In Lynne Kaufman's first play, The Couch, a man cheats on his wife, and she tolerates it -- and not just because that man is Carl Jung. For Amy Glazer, who's directing the play for 3Girls Theatre's second annual Celebration of Women's History Month Festival, this show is less "Stand by Your Man" than it sounds; told from the woman's point of view, it lets the leading lady be a real person rather than an archetype of womanhood.
Carl (Peter Ruocco) and Emma Jung (Courtney Walsh), Glazer says, are a "bohemian family." For them, it would be "provincial" to have "a righteous way of imagining what family is or should be." Carl's affair with the "angst-ridden sexual being" that is Toni Wolfe (Maggie Mason) "ends up being freeing for [Emma], a great opportunity for her to do her work." (Emma was also a psychoanalyst and author.) "The impulse to do this play at this moment is smart and timely," says Glazer. "It's still going to be controversial."
It's also going to be deeply funny. Passionate as the characters are about their intellectual work, they're not very perceptive about themselves, creating humor that's part-Chekhovian, says Glazer, part-farcical, and part-Jewish. With Louis Parnell as Jung's even more famous mentor.
"The Couch" starts Fri., March 15 at 8 p.m. at Tides Theater, 533 Sutter, S.F. Its run has been extended to April 7. Admission is $30; visit 3girlstheatre.org.