A Valentine’s Show For Suckers

I had been plotting a Valentines show since before the fruitful years of the EMP Collective. As many of the EMP-ers remember, every year at art school we were forced to see and or take part in Florida State University’s venerable Valentine’s Day production of “Sonnets and Chocolates.” I can remember like it was yesterday: sitting there stoned in front row watching countless halfhearted renditions of a slough of (take your pick) Shakespearean sonnets. Now being a playwright, directing student, and lover of poetry, I was all too aware of what makes Shakespeare’s sonnets as fabulous is they are—dark, bloody, masochistic, associating money with love, touching on molestation; loneliness, homoeroticism, and a general fear of mortality. Yet I was forced to endure what seemed like hours (did I mention I was stoned?) of actors prancing around stage throwing rose petals, before people were auctioned off as Valentine’s dates, much like Taiwanese hookers, except that would involve at least getting, I don’t know, anything. . .

Ahhhh, Shakespeare.

However, the wheels didn’t start spinning until Valentine’s Day two years later when working long nights as a reader in Los Angeles, I returned home to find my Russian Phone-Sex Operator crying into the phone that she was “So (sniff) wet (sniff) right now.” It was depressing. About as depressing as the amount of romantic comedies I was to read that night alone in my apartment in Koreatown.  It was later that night, while at a 24-hour Korean barbecue, my beloved Russian-phone sex operator roommate announced, “I sink this Valentine’s Day is holiday for mothzerfuckers!” I felt a strong sense of urgency. It was there—staring into the goggly eyes of cold shrimps—I thought, Yes, I must create a Valentine’s show for suckers.

And I bugged everyone about it ever since.

-Rachel Inez Lane, giving us the inspiration behind EMP’s upcoming production (…and you’re just not good enough)


Editor’s Note: We remember, Rachel, we remember all too well.