FringePOP has started its run at Capital Fringe in Washington, DC. POP stands for Performance over Projection. The evening blends theatre and film, with 4 short plays and 4 short films that play throughout the evening for an innovative theatre experience.
There are two types of performance tracks for Fringe POP: PUBLIC or PRIVATE. I saw the PRIVATE track. Both tracks will be performing alternatively throughout the weekend.
I enjoyed the different pieces and, in general, enjoyed the blend of film and theatre. I thought the blending of the two mediums was effective.
During the plays, there was a cameraman that filmed the actors on stage, allowing the audience to see the performances from different angles, which I liked. What I didn’t care for so much was when the cameraman would film the audience. I didn’t really see much of a point in it and I found it a little off-putting. Another issue was that the screen that was played stood about five feet audience right. It became difficult at times to figure out what I should be paying attention to. This was also problematic because the images on screen were sometimes used as backdrops, which takes away from the intent if your drop is way off stage and not behind like its supposed to be.
There are 8 segments, 4 short plays and 4 short films. The pieces were acted and directed well. The order of the show is as follows:
Good as I Been to You (play), by Anthony Szulc, directed by Ty Hallmark – Rudy and Nora had a green card marriage three years ago and now they meet to discuss what happens next. Some funny dialogue and fun performances from the three cast members: Jordan Friend, Tiffany Byrd, and Ruthie Rado.
The Garden That You’ve Planted (film), by Kathleen Mann– Two women end their relationship. Good camera work and nice acting from the two ladies, but overall, I just didn’t think it added up to much.
Surprise (play), by Mark Harvey Levine, directed by Quill Nebeker – A male psychic who can only see 2 minutes in the future has an uncomfortable and predictable dinner with his girlfriend. This was the weakest of the plays, to me. I didn’t find it very interesting. If the characters are 2 steps ahead of the audience, then there is no momentum and thus, uninteresting.
Mr. Chavan (film), by Eddie Shieh– A girl who takes care of an isolated hermit gets some unplanned news. Very little dialogue, except for a heartbreaking scene towards the end by the lead actress. While that scene is well acted, I didn’t much get the rest of it. I didn’t quite understand what it had to do with whatever else was going on.
The Bench Project: Heavy Metal (film), by J.X. Carrera – A bodybuilder works out on his bench when he’s interrupted by a call from his lover. The two engage in an argument that is at times funny and at other times poignant. The film was filmed in one long take with the camera focusing solely on the bench. The argument happens off screen, but we hear it. I found it quite effective in focusing on the character’s thoughts while he builds himself. I liked this one the best of the films.
Fully Present (play), by Cynthia Faith Arsenault, directed by Ty Hallmark – This was my favorite of the plays. Alani Kravitz plays a girl who’s been set up on a blind date, but the trouble is she is too reliant on her technology. A fun and quirky performance from Kravitz.
Venice (film), by Venetia Taylor – A party boy in Venice skypes with his mother in Sydney, and the two engage in some witty banter along with some side characters. This film was funny. Well written and directed. The mother and son actors, as well as the side characters, were also quite funny.
Our Place (play), by Mark Scharf, directed by Quill Nebeker – A woman and her husband, who suffers from Alzheimers, visit a restaurant that they both enjoyed. I found this one quite moving and well acted by the two actors: Cam Magee and Nick Torres.
I’ve always really liked the space at Capital Fringe and I found this was an enjoyable night at the theatre. If you can make it out this weekend, you should check it out.
Running Time: 75 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission.
Fringe POP (Performance over Projection) played through October 9, 2016, at Logan Fringe Arts Space – Trinidad Theatre – 1358 Florida Avenue, NE, in Washington, DC. For tickets to future Capital Fringe events, go to their website.
Review: ‘Fringe POP [Performance over Projection]’ at Capital Fringe – Public Track by Nicole Hertvik on October 7, 2016.
Review: Fringe POP (Performance over Projection) Private Track at the Logan Fringe Arts Space by Jane Franklin on October 9, 2016.