Broken Bone Bathtub, theater in a bathtub

Siobhan O’Loughlin in a bathtub

Broken Bone Bathtub, theater in a bathtub

In the December preview episode, I highlighted Broken Bone Bathtub, a show performed in a private home in the bathroom in the bathtub. David and Shavanna, the co-hosts of the episode, had a lot of questions (recounted below) and I had zero answers.

With only a modicum of information about the production I committed to seeing Broken Bone Bathtub because (1) I love theater in private homes, (2) the thought of such an intimate production made me uncomfortable and that made me curious, nervous, and excited, and (3) it is produced by Aimee Todoroff and Chris Harcum of Elephant Run District, two artists I trust both as arbiters of quality and creators of work intended to challenge and disrupt.

Well, I saw Broken Bone Bathtub today and I’m happy to report I have answers to all of the questions raised. Once beyond the shock of being in a bathroom with seven other people, one of whom is undressed and in the bath, you’ll find a traditionally structured one woman show recounting the events of a traumatic experience. Siobhan O’Loughlin, the creator and performer, is warm and engaging, immediately putting the audience at ease with her charm and floppy brown curly hair. It is also surprisingly touching and socially relevant, drawing on the political and social context of our day, making for a thoughtful and enjoyable afternoon of theater. To the questions…

Are you standing the whole time?

Nope, you’re seated on foot stools, bar stools, or the toilet.

What is the run time?

About an hour.

What exactly happens?

Siobhan sits in a bubbly bath and speaks directly to the audience. She tells the story of her bike accident and the travails that followed. She asks questions and elicits comments from the audience.

Do you have to touch the artist?

This isn’t the producers’ or the artist’s first time at the rodeo. They know some people are uncomfortable with audience participation and generously ask at the beginning who is comfortable with that element of the performance and seat the audience accordingly.

Being the uncomfortable-with-audience-participation type, I sat in the second row (actually I sat on the toilet). However, nothing required of the audience was embarrassing and I would’ve survived even the most involved role. 

But the answer to this question is, yes, some people have to touch the artist.

Is the artist naked?

Pains are taken to maintain modesty.

Only a handful of tickets remain for the current run but I have it on good authority they’re adding more shows. For more information visit Siobhan’s website.

– Lindsay