Laughter is the best medicine

Finding love can be tricky business.

Sometimes, the harder a person looks, the harder it can be to find. Therapy can help, or at least writer Christopher Durang certainly thinks so. Beginning Jan. 30, couples and singles are welcome to experience Durang’s razor-sharp comedy “Beyond Therapy,” hosted by Women In Theatre.

Taking place in 1981, the performance tells the story of Bruce and Prudence, two young individuals seeking romance through the help of their psychiatrists, who recommend personal ads for their patients. Although the doctors are tying to be helpful, it doesn’t take long to realize they are as wacky as their patients.

“It was the first play that I had ever read alone in a room by myself and laughed out loud almost continuously, it was hysterical,” said Nadya Wynd, a WIT member who is directing the play. “It’s very universal because everybody wants to experience love and everybody wants to figure out who they are in the world.”

Having spent her life professionally helping others, Wynd said she’s enjoyed directing “Beyond Therapy” and found a strong sense of realism in the play’s acts and characters.

“I started out as a counselor, social worker and a teacher before I went into the entertainment business and I was actually doing this kind of work in the 80s and I knew people like these therapists and I knew people like these characters trying to find love and figure out life and who they are,” she said.

The event will be at Hukilau Lanai Restaurant at 520 Aleka Loop. The performance opens Jan. 30 and will be performed Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 6, 7, and 8. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with a dinner buffet to follow at 6, which will contain Hawaiian food and desserts. The show starts at 7 p.m.

“I think people are going to come out feeling very satisfied both physically and emotionally because it’s so funny,” said WIT President Melissa Mojo. “It’s a little edgier, you might see this in Honolulu, you’d definitely see this in New York but you’re not going to necessarily see it on Kauai. So we’re offering something that’s unusual.”

Tickets are $60, which includes dinner and the show, with group seating available although seating is limited. Tickets may be purchased at womenintheater.org. Reservations are required at least 48 hours in advance and due to its adult themes, the show is recommended for audiences 16 and older.

“I’m very fortunate to have some of the best actors on Kauai and we’re having an incredibly fun time with this play,” said Wynd. “The actors; one of their challenges is not to laugh when their rehearsing because they watch their fellow actors and they’re just so good and so funny.”

Wynd is also working on “The Festival in the Sahara: A Celebration of Nomadic Culture,” a documentary about the ancestral culture of Africa’s nomadic people whose lives are threatened by globalization, climate change and environmental destruction.

“My approach to theater is that it’s a story,” Wynd said. “Michael Mead says, ‘Stories are the oldest living school for human kind,’ so whenever we watch something on television, or a film, or read a book or a play or anything like that, we’re experiencing someone’s version of life and what their beliefs are, what their values are … I think it puts people in touch with their own stories, with their own emotions, their own desires, their wounds, their disappointments, maybe dreams and hopes they let go.” 

Info: (808) 635-3727

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