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Bash into the Playwright Behind 'The Mystery of Love & Sex'


(L–R) David Pittu, Mae Whitman, and Sharon Lawrence in "The Mystery of Love & Sex" at the Mark Taper Forum.

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Playwright Bathsheba Doran mined her own experiences in family, romance, and friendship to write The Mystery of Love & Sex, which plays the Mark Taper Forum through March 20, 2016. The play follows Charlotte and Jonny as they negotiate their long and complicated relationship with each other...and with Charlotte’s parents.

The Los Angeles Times sat down with “Bash,” as Doran is known, during rehearsals to discuss the inspiration behind the play:

Reflecting on The Mystery of Love & Sex, Doran says: ‘I realize now it’s no coincidence that this is the play I wrote after my son was born, because I think that by becoming a parent, it allowed me to look on my own childhood from a completely fresh perspective, with a degree of distance and amusement and compassion. …And it also allowed me to look at the experience of being a parent from a completely different perspective.’

Another factor: ‘I had had a rift with a very dear friend of mine. And part of me was so confused that I could feel such intense mourning for a relationship that was not my marriage.’

In a video interview produced by Samuel French, the publisher of the play, Doran reveals engrossing tidbits about each character, like: “If there’s one thing to know about Jonny, it’s that he keeps himself very, very private, and that has come at an enormous emotional cost to him.” 

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