Devices of Torture

By Andrew Andrews

Isabella Jane Schiller, Miranda Noelle Wilson, Olivia Jampol and Miranda Poett perform as the doms and clients of La Maison in Devices of Torture. Original photo by Daniel Gonzalez.

“Sometimes you need to hurt to know you’re getting clean.”

It’s just another typical day working in Midtown:

Lunch at the salad place.

People dropping into the office unexpectedly.

Clients emptying their bladders all over the new dominatrix’s blouse!?

A typical day for some of us is not a typical day for everyone, but the doms of La Maison take it all in stride. With their tight corsets, leather skirts, fishnet stockings and high heels, Ryan (Olivia Jampol), Lila (Miranda Poett), Danielle (Miranda Noelle) and the new girl, Olive (Isabella Jane Schiller) pay off their student loans doing something they’re good at.

“Why do so many of them come here, sometimes in tears, sometimes screaming at me, to do something they’re ashamed of?” Danielle explains. “Because they’re animals. Wild, complicated animals that need a space to holler and run wild. Even now. Especially now. And I think that is beautiful.”

But then, one day, a client appears that Ryan isn’t prepared for: a man named Larry, played by Olive (as per the script), wearing a Trump hat and desiring a confrontation with Hillary Clinton.

And the safe word is: Rodham.

“I’m ready to get started whenever you are,” Ryan says.

And the games begin.

Written by Caroline Bennett and directed by Ria T. DiLullo for Skeleton Rep(resents) and The Present Theatre Company, Devices of Torture takes you places most people have never been, and would never dare to go.

Or maybe more people go there than you’d ever imagine.

Maybe even you.

With very adult themes, elaborate leather and vinyl costumes by Sophie Costanzi, make-up by Stefani Vivian Paige and fighting choreographed by Gavin Myers, Devices of Torture isn’t the kind of place to take the whole family, lest you want some ’splainin’ to do.

But if you’ve been feeling guilty lately for a dirty little secret you’ve been keeping, La Maison might just be the place for you.

You might have a bit of trouble finding it, though, since Devices of Torture just finished its run at the New York International Fringe Festival.

Did you see it? If you did… it’s OK… you can tell us. This is a safe space. Let us know what the doms did to you, and we’ll use your ratings to help you find future opportunities to let it all out: events and activities you’re sure to love!


Andrew Andrews attended Devices of Torture at FringeHUB in Manhattan on Monday, October 22, 2018 @ 9:00pm to write this review.