Art imitates Life. Life imitates Art. When two actors with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality.
After a decade-long hiatus from the stage, an actress (referred to as "She" in the script) is set to make her comeback in the 1930s melodrama The Last Kiss as doomed heroine Ada Wilcox. Despite having the support of her husband Harrison and her daughter Angela, her world turns upside down when she finds that the role of her character's ex-lover (with whom Ada reignites a passionate love affair) will be played by none other than her own ex-lover (referred to as "He" in the script). Forced into close proximity with he - and his lips - the lines between She and her character begin to blur. On top of their inexorable attraction to each other, She and He must also contend with a panoply of theatrical challenges, including a broken ankle, a slippery script, a director who implores them to "trust your instincts", and an understudy who kisses like a pachyderm. Still, on opening night, thrilled by their apparently successful show, She and he lose sight of reality entirely. The acted and the actual become one and the same and the two characters decide to re-consummate their stormy relationship.
Act Two opens after The Last Kiss has closed. Despite the production's terrible reviews, She and He have blissfully continued their affair, and are holed up at He's apartment in New York City. That is, until Harrison, Angela and He's girlfriend Laurie show up to confront them. Afterwards, having severed ties with their loved ones in order to stay together, the pair decides to star in a new play directed and written by the same director as The Last Kiss. Forced to move to Detroit and to act in a production set in the seventies about an undercover IRA agent and an ageing prostitute who wants to become an ophthalmologist, She and He begin the same downward spiral that ended their first relationship. As art and life begin to separate, the characters look at each other with newly clear eyes -an act that radically changes their conceptions of themselves, their desires, and their relationships.
Written By : Sarah Ruhl
Directed by : Sally Putnam