Sweet Eros is a one-act, two-character play by Terrence McNally which opened off-Broadway at New York City's Gramercy Arts Theatre November 21, 1968, on a double bill with another McNally play, "Witness." (The two plays ran until the following January 26.) In Sweet Eros, a disturbed young man, soured by two failed romantic relationships, has kidnapped a young woman (a complete stranger) and taken her to his home in the country. As the play opens, the woman is seated in a chair, bound and gagged, the man sitting opposite, observing her. The man explains to the woman his reasons for kidnapping her, saying he had long fantasized about doing such a thing to a young woman. He methodically strips his captive naked, presumably rapes her, then proceeds to subject her to an ongoing series of rants, ruminations and reflections on life and love as he seeks to force the woman to understand him - and, ultimately, to submit to him.
Sweet Eros caused a sensation when it first opened in New York because its female star, Sally Kirkland, was nude for nearly the entire length of the play, which lasts approximately 45 minutes. (Because of this play, Kirkland is generally credited with being the first actress to perform totally naked on the legitimate New York stage.) The man was played by Robert Drivas, to whom McNally dedicated the work.
The most recent production of "Sweet Eros" was in Madison, Wisconsin in July, 2006 by Mercury Players Theatre (MercLab)- directed by Cara Peterson and starring Kelly Lee Kriesel and R. Peter Hunt.