Best New Comedy  -  Best of the Fringe  -  Most Sold Out Performances

San Francisco Fringe Festival, 2010



"Mr. Pfirrmann’s “AROUSAL” pairs two star-crossed lovers: Albena (Laura Lundy-Paine) a committed scrabble-playing sex worker from the Ukraine and Clifford (Dan Fagan) a lonely twenty-something with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Clifford has been unable to connect well with other people because of his disorder and, until her death, spent his entire life inside with his mother. Clifford is computer savvy and, deciding he needs to restart his life, searches Craig’s List for companionship and discovers that Albena has an ad offering to be “a special friend.” Clifford meets Albena in her apartment and when he discovers she is a sex worker he begins to discover the work he needs to do: Clifford needs to rediscover how to relate to another human being without fear and anxiety. Despite Albena’s efforts to remain professional (“No kissing!”) and Clifford’s superego (“My mother told me that …”) the two manage to break down barriers of pity and pain and find in each other redemption and release – at least with each other and only one moment at a time.

Ms. Lundy-Paine is exceptional in the role of Albena: she captures the broken soul of a woman trying to escape from a difficult past and gives her character a high-octane dose of realism and honesty. And Mr. Fagan delivers his character Clifford with a sympathetic yet tortured authenticity: his Clifford is a young man desperate to touch and be touched in so many significant ways."  



-David Roberts, Theatre Critic


Photos from Productions of AROUSAL