This week, Pioneer Theatre Company brings us In, a world-premiere production by Bess Wohl, author of 2010’s Touch(ed).
Seven years after graduation, Sara (Julie Jesneck, pictured) is using her Harvard education to tutor rich kids for $20 an hour in hopes of getting them into Harvard. She’s also sort of working on a novel—but then again, who isn’t?
Jordy (Jason Ralph) is one of those spoiled rich kids who wants to go Harvard. His main motivation is that his dad did, and so he can major in “business,” which he seems to conceptualize as “industry,” except the end product of the manufacturing process is money instead of cars or household appliances.
Pammie (Alexandra Neil) is Jordy’s mom. She “used to be a hippie,” if you believe her repeated assertions, though one gets the feeling that she probably did it for the parties. Nowadays, she rules her little kingdom of a household in a suburb of New York City so fancy that it’s in Connecticut and named after a place in England. She spends her days spending her husband’s Wall Street money, and her evenings polishing off a bottle of red wine by herself.
Vocabulary drills, class conflict and very awkward sexual tension ensue. There is dramatic staged standardized test-taking and essay-writing.
With Sara, we see a world of bored privilege through the eyes of someone painfully self-aware of her complicity in its sinful ease. She just can’t decide if she wants in or out.