Liat Ron's new play, Guts, is an entertaining and brutally honest look at one woman’s struggles with body image. The play tells the story of Hellthy, played by Ron, who's broken up with her boyfriend and left NYC to move back in with her parents in Israel. Hellthy's post-breakup depression consumes her at first--she sleeps all day and ruminates in her negative thoughts. Her insecurities are magnified to gargantuan proportions as she speaks every thought aloud to the audience. The journey towards self-love is rarely without obstacles, and most people will relate to the damaging voice inside Hellthy’s mind.
Ron tells this tale of body dysmorphia through the multiple mediums of theatre, belly dance, film, and a diary-esque narrative. Another intriguing element was the use of a giant sandbox as a stage--symbolizing a place for Hellthy to regress. Ron used the sand creatively throughout, removing new props from it, trudging and dancing through it, and just flinging it about.
The film projections were also powerful visuals, especially when they showed images of Hellthy’s ex-boyfriend. Anyone with a romantic past will relate to how an ex's face can haunt your mind, as only painful obsessive thoughts can.
It takes guts to put one’s insecurities out in the open in a semi-autobiographical play, and I commend Ron for her honesty. The final performance at PS 122 was last night, but the actress mentioned the possibility of future productions, which you shouldn't miss. For more information about the show, check out: http://www.gutstheplay.com/