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Capital Fringe 2014 Review: ‘Point…Blank…Period’

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(Best of the Capital Fringe)

Point…Blank…Period, created by Tramaine Brathwaite and written along with Ryiesha Simms, Kenya D. Morris, and and Devynne Stevenson, is a hilarious, heartwarming, look into that ever taboo subject…Aunt Flo…the red tide…the monthly visitor…a women’s menstrual period. The development of the show came from wondering why this topic that is so natural so taboo. The show is a divided into 5 scenes, with each scene containing several stories and viewpoints told in the form of a spoken word, monologues, and short scenes.

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The show explores the love/hate relationship we each have with our period. The stories explores the excitement of the first time a young woman gets her period—the wonder of the unknown, of finally becoming a woman. They look at the disillusionment that comes when that initial wonderment of its arrival is over and all we are left with is a monthly visitor preceded by bloating, cramps, and cravings. It reminds us of the time that we had an “accident” (You females know what I am talking about, its happened to all of us!) It looks at how our periods have the uncanny ability to show up at the least opportune moments. It pays homage to this life-giving force, without which there would be no new life possible. It explores how our period becomes a part of our relationships with other woman and with the men in our lives. So many of us take advantage of this life giving force, hoping that it will go away…often wishing and praying that it will go away, we forget what a precious gift it is. We forget the pain and the agony of those who are unable to have children. In the last scene, we see the period in its last stages. We see the havoc it wreaks in our lives even at the end of its “life cycle” (menopause).

Of the 5 shows I have seen so far in this year’s fringe, the poignant Point….Blank…Period has been the most riveting. I was drawn in from the first moment of the show and could not tear my eyes away from each woman (and the one male in the cast) and her story. Each of the cast members, it’s a long list of 13—Akeita Rich, Stella Sklar, Morgan Sendek, Ewura Esi Arthur, Ashleigh Howard, Tremayne Woodward, Briana Boyington, Jared Thomas, Verlinda Blake, Melanee Woodward, Cathy Springfield, and Dyone Mitchell is phenomenal! They are all writers, actors, musicians in their own right and a perfect fit for the power and strength that this show represents.

This show is definitely a MUST see! If you are a female, you will feel a sense of familiarity and solidarity with the stories. If you are a male, this show may give you an invaluable insight into the women in your lives.

Running Time: 60 minutes, with no intermission.

Point…Blank…Period plays through July 26, 2014 at Gallery – Goethe Institut-812 7th Street NW, in Washington, DC. For performance information and to tickets, go to their Capital Fringe page.

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