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Theatre / Exit, Pursued by a Bear

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Exit, Pursued by a Bear, a revenge comedy by Lauren Gunderson, explores the relationship between an abused woman and her husband as she decides to turn the tables and give him a taste of his own medicine. Nan knocks Kyle out, ties him to a chair, and forces him to watch as she and and her two best friends re-enact the history of their relationship. Her script includes a grand finale - before she leaves, slather the house in honey and meat, and let Kyle wait for the bears to come. Of course, sometimes live theater doesn't always go exactly according to plan - especially if the audience gets involved...

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Not to be confused with the trope of the same name.


This work provides examples of:

  • Destructive Romance: Even though she's trying to take her stand against him, Nan still isn't completely over Kyle - and he knows exactly how to manipulate her feelings for him, sending her from vengefulness to questioning her motives to a breakdown to submission to falling in love all over again in the course of a few pages.
  • Domestic Abuse: Kyle has hit Nan multiple times in the past, as well as calling her bitch and forcing her to do things she's obviously incredibly uncomfortable with, like bleeding an illegally shot deer for dinner when her passion is for animals, as well as emotionally toying with her and telling her he loves her and needs her when she tries to make a stand for herself.
  • Ironic Echo: Nan has one line which the script pretty clearly sets up to be this - even though Kyle never actually says it onstage. (Making it more of an implied Ironic Echo.)
    NAN (A la Kyle:) "Look what you made me do. You know how I get. You made me."
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  • Genre Roulette: It's billed as a comedy, but there's a plenty of psychological trauma to go round, and much of it is Playedfor Drama.
  • Narrator: Because the flashbacks are presented as a play within the play, each of the characters gets to play the role of narrator at some point or another - though not necessarily to the audience.
  • Pensieve Flashback: Comes into effect every time a character is played by a different character in flashback.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Applies to both Nan and Kyle. Kyle never actually does this onstage, but when he tries to protest against being turned into bear-bait, Nan tells him that he made her do it — and it's made pretty clear that she's directly quoting one of his catchphrases.
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