A moment with Director Jenna Burnett about tearing it apart

 Q: This script centers around two types of characters that typically tend to be relegated to supporting or featured positions - fat women roles and gay roles. It also centers love between friends as opposed to love between romantic partners. And with a great title like I Wanna F*cking Tear You Apart, we know we’re in for a wild ride. What do you find exciting about how this script upends our expectations of how a story like this is typically portrayed? Or in other words, what is your ‘in’ to the script that is driving how you shape the production?

A: Early in this process, I read an interview with playwright Morgan Gould where she said that she wrote this play because she wanted to see someone like her onstage, and at the time it honestly kind of blew my mind. As a fellow fat woman (“fat-fat, not actor-fat” as Morgan specifies in the script), I don’t think I even realized that I had never seen myself onstage before. Even in those supporting or featured roles you mentioned, fat women and gay men are so often one dimensional, functioning solely as comic relief or as a foil for the main character (or like, a device used to teach a lesson about the dangers of bullying or some shit). They’re also very often either PERFECT or the WORST — like they’re either nice and fun and smart and hilarious OR they’re mean and hateful and constantly lashing out because of their “otherness.” But like, no one in real life is like that?? I’m certainly not like that. None of my fat or gay friends are like that. The characters in this play are absolutely not like that. On the island that is Sam and Leo’s apartment, their fat/gayness is not a moral failing or an obstacle to be overcome. If anything that otherness is an asset (“We have something she will never have because she has NEVER fucking struggled,” Leo says at one point in the play. “We have ideas. We are fucking survivors.“). But honestly? Their fat/gayness just is. It’s not the center of their world or this story. What a revolutionary delight that this play allows the fat woman and the gay man to be humans.