by Melissa Mojo
“Looking for love can drive you crazy … but therapy can help,” said Nadya Wynd, director of Beyond Therapy, Women in Theatre’s new dinner-theater comedy opening at the Hukilau Lanai Jan. 30.
And Wynd should know. With 10 years of experience as a family and substance abuse counselor, she applies what she learned to help the actors identify with their characters in Beyond Therapy, Christopher Durang’s hysterically funny, razor-sharp comedy about looking for love — and therapy — in all the wrong places.
Set in 1981, Beyond Therapy’s Prudence and Bruce are seeking romance with the help of personal ads and their psychiatrists, who are even more disturbed than their patients.
“Acting is therapy,” said Wynd, an accomplished author, director and playwright with extensive experience in screenwriting, acting and producing for stage and film.
After she made the transition from counseling to the entertainment industry, she said she realized how the study of human psychology and behavior had actually been the perfect education to inform her acting, writing, producing and directing.
“It gave me insight into all that was necessary to create stories that touch and change people,” Wynd said of her first career.
Laughter is healing, she said, and audiences are sure to be filled with well being during dinner at Hukilau Lanai — rated Kapa‘a’s best restaurant by Trip Advisor — followed by two hours of hilarious surprises from the cast of Beyond Therapy, featuring Nicole Cowan, Bailey Hutton, Dottie Bekeart, Stephen Pinzer, Thom Newman and Andrew Wolenter.
Beyond Therapy is adult-themed, 16 and older. Dates are Jan. 31, 31, and Feb. 1, 6, 7 and 8. Tickets are available at www.womenintheatre.org for $60, and reservations are required, at least 48 hours in advance.