First written when local playwright, Ariel Pinkerton, was a teenage survivor of an abusive romance, Teach Me Tonight is a love triangle with darkly comic elements and gender politics that dares to look at violence in intimate relationships from a rare perspective: the abuser's. April, a 16 year-old girl, has the typical high school life with her boyfriend, Dave. Mike, a man in his late 20s, finds his way into their lives--and into April's heart and bed. Mike is well-dressed, well-versed, and charming - in fact, he narrates the play to the audience, who, in turn, easily fall for his charm. Indicators of abuse don't emerge until two-thirds of the way through the play, with expectations confounded by provocative contradictions. Mike's courtship gradually becomes more controlling and April's infidelity (with Dave) triggers Mike's violence. Teach Me Tonight is not anti-male, but exposes an insidious dynamic that has as much to do with the illusions perpetrated by romance novels as it does with ideas of still-acceptable male dominance.
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