Losing your v-card
by Selina Renfrow
I don’t know too many people who would rate their first time having sex as their best sexual experience. For some people it’s special, others it’s awkward, and for many it’s painful. We all have a story and we remember it for the rest of our lives even if we try not to. Way back in 1998, a website was created called “My First Time.” Before blogs, this site was (and continues to be) an anonymous forum for people to share their stories. Men, women, young and old, from around the world talk fondly or regretfully of their first times whether it was eons ago or yesterday.
Two years ago, the website was turned into an off-Broadway play in the style of the Vagina Monologues. Four actors put sex on the stage and told the thousands of stories shared on the site.
Ground Zero Theatre and Hit and Myth Productions are bringing the play to the Vertigo Theatre. It runs March 19 to April 10 and features Mount Royal alumnus Tyrell Crews. I caught up with Crews during a break from rehearsals to talk about the production and the site that inspired it.
“[The stories] are so completely different from one another,” Crews explained. “It’s almost perfect to put it in to play form because you can’t actually write stuff as good as some of these stories;
some of them are just completely unimaginable.”
The site is still up and running and it still looks like a website from 1998. Its layout is simple, the colours generic and the entries full of spelling errors.
Writer Ken Davenport compiled the entries into monologue form so that four actors could play the characters represented.
“We play a variety of characters and when I say play we’re not caricatures of people, we really just represent people and their stories,” Crews said.
It may be the anonymity of it all or the need to unload their deepest, darkest secrets, but whatever it is, the people that post their stories don’t hold back.
One disturbing entry talked about a 15-year-old boy guilt-tripping his 15-year-old girlfriend into having sex, despite her repeated pleas to stop. Another woman took GHB (the date-rape drug) because she was too nervous after agreeing to have sex with her boyfriend.
One man spoke of getting off just touching women’s panties. In order to be respectful of the people who shared their stories, the actors have attempted to refrain from judging the people they represent.
“I think a challenge doing this show as well is finding an honesty in all of these characters,” Crews said. “Avoiding caricatures… that doesn’t do any justice to who this person is because this person is alive, real and out there and talking from his heart rather than making fun of him or making a mockery of his story.”
Encouraging audience participation, the show will be in the cabaret style with tables and drink service. At the beginning of the play, audience members will be asked to fill out a survey anonymously. Later the surveys will be brought back out and incorporated into the play. For more information on the play visit www.gzt.ca.