Mt. Washington actress reprising her one-woman show at Grey Box
Mount Washington-based actress Kendra McLaughlin will perform her original, one woman play "You Can't Have an Orgasm with Me" November 20-22 at The Grey Box Theatre in Lawrenceville.
Ms. McLaughlin is producing the show as a result of receiving the 2014 Mary Lipple Memorial Fund Award. The award is given annually to an artist who best exemplifies the spirit and artistic goals of Mary Lipple.
"I met Mary several years ago after her solo performance of 'Blackbird Pie'. She truly inspired me," said Ms. McLaughlin. "I told Mary that one day, I would write and perform my own one woman show."
"Blackbird Pie" is a story about a terminally-ill woman's attempt to record a video message for her toddler daughter to watch on her 12th birthday. In a twist of fate, one month after the show closed, Mary, mother of two young children, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, a case of art imitating life. She lost her battle in June 2013, Ms. McLaughlin said.
She kept her promise and created her show "You Can't Have an Orgasm with Me" which she performed at the Grey Box Theatre for the first time in May 2014. A committee led by Mary's widower, Roy Smetana and her artistic collaborator, Kyle Bostian use donations made to Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council in Mary's name to fund one Project Stream grant every year and chose Ms. McLaughlin's project to perform the show again.
"When I got the news, it felt like Mary was telling me, 'I believe in you! Keep pursuing your dreams! It was a powerful moment of faith fulfilled," said Ms. McLaughlin.
"You Can't Have An Orgasm with Me" is the story of three different women, all played by Ms. McLaughlin who visit their "therapist," played by the audience. The concept was born out of several years' experience working as a therapist, consulting with people in various stages of recovery, especially women who had suffered emotional trauma. Their stories affected Ms. McLaughlin, who felt they could be creatively translated into universal truths about vulnerability.
"You Can't Have An Orgasm With Me" will be performed at The Greybox Theatre, 3595 Butler Street in Lawrenceville Friday, Nov. 20 and Saturday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 each. A portion of the proceeds from the production will support 3ENow, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering teens in order to eliminate dating violence and gender inequality.