Thursday, July 14, 2016

A FRIEND by Anika Benkov

         We all know what it feels like to be lonely, to be afraid of being different, or of being judged. It is a feeling that comes with living in our society. Often however, we forget that we are not the only ones who feel this way. Every single other person around us has felt the same way before, and if we really think about it, there is no reason for us to feel this way.

         The play A Friend, by Anika Benkov, explores this unfortunate mentality that we all have lived with, and tries to answer the question of why do we perceive being different as a bad thing? Maya, a twenty four year old woman, is a loner – not by choice, but rather because the people in her life do not like her company. But naturally Maya, just like all people, wants to be liked and to have friends, so she hires herself a friend off of craigslist. This play delves into the cruelty of society, and the effect of pressure from others to be “normal.”

         My friend is extremely self-conscious. She is unhappy with her hair, her nose, her anxiety, her chest size, and so on and so forth. But it shocks me to hear all these insecurities because when I look at her, I see one of the most beautiful, funny, and amazing people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, and I do not understand how she does not see that. Knowing how insecure she is despite how flawless everyone else thinks she is, makes me wonder if the same applies to me and everyone else. I too have a long list of insecurities, but maybe that is just my fear talking.

         I am sure we all know someone who is very insecure, despite them having absolutely no reason to be. Well I can promise you, whatever your insecurities may be, there are people around you who see those “flaws” as pieces of the great person you are. Now of course I am not saying that you are

necessarily funny, or fit to be America’s Next Top Model, or that everyone likes you, or that you fit every description of what society views as “perfect.” On the contrary, I am saying that maybe you are not funny, or “thin enough,” or smart, but we need to learn to embrace the parts of ourselves that we cannot change. And if we do decide to make a change, we need to be sure that we are doing it for ourselves, and not for the approval of others.


          Think of all the things that have occurred since the beginning of time, to create you. Imagine how many countless things needed to happen exactly as they did for you to be the way you are. I do not know about you, but from my perspective, how can that possibly mean that you are not “good enough” the way you are?

         A Friend by Anika Benkov will be playing in the Strawberry One Act Festival on July 15 (Friday) at 9pm, July 17 (Sunday) at 9pm, and July 23 (Saturday) at 1pm, at the Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street, NYC

A FRIEND by Anika Benkov

A young woman hires a friend off of Craigslist. The play follows their relationship and explores themes of growing up, trust, boundaries, and intimacy between women in an internet age.

Friday, July 15th at 9pm

Sunday, July 17th at 9pm

Saturday, July 23rd at 1pm

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