Bedroom Secrets


by Richard Hinojosa · August 10, 2014


Psychologically speaking, yellow is the color of confidence and optimism.  It can lift your spirit and raise your self-esteem, however, too much of it will cause your self-esteem to nose dive and give rise to fear and anxiety.  Bedroom Secrets is set, almost exclusively, in the yellow splashed office of a psychotherapist named Robin who is trying very hard to either lift the spirits of her patients or keep them coming back by prolonging their anxieties. Penned by Thomas and Judy Heath, a dynamic duo of married playwrights, Bedroom Secrets is a warm and funny play that tackles some of today’s sexual issues.

The tag line for the play reads, “One Therapist plus Five Patients equals Two Actors”, and that is certainly one of the most extraordinary aspects of the production. Actor Stephen Wallem plays the five very different characters (men and women) that stroll into Robin’s office. First we meet Grant, a family man with a personality that is “bigger than life”, who is having troubles in his marriage. Then we meet Tiffany, who is so co-dependent that she can’t even stop texting her man of the moment while in therapy. Next up is a nerdy sort of average guy who is hopelessly addicted to internet porn and chat rooms. Next to enter is Hunter, a married gay man whose husband has been pressuring him to bring a third party into their bed but he doesn’t feel comfortable with polyamory.  Finally, we meet Julia, a rather prim married woman who has recently started an affair with another woman.             
Co-writer Judy Heath was herself a therapist for over 20 years.  Her years of listening to people hash out their problems clearly shows up in the text of the play.  The dialogue is crisp and often as funny as it is sad.  The therapist’s questions and responses are plainly the work of someone who knows what they’re doing.  A subplot follows Robin as she begins a new relationship. Here we get a chance to see her fears of intimacy making the therapist a much deeper character and thankfully saving the playing from merely being a cavalcade of people who go to therapy.  While I found the text of the play to be extremely interesting, funny and somewhat moving, it lacks any rise in tension or action.  It is essentially talking heads trapped in a small room. However, this doesn’t take away too much from the play’s appeal it just makes it a little slow going.Psychologically speaking, yellow is the color of confidence and optimism.  It can lift your spirit and raise your self-esteem, however, too much of it will cause your self-esteem to nose dive and give rise to fear and anxiety.  Bedroom Secrets is set, almost exclusively, in the yellow splashed office of a psychotherapist named Robin who is trying very hard to either lift the spirits of her patients or keep them coming back by prolonging their anxieties. Penned by Thomas and Judy Heath, a dynamic duo of married playwrights, Bedroom Secrets is a warm and funny play that tackles some of today’s sexual issues.
The tag line for the play reads, “One Therapist plus Five Patients equals Two Actors”, and that is certainly one of the most extraordinary aspects of the production. Actor Stephen Wallem plays the five very different characters (men and women) that stroll into Robin’s office. First we meet Grant, a family man with a personality that is “bigger than life”, who is having troubles in his marriage. Then we meet Tiffany, who is so co-dependent that she can’t even stop texting her man of the moment while in therapy. Next up is a nerdy sort of average guy who is hopelessly addicted to internet porn and chat rooms. Next to enter is Hunter, a married gay man whose husband has been pressuring him to bring a third party into their bed but he doesn’t feel comfortable with polyamory.  Finally, we meet Julia, a rather prim married woman who has recently started an affair with another woman.             
Co-writer Judy Heath was herself a therapist for over 20 years.  Her years of listening to people hash out their problems clearly shows up in the text of the play.  The dialogue is crisp and often as funny as it is sad.  The therapist’s questions and responses are plainly the work of someone who knows what they’re doing.  A subplot follows Robin as she begins a new relationship. Here we get a chance to see her fears of intimacy making the therapist a much deeper character and thankfully saving the playing from merely being a cavalcade of people who go to therapy.  While I found the text of the play to be extremely interesting, funny and somewhat moving, it lacks any rise in tension or action.  It is essentially talking heads trapped in a small room. However, this doesn’t take away too much from the play’s appeal it just makes it a little slow going.

Truly, the most remarkable aspect of the play is the tour de force of acting coming from Mr. Wallem.  His characters are distinct and multi-layered.  He completely embodies each new character with his voice and posture. His transitions into them are seamless and instant.  It was quite a feat to behold. Actually, Wallem plays six characters, he also portrays Robin’s new boyfriend. Ashlie Atkinson plays Robin with a quiet intensity that really penetrates deep into this complex character.  Together they lift the play up to a slightly higher level than it is on the page.

Bedroom Secrets is definitely worth a look. The exchanges between patient and therapist are something that is, for the most part, unattainable to the general public so it was quite engaging and refreshing to peer into this hidden world.

Truly, the most remarkable aspect of the play is the tour de force of acting coming from Mr. Wallem.  His characters are distinct and multi-layered.  He completely embodies each new character with his voice and posture. His transitions into them are seamless and instant.  It was quite a feat to behold. Actually, Wallem plays six characters, he also portrays Robin’s the new boyfriend. Ashlie Atkinson plays Robin with a quiet intensity that really penetrates deep into this complex character.  Together they lift the play up to a slightly higher level than it is on the page.

Bedroom Secrets is definitely worth a look. The exchanges between patient and therapist are something that is, for the most part, unattainable to the general public so it was quite engaging and refreshing to peer into this hidden world.

 

 

 

 

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