The Sleepover, A Comedy of Marriage
Mark, a psychotherapist, and Susie, a life coach, hold their first overnight marriage retreat on the top of a mountain in a rustic ski lodge that has seen better days. Arguing from the start, the two attempt to help five other couples improve their relationships. Things go from bad to worse as it turns out Julie, who reluctantly attends the retreat with her long suffering husband Scott, is, in fact, Mark’s former fiancee.
The marriage retreat takes place at a rustic ski lodge that has seen better days. The lodge is on top of a mountain and once someone has been delivered to it by truck, they cannot leave until they are picked up the next day.
At open, Susie is furious at Mark for booking the run-down lodge because her dream was to hold the retreat at a beachside resort. As the couples begin to arrive, Mark has been trying unsuccessfully to soothe Susie’s anger, reminding her that they are “the marriage that works.” First to arrive are Smith and Jan, “New-Agey” seminar junkies, who know more about retreats than Mark and Susie. They are followed by the very unhappy Scott and Julie, who clearly doesn’t want to be there. Scott thinks the experience will be the answer to all their problems until he learns Mark was Julie’s former lover and fiancee. The couples Dave and Rosemarie and Cybil and Wayne arrive next. Dave and Rosemarie are young, naive newlyweds who received the retreat as a wedding gift. Cybil and Wayne, masters of bickering and sarcastic remarks, would like to know where the bar is so they can order a cocktail. Finally, Jesse, a charming renaissance man, arrives with his Manhattanite corporate workaholic wife, Barbara, who is only attending the retreat as a result of a bribe. Barbara is outraged there is no cell service and takes her frustration out on Rosemarie, teaching her the ways of the world, much to Dave’s shock and apprehension. Mark and Susie lead the couples through various therapy exercises that either don’t work or lead to unexpected results. The couples are forced to spend the night in bunk beds in one of two rooms and are unable to leave the lodge until they are picked up the next morning. Through creative name calling, blindfolds, injury, and therapeutic games, each couple ends up learning something in the midst of this zany, one-of-a-kind retreat.
Comedy - pure and simple. As Vasta Folley says, “The fodder of dysfunctional marriages, in the midst of inescapable second-rate couples therapy, provides the perfect elements for crazy situational and physical comedy.” The Sleepover - A Comedy of Marriage won the 2015 Vermont Playwrights Award.
CAST SIZE - (Character & Stage Age)
6 Women (Susie, Jan, Julie - 30-40’s / Barbara, Cybil - 40-50’s / Rosemarie - early 20’s)
6 Men (Mark, Smith, Scott - 30-40s / Jesse, Wayne - 40-50’s/ Dave - early 20’s)