Article by Alexei Spindell
August 24, 2022
For women who experience a chronic deficit of sexual pleasure, a cure has been found – possibly. A brilliant scientist (played by Sarah Alida Leclair) and her assistant Callie Young (Sutheshna Mani) have begun human testing on an enigmatic “miracle drug” in Sarah Saltwick’s The Pleasure Trials, presented by Moxie Theater.
The play deals with a variety of issues, ranging from the spiritual to the scientific, in a convincing and insightful manner. Leclair’s Dr. Rachel Milan puzzles over questions about the subjective and the objective, and how to quantify the uniqueness of individuals – this issue of uniqueness holds a key to her goals with this study. Milan and her assistant work with a set of very different clients, ingeniously played by one actress (Andrea Agosto) as if to suggest something about the homogenizing effect of scientific inquiry.
The Pleasure Trials is in part an exploration of what it means to be a “woman”, or at least what it means to be an individual who is simplified into such a category. As such, is an especially fitting production for Moxie, with its longstanding mission of representing women and women’s issues. This production marks the beginning of the Moxie’s 18th season.