Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sixty Shades of Grey: The "Grey" Area in Dating by Elisabeth McGowan

Elisabeth McGown

Dating websites have become a popular method to mingle and date people. Creating a profile, receiving messages from potential dates, and eventually meeting them is all part of the whole process. However, there are possibilities of running into some liars. I’m sure you’ve become aware of creeps online trying to promote themselves, which have usually ended up scaring some website users.

Personally, I have never used a dating website; I prefer to stay offline in terms of meeting new people, partially because of what I’ve heard can happen if you run into a creepy site user. This hasn’t stopped other people from using dating sites though, and it shouldn’t. These websites can genuinely be helpful in building relationships. We’ve all seen the “Christian Mingle” and “eHarmony” commercials about how the websites have helped create recent and happy relationships…even marriages. But how reliable are these sites? Is it all just black and white, satisfaction or distrust of a dating site? Is there a grey area in all of this? Or in other words, is it a mix of happiness, but also reality, meaning some bad parts to a relationship, or even just a date? Is this grey part indicative of a balance in persona, such as not being overly and weirdly sexual or annoyingly timid?

Amanda Ortega explores this “grey” area in her play Sixty Shades of Grey. Now before you think it is just another parody of the infamous Fifty Shades series, it’s not. It’s actually about two people, Lilly and Joe, who are both on their ways to meet with their “” date as the elevator breaks. Ortega used comedy in her play to show the juxtaposition between the two characters. Lilly, an anxious and expectant young woman meets Joe, a calm and intelligent guy. Their conversations are compelling as they bicker over little things then gradually reveal themselves.

The real fact that illuminates from this play is that these modern dating sites make it hard to find the grey area in what one is interested in. Sometimes finding someone who has too much in common with you, and is therefore just too perfect, isn’t exciting. Then again, finding someone who is just horrendously opposite of you has too been found as a negative effect of meeting people online. So how do you find your shade of grey? How do you figure out what person is “right” for you as they say?

Sixty Shades of Grey will answer these questions for you. Show dates are July 14 at 7pm, July 17 at 3pm, and July 20 at 7pm.


A romantic comedy with a twist: a single woman is on her way to meet her first “normal” date when suddenly she gets stuck in an elevator with a man she wants nothing to do with.

Thursday, July 14th at 7pm

Sunday, July 17th at 3pm

Wednesday, July 20th at 7pm

At the Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street, NYC
The Riant Theatre’s Strawberry One-Act Festival

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