In a world populated by men and women from different planets — Mars, Venus, take your pick! — Robert Dubac has created a show that addresses those male/female issues in his one-man, multi-character play, The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?, which is at the Act II Playhouse in Ambler through July 31.
Drawing on decades of show-business experience, Dubac had worked as a stand-up comic, a magician, an actor, and as the opening act to royalty of the music world. He toured with Kenny Loggins, Linda Ronstadt and Jimmy Buffet, to name a few. He also was chosen to study with a select group of actors under the personal tutelage of the late Sanford Meisner.
But today, Dubac says, he mostly enjoys writing and exploring political ideas, social mores and the complexity of the human experience. He began writing The Male Intellect while appearing on a soap opera in New York.
“I knew the soap operas wouldn’t last forever, so I needed to find something else to keep me busy,” he said. “I had always done a lot of stand-up, writing and acting, so eventually I ended up putting all those ingredients together. It turned out to be a blessing for me, because no longer did I have to worry about not being tall enough, or having the wrong hair color, or so many other things actors have to worry about. Writing let me be my own critic and my own boss.”
It also let him create a classic that is still going strong and drawing in audiences for nearly 15 years. Dubac believes the play stands the test of time, appealing to those from 20 to 80, because it explores universal material: the struggle between men and women that never seems to change.
“The only way it will change,” he insisted during a recent telephone conversation, “is when we’re all willing to grow up. Unfortunately, our adolescence is always being reinforced and we are encouraged not to grow up. That needs to change before we can all really understand each other.”
Having been translated into dozens of languages and performed in just as many countries, The Male Intellect is populated by a number of characters, including Bobby, the Colonel, Jean-Michel, Fast Eddie, Old Mr. Linger and Ronnie Cabrezzi. At times, the show is taken on the road and handled by other actors. But in the current production, the author is at the helm and plays all the roles himself.
“All the characters represent something women say they want but they are incomplete,” Dubac explained. “For instance, one character is totally honest — to a fault. One is not well-rounded enough. Another shows his female, softer side, which makes women think he’s gay. So on the flip side, it may make women look as though they’d like to have their cake and eat it too, and treated with some kind of entitlement.”
But just in case one segment of our society were to storm the doors and string up Dubac by his strong ideas, he noted that this is definitely a show for both men and women — a show filled with equal-opportunity offenses. He really believes there’s a message in his play for everybody.
“My main message is that generally we should not overanalyze anyone else and that there is hope,” Dubac explained. “Men are not against women. We just have to understand our culture and learn to live in it peacefully.
“Maybe,” he concluded, “we’re not supposed to figure it all out, and just work from there. We’re all still evolving. Just look how DNA has changed over the generations. Some day, hopefully, we all will too, and men and women will live happily in the same hemisphere.” ••
For times and ticket information, call the box office, 215-654-0200, or visit the Web site at www.act2.org