2016 Capital Fringe Review ‘Act Like a Grrrl!’

Act Like a Grrrl! by the Actors Bridge Ensemble opened at the Martin Luther King Library this Thursday.

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More paratheatre than straight performance, this rendition of Act Like a Grrrl! represents the end of a two-week journey that began on July 11 when a group of four teenage girls—Erin “Effy Sue” Forrister, Amirah “Aydee Mae” Banker, Faith “Faithy Jean” Sikes, and Josie “Josie Lee” Reganshaw—gathered to explore the true dynamics of what it means to be a young woman.

Working together with Co-Directors Jenna Stotts and Cynthia Harris, these four young dancers, singers, and poets created a host of expressive pieces that addressed such ideas as “Where I Am From” and “Desires.” They then performed their revealing personal expressions of themselves as individuals and as women.

The performance began with a delightfully sweet dance entitled “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” which set the thematic tone of the event: girls grow-up under the burden of a narrow definition of how a girl can act.

Being a longtime high school teacher I can only applaud the work of this fine program, which was created in Nashville, Tennessee, by Vali Forrister.

The form of Act Like a Grrrl! allows the young women to address issues that have come up in their lives, to face them directly, and then to create dreams and goals of where they might go.

Beyond the dancing, the girls presented poems in the form of letters addressed to parts of their bodies; they spoke to their parents about things that upset them; they joyously celebrated what they would be if they were super heroines.

Act Like a Grrrl! is sincere, touching, spirited, and hopeful.

And those four fabulous young women were strong, confident, and as their performance clearly demonstrated, capable of achieving wonderful things in life.

Running Time: 65 minutes

Act Like a Grrrl! plays through July 24, 2016 at the Martin Luther King Library, Room A-9 – 901 G Street NW, Washington, DC. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.

Check other reviews and show previews on DCMetroTheaterArts’ 2016 Capital Fringe Page.

RATING: FIVE-STARS-82x1550.gif

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Poet, Performer, Theatre Artist, Playwright, Educator, Writer--Robert Michael Oliver, Ph.D., has been involved in the DC arts scene since the 1980s, when he co-founded The Sanctuary Theatre in the old sanctuary of Calvary United Methodist Church. Since those fierce days in Columbia Heights, he has earned his doctorate in theatre from University of Maryland, raised two wonderful children, and seen more theatre as a reviewer over the last two years than he saw in the previous thirty. He now co-directs, along with his wife Elizabeth Bruce, the Sanctuary's Performing Knowledge Project, which organizes a host of writing and performance workshops, plus Mementos: Poetry and Performance for Seniors, a yearly literature-in-performance Fringe Festival show, as well as Performetry--a monthly poetry and prose performance event at DC's community arts & culture center BloomBars.


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