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Studio Theatre’s “I Wanna F*cking Tear You Apart” Explores Deeper Friendships

Scene from I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart

Anna O'Donoghue and Nicole Spiezio in I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart. Photo: Teresa Wood

Scene from I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart

Anna O’Donoghue and Nicole Spiezio in I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart. Photo: Teresa Wood

I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart is a bit of a departure for the director turned playwright Morgan Gould: As the artistic director of Morgan Gould & Friends, she’s made a series of fantasy-laced satires about loss and belonging, replete with cross-dressing actors and a mock-serious “so-dumb-it’s-smart” sensibility. But as she began her thesis project for an MFA in playwriting at Brooklyn College, her mentors Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney challenged her to write beyond her satiric comfort zone and take on something she truly cared about.

In thinking about what she treasures most deeply—and could write about sincerely—she realized the answer was her love for her two best friends, who are both gay men. Her friendships have always been a driving force in her life; her most traumatic breakups have been with friends, not romantic partners. Gould identifies as a fat woman, and her play builds from the unique stakes of a friendship between a fat woman and gay man that’s lasted from college into adulthood. “Friendships between marginalized people are deeper than other friendships,” she says. “When you live in a world that hates you, these bonds can be all you have. It’s an unspoken pact—we’re freaks making our way through the world together.”

I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart was developed through Studio R&D, their new work incubation program that provides artists with the resources they need to create. This production marks the first time Gould has produced a play of hers with the support of an institution. Studio Theatre says, “it’s been a delight to host her and her play’s blend of pop culture and politics, dumb-smart jokes, and deep understanding of people and theatre.”

While the play isn’t autobiographical, its stakes and perspective are personal. Writing from a place of sincerity, Gould captures the joy and vulnerabilities of deep friendships while probing cultural assumptions about niceness and beauty, attachments and exclusivity, and the cost of living in a world that finds you unacceptable in some way.