, 1990s boy bands, and tomorrow being the first of May, I am declaring this next month as Read Like Crazy month. Expect book reviews, Flip The Script, and hopefully book-a-licious posts over the next thirty-one days. Also, if you post a particularly book-tastic review on your blog, I will do something I don’t normally do, give your a link/reblog/trackback (if I can figure out how to do those things).

Also, That’s So Jacob gives a warm and sunny bienvenue to its first visitor from French Polynesia, and since I may have overlooked them, also several hits from Zambia, so big welcome to you as well.