Monday, July 21, 2008

2008 Fringe Festival Experience – Part 3

On Friday the 18th, as the DC Fringe Festival continues, J and I saw an amazing staging of the play Marat/Sade by the Forum Theater. I’ve included an experiential summary of the play, because the more explanations, the better.


The troupe was one of the most professional I have ever seen during the Fringe. The two hours were intense and powerful. I had neither seen nor read earlier incarnations of the play, which may have been in my favor since I experienced the play as this company had shaped it, and not through a frame from the 60’s or 70’s. I am curious as to what the other versions looked like, but I thought this version was very applicable to the present day on a number of levels. The simple fact that this was set in an asylum after the French Revolution, with the patients speaking about freedom, rights and power . . . it was just . . . wow.

It was uncomfortable. You weren’t sure when to clap or not, because the play-within-the-play conceit made it hard to judge whether you should play along or not. You’d think “wait, that’s not something to applaud, is it?” There was a great deal of activity on the stage and sometimes, you’d be looking to see how an interesting background character was reacting and miss something going on in the front of the stage.

I am very glad that we went. The only thing I would complain about is that the theater was wicked hot that night, but if it was warm for the audience, I can’t imagine what it was like to be on stage for 2 hours.

The play runs though the end of the Fringe Festival this week, so if you are in town and are looking for something challenging to do, definitely check this play out.

My next Fringe outing is on Wednesday . . . I’ll keep you all posted . . .

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