Erotica: Lust rules at odd venues

Imagine the smell of your sixth grade classroom. Recall the chalkboard filled with notes, the posters on the walls, the desks lined up in neat rows. Imagine the face of the scariest teacher you ever had: the disapproval in her eyes, the set of her mouth, her hands raised in an authoritative gesture.
Then imagine this place and this woman and the lecture she might give on the proverbial “facts of life.”
The black box of the Live Arts main stage transforms into just such a classroom for the opening scene of The Biology Lesson & Other Experiments, part one of two plays about women’s issues that are filling one of the slots in the Summer Theater Festival. Geri Schermer is fierce and funny as Mrs. Dalworth, the biology teacher who’s been conscripted to share with her sixth-grade girls a filmstrip about how their bodies will mature during puberty.
It’s a riotous introduction to the evening. Schermer is joined by a trio of other actresses (Daria Okagawa, Janet Heath, and Jessica Harrison) who perform a series of monologues that move from the bizarre (the embodiment of the “ghostly hitchhiker”) to the ferocious (a story of a short fighter pilot who has to fight hard, but who knows how to win).
The second act of the evening is Lillian Anne Slugocki and Erin Cressida Wilson’s Erotica Project, another set of vignettes, these much more provocative than The Biology Lesson. Candace Burton directs Jennifer Hoffman, Michelle Majorin, and Sarah Merkle in these racy, sometimes sexy, stories about erotic interludes.
The play opens with a bit in which all three actresses fight over a typewriter and the right to “spell out” their individual pornographic scenarios. Hoffman is a stand-out in a scene where her character imagines what she’d do if she had male genitalia. The last scene of the show has the performers weave a literal web that invites the audience into the musings of the characters.
There’s only one more chance for you to catch these particular Festival offerings, but plenty of other opportunities exist for being part of the frenzy that marks the summer at Live Arts. At least a dozen separate performances take place over the course of the upcoming weekend. Something’s bound to fit your schedule and suit your tastes.
Choose from comedy, reworked Shakespeare, improv, one-acts, full-length shows, classics, and original productions. You get the picture. You can get your tickets at the door.

The Biology Lesson & Other Experiments and The Erotica Project will be performed for the last time at 10pm on Thursday, August 1. The other Festival shows run nightly in a repertory format through Saturday, August 3, in the LA.B Space and on the main stage. Live Arts, 609 E. Market St., $7-9. Call for a schedule: 977-4177.

Read more on: the erotica project