The Waiting Room
Lisa Loomer’s 1994 play is a dark comedy about the timeless quest for beauty — and its cost. Three women from different centuries meet in a modern doctor’s waiting room.
Forgiveness From Heaven is an 18th-century Chinese woman whose bound feet are causing her to lose her toes. Victoria is a 19th-century English woman suffering from what is commonly known as “hysteria.” Then there is Wanda, a modern gal from New Jersey who is having problems with her silicone breasts.
Husbands, doctors, Freud, the drug industry and the FDA all come under examination in this wild ride through medical and sexual politics.
The playwright — who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film Girl, Interrupted — often deals with the experiences of Latinos and Hispanic Americans and with various aspects of contemporary family life. For her work on The Waiting Room, she won the 1994 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and the 1995 American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award.
Preview by The Gazette
[Naomi] Cohen hopes the audience, especially the women, take a moment to step back and look into their daily beauty rituals.
“I blow dry my hair every day, or I put on mascara and makeup,” Cohen said. “We all are still doing all of these crazy things to make ourselves beautiful and that’s like an everlasting idea — that we have to do this. To get the audience members thinking about that, like ‘What is really the cost of beauty?” I think would be really great.”
— WILL C. FRANKLIN, The Gazette, February 11, 2014
Review by The Diamondback
'The whole play is about the cost of beauty,' said junior theatre major Naomi Cohen, who plays Victoria. The three actresses — Cohen, Phyllis Liu and Mavonte Johnson — conveyed this cost in their performance. The three women developed very strong chemistry, at times making it easy to forget the situation onstage existed in a theatrical world and not this one.
— DANIELLE OHL, The Diamondback, February 24, 2014