The collegiate dating game, circa 2005, is the subject of A Guy’s Tale, an entertaining and enlightening one-man show written and performed by Adam Bergeron July 6-14 and 18-20 in Room 100 of Hamilton Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bergeron, who bravely confesses that he is a “sensitive guy” looking for a long-term romantic relationship, also admits that this series of rambling R-rated monologues is inspired by true incidents; but he denies that his ongoing search for Ms. Right -- not just Ms. Right Now -- is strictly autobiographical.
What makes A Guy’s Tale a man-bites-dog story is that it’s the guy, not the gal, who is pushing for commitment, insisting on a relationship, dreaming of a wedding that will unite Mike and Katie, and imagining that their puppy love will endure and they will live happily ever after. Of course, Mike is an incurable romantic. He openly worships Katie, and he even makes lists of her most desirable and adorable qualities -- long, long lists -- and that’s a heavy burden to for any undergraduate coed to shoulder.
Katie, on the other hand, is a typical coed of the new millennium. She did not go to school primarily to get her MRS. degree. She wants a career and she wants to date a variety of people. She begins to see going steady with Mike as an obstacle -- not a pathway -- to her ultimate happiness. So, Katie dumps Mike; and he responds -- predictably -- with a Dennis Miller-like rage-rant condemning her for not being everything that he imagined her to be.
In the course of the 13 humorous, ribald, and sometimes angry monologues that comprise A Guy’s Tale, Adam Bergeron asks the eternal question, What do women want? When Mike finally realizes that different women want different things, the same woman can want different things at different times -- or even at the same time -- then he can begin to understand each of us, male and female, is a unique human being, with typical human faults and foibles, and none of us is a candidate to be put up on a pedestal and worshipped as the epitome of our sex.
None of us wants to be taken for granted, but Mike never realizes that he takes certain things about Katie for granted: that he idealizes her and their relationship, rather than looking at her and it realistically. Mike is in love with love and too blinded his essentially romantic nature to see the warning signs: Katie is restless on her pedestal; Katie is bored with Mike’s blind adoration; Katie is on the verge of breaking up with him.
So, when she does give him his walking papers, he is stunned, completely blindsided. But the rest of us could see it coming all along.
A Guy’s Tale, simply produced by Cap & Gown Theatre Company and the Carolina Production Guild and directed by Bryan Cohen with great empathy, with artful illumination by lighting designers Charlie Newsome and Eileen Goddard and a solid sound design by Chris Erb, is chock-full of feelings that men often suppress or leave unexpressed. With its frank talk about masturbation, current collegiate sexual practices, and the use of alcohol and pornography as stimulants, this one-man show is for mature audiences only.
The snippets of prerecorded man- and woman-on-the-street interviews, played in-between the monologues, provide additional insight into the current collegiate dating scene, where sexual experimentation continues unabated in the Era of AIDS and alcohol-fueled overnight “hookups” are more frequent than formal dates that develop long-term romantic relationships. A Guy’s Tale eloquently captures the angst and frustration of a true romantic in an age in which finding Mr. Right is no longer a typical coed’s highest priority. Adam Bergeron enters the Brave New World of dating in the new millennium with his eyes open and his sense of humor intact.
Cap & Gown Theatre Company and the Carolina Production Guild will present A Guy’s Tale Tuesday-Thursday, July 1214, at 8:15 p.m. and Monday-Wednesday, July 18-20, at 8:25 p.m. in Room 100, Hamilton Hall, corner of corner of Emerson Dr. and Lenoir Dr., at UNC-Chapel Hill. $10 ($5 students). 919/593-2287 or email@example.com. Carolina Production Guild: http://www.himomfilmfestival.org/ [inactive 9/05]. A Guy’s Tale: http://www.guystale.com/ [inactive 10/06].
Cap & Gown Theatre Company and the Carolina Production Guild will present A Guy’s Tale, a one-man show written and performed by Adam Bergeron and directed by Bryan Cohen, July 6-20 in two locations on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill campus. There will be two previews — on July 6 and 7 in the Hanes Art Center — before the show plays July 8-14 and 18-20 in Hamilton Hall.
Cohen says, Cap & Gown Theatre Company is a new theatrical troupe specializing in depictions of life during and after college, and the Carolina Production Guild assists students in the making of high-quality short films.
UNC-Chapel Hill faculty member and two-time Emmy Award-winning director Joan Darling calls A Guy’s Tale a “story beautifully and endearingly performed, that opens the door to what it is really like to be a male college student interested in a real relationship. It is very touching and funny! Ladies should listen up!”
Director Bryan Cohen, like Bergeron a recent UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, says “I first heard one of the monologues that inspired the play in an acting class taught by Joan Darling during my junior year …. I asked Adam what his plans with the monologue were, and we eventually collaborated and turned it into a 13-monologue one-man show. The first production of this play was directed by me and was [produced] during January of 2005. There was another production during April/May of 2005, also directed by [me]. Both productions were held in the [UNC-Chapel Hill] Center for Dramatic Art … in the studio rehearsal rooms.”
Cohen adds, “[A Guy’s Tale] shows the arc of one of the most important wants of my life: the desire to get into a successful long-term relationship. I believe that it very accurately describes what a guy is feeling when he is getting into a relationship, falling in love, and falling out of love. I wanted to direct it because Adam is a good friend of mine, the play is very well written, and I had never before directed just one person in a play. I have not been disappointed with both the turnouts and the audience response to my direction and his writing and acting.”
According to Bryan Cohen, “The character of Mike (Adam Bergeron) is a very self-reflective, sensitive male. He tries to make sure that his male friends don’t put themselves in bad situations and that his female friends understand just what the guys they try to date are thinking. Mike initiates a long-term relationship with a girl named Katie. He falls in love with Katie and tries to logically progress their relationship so they get closer and have a good time. The progression of the relationship is what occurs throughout the play.”
Cohen admits, “It is hard to make one person speaking for an entire hour interesting. Thus, we have incorporated sound clips of residents of the Triangle, waxing on relationship topics ranging from falling in love to whether or not pornography is bad. Adam has had to work hard on his acting to make sure he isn’t giving a general performance, but is getting as specific with his choices as he can. He cannot just write off the hard work because he has written the play, in a way, he has to work harder.
“The fact that Adam and I are good friends has been a blessing and a curse,” Cohen explains, “but we have made sure to keep everything as professional as possible so that we may have a spectacular show and still be able to go out for a drink at the bars later.”
In addition to Bryan Cohen, who co-designed the show’s set with Charlie Newsome and co-designed its costumes with Adam Bergeron, the production team for A Guy’s Tale includes lighting designers Charlie Newsome and Eileen Goddard and sound designer Chris Erb.
Bryan Cohen says, “The set is divided into three areas: a living area/kitchen, a bedroom, and a neutral center space.… The lighting is a simple indoor scheme, just allowing the acting and the writing to stick out on their own.… Mike wears what he would wear around the house or what is appropriate for the situation. It is modern, twenty-something wear.”
Cohen says A Guy’s Tale comes with a special money-back guarantee: “The non-students who attend the show have the option of a money-back guarantee if they don’t believe the play is truthful to love and relationships. They must sit through the entire show, however, no walking out after five minutes asking for their money back.”
Cap & Gown Theatre Company and the Carolina Production Guild will present A Guy’s Tale Wednesday-Thursday, July 6-7, at 8:15 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hanes Arts Center, S. Columbia St., at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Friday-Thursday, July 8-14, at 8:15 p.m. and Monday-Wednesday, July 18-20, at 8:15 p.m. in Room 100, Hamilton Hall, corner of corner of Emerson Dr. and Lenoir Dr., at UNC-Chapel Hill. $10 ($5 students), except $5 ($3 students) July 6th and 7th previews. 919/593-2287 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Carolina Production Guild: http://www.himomfilmfestival.org/ [inactive 9/05]. A Guy’s Tale: http://www.guystale.com/ [inactive 10/05].