Christopher Durang’s Wanda’s Visit

Wanda’s Visit is a one-act play written by Christopher Durang. It was written for the PBS series Trying Times. The play revolves around the life of the couple – Jim and Marsha. The story includes theme of human behavior, emotional conflicts, and relationships. The story demonstrates how Emotional conflicts between individuals can be driven by external/internal forces, and affects their relationships.

About the Author :

Christopher Durang was born in January 2, 1949. He is an American playwright popular during the 1980s. He is known for his outrageous works with absurd comedy. Some of his notable works are include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Baby With the Bathwater, Beyond Therapy, Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge, Why Torture is Wrong.

Summary :

Wanda’s visit is a short one-act comedy play. The couple, Jim and Marsha, faces difficulties after 13 years of their marriage. Their relationship starts fading after a restless life. One of the old friends of Jim, named Wanda sends a letter to him, asking to visit her. The visit of Wanda disrupts the happiness of the couple. Even though Jim is excited about visiting Wanda, Marsha does not seem to be happy of the visit.

Wanda is a good looking woman, who praises Jim as a wonderful man. She used to hug Jim and this makes Marsha jealous. Jim and Wanda are high school friends in a relationship. After the ex-girl- friend’s visit, Jim becomes more involved with her. She starts flirting with him and Jim also gets trapped because of her interest. Wanda’s outrageous behavior poses a threat to the marriage life and finally destroys it for good. After the Wanda’s visit, the couple realizes their love for one another and starts living happily again.

The emotional conflict in the play is induced through the characters’ psychological stability and socio-cultural backgrounds. The emotional responses to the display of sexism, female oppression and male superiority create the conflicts. Also, ignorance of feelings of the significant other and patterns of socialization turn the relationship for good.

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