30 Seconds With… Wendy Beckett

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In this weekly feature, WCBS culture critic Jim Taylor shares 30 seconds with the theatre stars and upstarts of NYC. From Broadway to Off-off, Jim tracks down the talent and gets them to spill just enough for our collectively shortened attention spans.

You may never think of your therapist in the same way again. We know We won’t! Love Therapy is the play. Wendy Beckett is the playwright. And the shrink?

Wendy Beckett: This is the story of the therapist getting involved with her client, but he is very seductive. It becomes a case of transference: the client projects onto the therapist whoever [his] difficult loved one is, and she in turn has issues of her own and projects back on to him. That’s the nature of therapy.

Jim Taylor: Is it possible this play is autobiographical in some way?

WB: I was a therapist. I didn’t transgress. I might have been tempted, but you know… hahaha. That’s the thing about the play. I think that it’s possible for people to be in a therapeutic process and forget that it’s professional — especially when it’s gone on over years and they get familiar with each other.

JT: Why is therapy so important. Why is it so necessary?

WB: We might have lost our gift for connection. Friendship once fulfilled the role of listener, of validation trust. Our busier lifestyles have less time for that sort of intimacy with friends. Something peculaiar has happened, and that is in the play. Unable to be intimate, one character says: “I’ve outsourced my intimacy.”

JT: Ethical, professional lines are crossed repeatedly in Love Therapy.

WB: Does the play cross lines? Absolutely. She’s an accident waiting to happen. Lots of times therapists make decisions outside their training; the consequences are dire if you’re caught doing something you shouldn’t do. There are a lot of taboos in therapy even though it is one of the most freeing experiences people have.

Provocatively therapeutic, Love Therapy plays at DR2 through May 25.