‘Hollywood Fringe Festival’ offers diverse theatrical pieces
Gregg Reese OW Contributor | 6/7/2018, midnight
Stage aficionados can trek north to the flatlands of Hollywood to sample this year’s “Hollywood Fringe Festival,” scheduled today through June 24. Up-and-coming scribes will be presenting their wares in and around the mile long stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard known as “Hollywood Theatre Row.”
Of special interest are the productions written by female playwright, including works by Black women, running the gamut from animation to multi-media to science fiction. They include the following:
“Fort Huachuca,” a World War II drama set at the eponymous army outpost in the wilds of Arizona. Actress/writer Ailema Sousa dramatizes the struggle of pioneering Black nurses as they endure the indignity of prejudice and segregation in a country they’ve pledged to serve.
“The Maya in Me,” set in playwright/performer Tameka Bob’s native New Orleans, follows the course of a resilient woman transitioning through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. She endures the travails of family discord, substance abuse, and general dysfunction on the road to success in a one woman show punctuated by dance and live music.
“Narcolepsy, Inc.” is an offering by feminist author, theoretician, and Our Weekly contributor Sikivu Hutchinson. In this piece, she has crafted a “speculative allegory” set in the future after a nuclear calamity has disrupted everyone’s nervous systems, and where in multinational corporations reign supreme. One of them, the eponymous concern that gives the play its title, has appropriated the state of mind and body called “sleep,” with dominion over the sequence of involuntary emotions, ideas, images, and sensations known as “dreams.” Along the way, they have implemented a racial caste system, in witch people of color suffer from the malady of teeth grinding, or bruxism, while Whites are afflicted with insomnia
“Room No. 9 at the Chrysalis Inn” utilizes animation to tell the story of a woman seeking refuge from her emotional tribulations in an isolated hotel room. K. Butterfly Smith wrote and performed this ensemble piece about a damaged soul whose encapsulation is disrupted by a procession of guests, who help her unpack her physical luggage along with the psychological trauma she has dragged along to this surreal occupancy.
“Shattered Glass” a timely saga of a woman in recovery from a relationship gone bad. Written and performed by Shaunelle Curry, Kelley Nicole and Dollie Roberts, it utilizes poetry, live music, and visual art to narrative her healing sojourn.
Initially spawned two decades ago in Portland, Ore., “Fringe Festival” has spread to scores of cities across the globe. Locally, a consortium of independent producers has linked up with 30 odd venues in the previously mentioned area to mount separate productions from cabaret style entertainment through monologues and performance art, under the catch all moniker of “theatrical pieces.” Ticket prices include rates for seniors and students. More information is available at http://blackfemlens.blogspot.com/2018/06/black-women-playwrights-2018-hollywood.html, or http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/.