You’re like this beautiful sexy chick that has every guy in your class whacking off to you... – Ira Slatsky

Oren Safdie, one of Montréal’s best known playwrights across North America, finally gets a world premiere in his home town. Infinithéâtre is proud to present Unseamly, directed by Sarah Carlsen & Guy Sprung, from Feb. 11-Mar. 9 at Bain St. Michel. This unsettling piece focusing on the fashion world stars Arlen Aguayo Stewart, Howard Rosenstein and Jonathan Silver. Inspired by a variety of sexual harassment allegations brought against well-known clothing companies, Unseamly focuses its attention on an industry that has become synonymous for pushing the boundaries on sexuality while inflaming debates as to what is ethically acceptable.

In Unseamly, a young woman seeks legal advice to initiate charges of sexual harassment against her former boss, Ira Slatsky, the CEO of an international clothing company known for its risqué billboards. Female sexuality confronts male corporate power. Who is telling the truth? Who is manipulating whom? How far should/can a young woman go to take down a predator?

Is it possible that sexual harassment, undermining women, taking advantage of innocence, and the inherent corrupting influence of power and wealth may never be eradicated? Unseamly is based on a variety of events and journalistic allegations that are in the public domain. These news articles include both false accusations and stories of people being paid off. Truth is elusive and too often written by the victors. In Unseamly, the characters present their point of view and audiences get to decide what they think. Weekly post-show ‘Talkback Tuesdays’ offer an opportunity to do this in public.

For Safdie, the kernel that created the play came from having a daughter, “Suddenly, I started seeing the world differently. Victoria’s Secret for 10 year olds, the highly suggestive ads, they all made me feel that there has to be consequences to this; I saw a perfect metaphor for the time we live in. Malina, the main character in the play, is a product of this world. She is supposed to be as desensitized to casual sex as her boss, but that's not exactly how it plays out.” Is Malina using her sexual powers to orchestrate a shakedown, a spiteful lover acting out in revenge or is she being taken advantage of? He continues, “Personally, I fear that there is a breakdown of human morality, which is what keeps me writing every day.”

Infinitheatre’s mandate is to tackle issues and themes that are important to our contemporary world. From Artistic Director and Unseamly Co-Director Guy Sprung: “This is a gutsy, provocative play that is certain to elicit serious thinking and heated discussion on the genesis of, and responsibility for, sexual harassment in the workplace. For him, a co-directing team for this production was the only way to go, “A male playwright and a male director as the sole voices staging a play about female exploitation in the workplace? I don’t think so! Thanks to Sarah Carlsen who had the guts to jump on board as the co-pilot of this project.”

Coming of age, Co-Director Carlsen realized the effect her body, femininity and youth had on the world around her, “Our society adores youth, particularly female youthfulness. We are obsessed with chasing youth, preserving youth, touching youth.” For her, Unseamly captures that moment where a young woman is invited to sit at the table with the big boys and thinks she can handle it. She is seduced by the power, money and unique charisma of Ira Slatsky, a fashion tycoon whose clothing brand and marketing techniques define the lifestyle of a particular generation of young women and men. Carlsen continues, “Youth and money are a heady combination. They accessorize each other so fantastically.” Carlsen is drawn to this script the way she would be drawn to an accident scene in front of her house, “The collision has already happened and now people are gathering around to see just how gruesome it is. You think to yourself, ‘That could have been me or my friend’.”

“What finally emerges as truth is less a function of what actually happens than who holds the power…” 
- Adam

Infinithéâtre at Bain St. Michel, February 11 – March 9
5300, rue St-Dominique (corner Maguire)
Tuesday to Saturday at 8:00 pm, Sunday matinee at 2:00pm
Tickets: Regular: $25, Students/Seniors: $20, Groups: $17, Infinithéâtre 6Packs available (6 tickets for $75)

Box Office: 514 987-1774 ext. 104, online at www.infinitheatre.com with PayPalTicket sales at the door are CASH ONLY

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