OH, God: On the Therapist’s Couch

by on February 24, 2015
 

American audiences are rarely treated to pieces written and produced outside of the USA. Guy Ben-Aharon brings his Israeli Stage Company- based out of Boston- to the theater with “OH, God,” a performance following Ella, the a psychotherapist and single mother of an autistic child who has recently taken on a very scattered patient: God. The duration of the play is their interaction plays out for just one session. The play’s writing embodies an Israeli point of view on universal themes, then translated into English to make for a different take from every viewer.

It has always fascinated humans— those firmly routed in structured religions, agnostics, atheists, and even the fair-weathered believers— who or what is the ultimate being of the universe. Is there really one great power that gave a start (and may eventually put a stop) to the world as we have known it? Ben-Aharon’s cheeky comedy about an interaction between God and Ella is, if anything, a candid commentary about the connection and personification of religion and humanity.

The play itself is loaded with awkward pauses (intentional), ramblings, and all of the fixings of any therapy session between a couple of unlikely characters. The end result, however, is one of cross-cultural views about religion and suspended belief; what can be taken at face value, and what takes a bit more prodding. Utilizing Ella as the protagonist who forces God to further explore his own issues is remarkably refreshing.