Tony (John Stokvis) and Theresa (Kristin Collins) go on a blind date. After one beer, Tony overlooks their obvious incompatibilities and invites Theresa for dinner later that week. Now should Theresa be flattered that Tony wants to give her another shot? Or should she be wary that perhaps he’s not seeing her for who she truly is, someone so clearly wrong for him? These are the easiest of the hard questions one continually asks oneself throughout Rebecca Gilman’s quietly terrifying “Boy Gets Girl”, currently running at The Raven Theater.
Shorty after meeting, Tony begins to stalk Theresa. As Theresa’s professional and personal life unravel due to Tony’s harassment, Gilman explores the issues of attraction as well as the ways women’s personal, cultural and gender identities overlap and conflict in today’s society. How can a woman truly know who she is when she’s constantly groomed to be agreeable, to do whatever she must to endear herself to a man? “How much is us and how much is the world around us?” asks a character while wondering what has caused the objectification of women, nature or nurture?
Set designer Amanda Rozmiarek has clearly made the most of a low budget, creating a slightly flimsy-looking yet efficient and innovative set with all the necessary pieces plus a bit of flare. As far as acting, Symphony Sanders might play Theresa’s secretary, Harriet, a bit too ditzy, and Collins could polish her meaningful pauses, but otherwise the cast nails it.
Gilman’s script goes wrong only when it forgets that stalking is not strictly a male behavior. Women stalk too, yet it’s not addressed here. Still, Gilman doesn’t make a villain of the male gender or society as a whole; she lets Tony make a villain of himself and we just get to ponder on it.