Friday, February 13, 2015

HORSE GIRLS: A Play | A Middle Schoolgirl Age-Gap Affair, Teen Lipstick Lesbians & More

Here's the synopsis for Jenny Rachel Weiner's play Horse Girls that I saw with a capacity crowd at The Cell in Manhattan
12-year-old Ashleigh rules the Lady Jean Ladies, South Florida's most exclusive horse club. News that her family's stables are being sold and their horses killed for meat throws the Ladies into crisis in this dark comedy of middle school deception and lies.

Let's start by listing the names and ages of the characters: 

Lady Jean Lady Officers
ashleigh whitford (12-years-old)
tiffany gesuvia (13-years-old)
robin gesuvia (11-years-old)
margaret flanaghan (12-years-old)
brandi marshall (12-years-old)

Lady Jean Ladies 
camille lowenstein (13-years-old) "[...] she developed boobs early."

trish lowenstein (13-years-old)
Horse Girls is set in ashleigh's "pristine bedroom" where the weekly meeting of the Lady Jean Ladies is being held and where robin shared, "tiffany has her period for goodness sake [...] /Which means she's a woman!"

Ashleigh (Olivia Macklin)  & Tiffany (Angeliea Stark) in Horse Girls

Later, ashleigh, dressed in a schoolgirl uniform, attributes her success in equestrian to Titus Andronicus, her lead horse, and Jonah Stockamore, her "hot" neighbor and "[...] the most famous Olympic Equestrian [...]":
robin informed, "He was on the cover of ELITE EQUESTRIAN." 
But tiffany, also dressed in a schoolgirl uniform, asked, "and he's like twenty-two. Isn't that illegal in most states?"
ashleigh responded, "shut up, tiffany. Don't be jealous. It's ugly."
Then margaret let us know that 12-year-old ashleigh and 22-year-old Jonah kissed: "Ever since last winter break when they kissed behind the stable it's all anyone can talk about [...]"

InterestinglyWeiner wrote that ashleigh didn't think her age-gap kiss with jonah was a major event:
"you guys it's not even a big/deal" 
"you guys, for someone as mature as me, dating an older man-
"I mean in six years when I turn 18 I'll also be competing for the gold and then we'll totally be like a power couple, you know?"
But robin disagreed and opined the age-gap kiss was a big deal and that ashleigh was lucky: "you are so lucky. I've never even kissed a guy."

camille comforted robin, complimented Jonah, and informed ashleigh about Jonah's probable quest to take her virginity: 
"[robin] when you grow boobs you'll definitely get felt up don't worry"
"ash[leigh] Jonah is so hot.
"He probably wants to be your first."
Weiner related in an interview with Theater in the Now: 

"Horse Girls is a play about pre-teens: their obsessions, their insecurities, their desperate need to find a place in the world [...] I think the experiences we have in middle school shapes us in a major way [...]" 

Consequently, Weiner, taking advantage of the allure of nymphets to sell tickets to a play, added some middle-school teen lipstick lesbians:
ashleigh: "margaret is a total lesbian [...] margaret tried to kiss me once and I never told anyone, but only because I was really sad about Misty getting Cancer."  
However, margaret exclaimed that she had a boyfriend at camp: "That's not true! I had a boyfriend at church camp this summer!" 
But later in the play, before margaret kissed ashleigh again, margaret confessed to ashleigh: "I'll go with you. I'll ride away with you. I love you." ashleigh didn't kiss margaret back, but she didn't pull away either. 

13-year-old camille, the nymphet who "developed boobs early", had to pay a fine, since she didn't bring a journal excerpt to the last meeting, because she was possibly being "fingered":
camille: "...I was busy."
tiffany: "Getting fingered by Johnson behind the stable?"
camille: "Maybe..."
Once the girls hear that the stables are being sold and that their horses will be killed for meat, they "FREAK OUT!", which includes "undressing" and "making out".

After ashleigh freaks out, she comforts herself by saying: "Jonah will know exactly what to do-he'll fly home and hold me."

Thus, now we know why the play is described as a "dark comedy of middle school". The play contains, in addition to other dark themes\motifs:
  • an age-gap affair between 12-year-old ashleigh and 22-year-old Jonah
  • middle school lipstick lesbians (i.e., ashleigh and 12-year-old margaret), and
  • 13-year-old camille, with the developed boobs, was possibly fingered by Johnson. (No word on Johnson's age.)

Lastly, Claudia La Rocco for the New York Times opined: "Horse Girls,” a 50-minute pop descent into madness [...]" 

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