The Observer

Filed under Arts & Culture, Theater

Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

Marianne+Rendon+%28left%29+and+Jax+Jackson+%28right%29+in+%E2%80%9CPlot+Points+In+Our+Sexual+Development%2C%E2%80%9D+now+open+at+the+Claire+Tow+Theater%2C+LCT3.
Marianne Rendon (left) and Jax Jackson (right) in “Plot Points In Our Sexual Development,” now open at the Claire Tow Theater, LCT3.

Marianne Rendon (left) and Jax Jackson (right) in “Plot Points In Our Sexual Development,” now open at the Claire Tow Theater, LCT3.

(COURTESY OF JEREMY DANIEL)

(COURTESY OF JEREMY DANIEL)

Marianne Rendon (left) and Jax Jackson (right) in “Plot Points In Our Sexual Development,” now open at the Claire Tow Theater, LCT3.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Plot Points in Our Sexual Development” — stashed away in the secluded interior of the Claire Tow Theater, the smallest of Lincoln Center’s venues, modest enough in size that you can hear yourself laugh and the type of space that offers up shows as if they were well-curated exhibits — is the story of one, hour-long conversation between two lovers. Separated by a gulf of sexual experience larger than any theater could hold, they sit beside one another and in rare, priceless simplicity, talk.

Come not for theatrics, but for humanity.

In concept it’s simple enough: Theo (Jax Jackson), genderqueer and transmasculine, and Cecily (Marianne Rendon), a cis woman, love one another. But to love each other fully they must understand each other’s bodies, each other’s desires and sexual interests. To wade in a river so deep means to dive far into the trauma and testimony that makeup our lives — take the plunge, suggests playwright Miranda Rose Hall, lest you drown.

As the two sit before each other and trade stories of their sexual development — some innocent, others funny, a few traumatic; things like oral sex in church or the first time you masturbated or felt the burning sear of homophobia — it’s easy to become lost in their stories, to melt into the soft-lighting of the stage as if you yourself could join them somewhere in the recesses of identity.

Here, where we examine the scary parts of our sexual lives, where we may feel at times ugly or repulsive, powerful or strong, those plot points — glimpses of light where our true selves shown through the cracks — are ever more visible.

Marianne Rendon as Cecily in Miranda Rose Hall’s world premiere play at LCT3. (COURTESY OF JEREMY DANIEL)

The cultural and political theorist Stuart Hall, in describing cultural character, wrote that identity was not unearthed, but continually produced, that its formation was not a process of archeological discovery, but a continued production made in the re-telling of our pasts.

In many ways, “Plot Points” is a queer meditation of the same thought. Queer spaces, Miranda Rose Hall suggests, are not just important for probing contemporary questions of gender fluidity and sexual expression; they are uniquely suited to plot the points of sexual development, to explore the dynamic, malleable nature of identity. Queer sex not as negotiation or imitation, but as creation and innovation.

Director Margot Bordelon provides that explorative space, her honest, bare-bones direction a guiding hand for the thrilling performances given by Jackson and Rendon. As actors, they’ve cultivated an on-stage chemistry that travels beyond a believable romantic connection; they’ve succeeded in portraying a relationship during a prolonged moment of disconnection, of crisis while either partner dives deep within themselves to salvage what they’ve made together. With no eccentric set — two chairs, really (though tastefully designed by Andrew Boyce) — or mammoth theater to hide behind, props or music to occupy their nerves, both actors stand essentially naked, and their poignant, poised performances can teach us all a thing or two about vulnerability.

Ultimately, it’s that vulnerability, that humanity written in Rose Hall’s script, that forces “Plot Points” to confront its own contradiction in conception. Theo and Cecily’s excavation reveals only the faults in their method; understanding our sexual selves is not a game of connect the dots. The distance between two points is a line, and identity and sexual development are not linear. That “Plot Points” succeeds in such a revelation, whatever its original mission, is worthy of praise.

“God, I feel like something in me is breaking open, like I could crack into a million pieces,” says Cecily near “Plot Points” conclusion, asking of Theo: “Could we maybe stop talking for a minute? And just look at each other?”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    Review: ‘Wild Goose Dreams’ Takes You to the Lonely Frontier of Digital Life

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    Ram Jams — October 2018

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    A Beginner’s Guide to Surviving the Thanksgiving Day Parade

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    Ramsgiving: What to Do and What to Eat

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    ‘Can I Borrow Your Vintage Gucci Belt?’: Streetwear Reigns Supreme

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    Bruce Nauman ‘Appears’ at MoMA

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    Review: ‘The Ferryman’ Steers Us to the Crossroads of Family and Myth, History and Tradition

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    Review: “Torch Song” Breathes New Life, Radiantly Led By Michael Urie

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    8 Halloween Costumes You Can DIY in Your Dorm

  • Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy

    Arts & Culture

    Spooky Halloween Treats Recipes

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center
Review: At LCT, ‘Plot Points In Our Sexual Development’ Traces the Edges of Queer Intimacy