June 3, 2015

Handsome and toned, John is naked in the shower, debating a point with Jess. “People have to judge you by something,” John tells her. “I don’t judge people,” she says. “Well, I hope you never drown,” he replies. “Because if it’s you and I and Michael Phelps in the Hamptons and you get a cramp? And you call on me because you’re not judgmental? I think you’d probably die.” Funny, yes. Also true. In Martyna Majok’s stealthily devastating miniature, “John, Who’s Here From Cambridge” — an indelibly acted portrait of intimacy and entitlement that is the apex of Ensemble Studio Theater’s 35th Marathon of One-Act Plays: Series B — the title character has cerebral palsy. Cambridge, in this instance, is code for Harvard, and John’s intellect is in fine working order. His motor function is another matter, so while he’s pursuing a doctorate, he has hired pretty, sturdy Jess to help him with bathing and getting dressed. But John (Gregg Mozgala) is a creature of privilege in ways that Jess (Paola Lázaro-Muñoz) does not get, and the gulf between their vantage points is staggering.