A look into the life of a hooker

By Marcela Salamanca

Provocative, shocking, eye-opening, witty and crude. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for Italian feminist playwright, Dacia Maraini.

Acting as a metaphor for women and their role in society, Maraini’s Dialogue Between a Prostitute and Her Client, explores a role reversal between a hooker and her john, in which the client bears it all. And while there is nudity, it serves a very essential function: it raises curiosity about an underground "profession."

Throughout the play, there are undertones of political and societal constraint. Manila (Renee Amber) is a complex character who is smart, strong, vulnerable and clever–not your stereotypical prostitute. The Client (Danijel Margetic) is also a surprising combination of pathetic insecurity and masculinity. Both roles challenge one to open the mind, explore societal restraints on sex, and discover one’s own view of a prostitute and a john.

Portraying a complex character forced Amber to experience, "a world [she’s] never encountered before.

"[The play is a] forum for addressing the issues… raising questions about the humanity behind this and the people that find themselves in this lifestyle," Amber explains.

Margetic also appreciated the various challenges in the play.

"[I don’t] see the nudity as a challenge… the bigger issue and challenges in this character were within what he had to say and what he does," he explains.

The Client is "kinky, aggressive and strange," but Margetic hopes the audience walks away with a heightened awareness of one’s actions in a relationship.

Director Michelle Newman views the play differently.

"[It’s a] provocative script that is aesthetically interesting… [it’s an] experiment that exposes university students to a wide variety of theatrical forms and writers from other countries," says Newman.

The one question she hopes to raise is:

"What is the difference between a woman looking at a man’s body and a man

looking at a woman’s body, if in fact there is a difference?"

Dialogue Between a Prostitute and Her Client runs from Mar. 14-17 in the Reeve Secondary Theater at 12 p.m. for a mere dollar.

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