In The Moment: 2015 Capital Fringe Preview #4: ‘Our Lady of the Clouds’ by David Siegel

Be transported to the far-away of the mind. What better place to explore provocative magical realism as a performing art than at this year’s Fringe Festival. Letting one’s mind drift into a world beyond one’s “regular” life here in the politically-charged, more-and-more incendiary DC area into another realm of mystery, satire, truth and lies. Perhaps some conspiracy too.

Stevie Zimmerman.
Stevie Zimmerman.

For those who have followed the directing works of Stevie Zimmerman at venues such as 1st Stage and Peter’s Alley or may not know the British-born Zimmerman, be aware that she is bringing a work of magical realism to full view at the Fringe. It is Our Lady of the Clouds by Arístides Vargas, an award-winning Latin American actor, director and writer, originally from Argentina, now living in Ecuador. This Fringe production is a premiere of an English translation.

In interviews, Zimmerman described Our Lady of the Clouds as “amazing” with so much to uncover. It is “about memory, exile, and being uprooted…searching for meaning”. It is a two actor play, with the actors playing many roles in a series of short scenes and vignettes. The roles include family members that span husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters, and even grandmothers.

The play begins as two wandering souls, Bruna (Liz Dutton) and Oscar (Edward Nagel), unexpectedly meet in an unremarkable, almost characterless place. They become aware of a shared past in a fictional town somewhere in Latin America called ‘Nuestra Señora de las Nubes’ (Our Lady of the Clouds).

Both Dutton and Nagel are familiar to area audiences with their work at many local venues.

According to Zimmerman the production has many layers representing the ways people try to create the world they live in when all is unknown and cryptic. It is a world that becomes “gradually corrupted” with those who speak truth find themselves on-the-run into exile. Hmm writers and doers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edward Snowden, Rod Serling, come to mind. You decide.


Our Lady of the Clouds will be performed at The Capital Fringe Festival at Lab II at the Atlas Performing Arts Center – 1333 H Street, NE, in Washington, DC. Performances are on July 9th @10 p.m., July 11th at 4:15 p.m., July 17th at 8:15 p.m., July 19th at 9:15 p.m. and July 25th at 6.30 p.m. Tickets go on sale on June 22, 2015 at The Capital Fringe website.

Stevie Zimmerman’s website.

Meet Director Stevie Zimmerman on 1st Stage’s ‘The Pitmen Painters’ by Joel Markowitz.

Director Stevie Zimmerman Brings Fresh Energy to DC by Patricia Davis on HowlRound.