‘Sup guys. Hillary here. So if you haven’t heard, Capital Fringe is starting tonight.
What’s Capital Fringe? It’s a theatre festival full of really awesome indie shows happening all over the District for the next two weeks. Every show is self-produced, and most of them really push the boundaries of creativity, which is like, way more than you can say for like, Broadway, am I right? I mean, whatever, not to diss Broadway. I mean, if you like big shows suffocated by rampant consumerism I get that that’s totally your scene.
But Fringe is like, where new and innovative shows happen, and the ticket prices are way cheaper than any big-shot theatre in the area.
So anyway, me and Jacqueline (or as I call her, the Jack-attack) both wanted to do a preview for the festival, and like, instead of having a stupid argument about nothing for who was gonna get to do it, we just decided to split it up.
Yes, dear readership, my esteemed colleague Hillary and I have come to a civil compromise on the issue of Capital Fringe.
We will each highlight 3 pieces of programming we find the most intriguing, and leave it up to you, and your taste, to decide which suits your palette. Ready? Let’s dive in!
Hillary’s Recommendation #1:
Presented by banished? productions
DANCE & PHYSICAL THEATRE • INTERACTIVE • SITE-SPECIFIC
Walking as a conscious cultural act returns with The Circle².
Re-configured/re-performed in Dupont Circle, audiences will walk through time, space and multiple realities, following a story of restless youth, and a woman tripping through past and future memory.
This project is featured in Capital Fringe’s inaugural Site-Specific Program.
Written by: Juanita Rockwell
Directed by: Carmen C. Wong
Running time: 50 minutes
So this is wicked. It’s a site-specific piece, which means it doesn’t even take place in a theatre. You’re walking around, following the story with your mind and your feet. Bring good shoes. This is like, Sleep No More when Sleep No More was still cool.
Jacqueline’s Recommendation #1:
Empress of the Moon: The Lives of Aphra Behn
Presented by Forearmed Productions
Aphra Behn the British playwright! History tells us precious little – was she truly a spy? How many men did she kill? What was she doing in Surinam? At last, herein find the answers – as unlikely as they are extraordinary!
Written by: Chris Braak
Directed by: Cara Blouin
Featuring: Jennifer Hutten, Kristen Norine, Alex Blouin, Sarah Robinson, Colleen Hughes and Laura McWater
Running time: 70 minutes
While I’m sure walking around in the hot sun, trying to hear actors scream over traffic sounds like a delightful time for people like Hillary, I’d much prefer a thought provoking piece on a woman of import. The Secret Lives of Aphra Behn follows the story of one of the first recorded female playwrights. Her life was notoriously thrilling – I can’t wait to see it dramatized.
Hillary’s Recommendation #2
R+J: Star—Cross’d Death Match
Presented by LiveArtDC Presents
DRAMA • INTERACTIVE
LiveArtDC brings Shakespeare’s classic play right into your favorite neighborhood joint, courtesy of NYC’s Three Day Hangover. Join us for an unbelievably fun evening of young love, rap battles, flipcup and drinking. Capulet? Montague? Who’s side are you on?
Written by: William Shakespeare (adapted by Ben Charles and Lori Wolter Hudson)
Directed by: Sara Bickler
Choreography by: Carl Brandt Long
Featuring: Josh Adams, Jen Bevan, Loren Bray, Tiffany Garfinkle, Yoni Gray, Christopher Holbert, Erica Smith, John Stange and Noelle Viñas
Running time: 120 minutes
Okay, Jack-attack, it’s not like I don’t like classics either. Here’s definitive proof.
So like, don’t be fooled by how fratty this looks. LiveArtDC is a totally legit company that makes collaborative pieces that blow my mind. This show’s gonna be amazing, and me and Woody already have tickets. It’s Romeo and Juliet set at your favorite bar (DC Reynolds) mixed with rap, flipcup, and so much more. I am so for messy Shakespeare – like REALLY messy Shakespeare, not like “oh King Lear’s a woman now”. Yawn.
Jacqueline’s Recommendation #2
Presented by Blind Pug Arts Collective
DRAMA • CONTEMPORARY
Lake Charles, Louisiana. 1960. Cathryn has returned home after a life-altering tragedy sees her expelled from college. Concerned by her self-destructive behavior, her family brings in Patrick Vacus, a fiery young minister, to change her ways.
- Written by: Jonelle Walker
- Directed by: Medha Marsten
- Composed by: Arun Marsten
- Featuring: Haely Jardas, Paige O’Malley, Deryl Davis, Ali Oliver-Krueger and Henry LaGue
- Running time: 75 minutes
OR, if you’re not in the mood to disgrace The Bard’s vision by drinking a $3 beer and playing flippy-cup, you can always head over to the Gearbox Theatre and watch THIS company’s adaptation of “Taming of the Shrew”. The story is set in 1960’s Louisiana, and seems to have an interesting take on the classic comedy.
Hillary’s Recommendation #3
Presented by No.11 Productions
MUSICAL THEATRE & OPERA • ROMANCE
In this whimsical love story, inspired by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, two sculptors learn to collaborate in life and art. Meanwhile, a pear falls out of a fruit bowl, gains consciousness and travels the world.
- Written by: No.11 Productions
- Directed by: Ryan Emmons
- Composed by: Enrico de Trizio and Danny Tieger
- Song book by: Book by No.11 Productions and Lyrics by Danny Tieger
- Featuring: Julie Congress, Steven Conroy and Sina Heiß
- Running time: 60 minutes
Do you like musicals? Usually I can’t stand them, but this one’s about a PEAR that travels the world. That’s so trippy. It’s at the Goethe Institute. I mean, if it’s at the Goethe institute, I’m obviously going. I frickin’ love Goethe.
Jacqueline’s Recommendation #3
Presented by La Pettite Famille
MUSICAL THEATRE & OPERA • ROMANCE
Sparkling, moving, delirious, this original musical focuses on the central themes of love, friendship and hope. It reflects the concerns of today’s young people, while exploring intergenerational relationships, in a funny and poignant portrayal of future hopes and dreams.
- Written by: Jeff Gallon and Fred Larrieu
- Directed by: Jeff Gallon
- Composed by: Fred Larrieu
- Choreography by: Cordélia Czaïka
- Song book by: Book and Lyrics by Jeff Gallon
- Featuring: Morgane Cadre, Thibault Dols, Clara Turcovich, Monia Zadri, Martial Dubois, Loic Pujol, Smiljana Kovacevic, Manon Sinaré, Sandra Barbaro and Guillaume Kadri
- Running time: 80 minutes
A musical about a PEAR?!! Are you kidding, Hillary?! Now you’re just picking things to annoy me!
If you want to see a musical that HAS A REASONABLE PLOT, I highly recommend this French company’s piece. They’re from Toulouse — devastatingly classy — and perform all over the country.
Or you could go see someone pretending to be a piece of fruit! That sounds just ENTHRALLING.
Hillary Sign’s Off:
Wow, someone inhaled a little too much of her hairspray this morning. Chill out Jack-Attack.
Anyway, there’s tons of shows, and some of them are bound to be awesome. So download the festival guide at their website and go support these amazing indie artists – y’know, before they get cool and lose all their integrity and stuff.