Written on October 2, 2016
This week we are launching a new yearly series called Fringe POP [Performance over Projection]. We are pairing short films with 10-Minute plays for a dynamic experience mixing live and still projections, theatre and film. We are using projections of local spots (like the BP next-door) as a moving panorama for each 10-Minute play with inserted live-feed from an on-stage cameraman.
This years focus is on how do we experience public vs. private space? With a world of knowledge and connectivity in everyone’s pocket, does privacy even exist? What happens when what we perceive as private is also perceived as public? Short films are paired thematically with 10-minute plays to create two distinctive presentations: Public and Private.
Lee Cromwell, who works as Fringe’s Admin Assistant during the day, has taken on the role of Producer/Curator of all eight 10-Minute plays in the series. Lee recently chatted with actors Alani Kravitz and Frank Britton during rehearsals for the upcoming performances.
How do you make a distinction between private and public space?
FB: For me, it comes down to who is listening and watching. There is a degree of intimacy, in the type of connection I have with the others around me. The quality and manner of this connection is where I make that distinction.
AK: You can exist in both, be in both spaces at the same time. I think that the distinction is that now you can choose which one you want to be in. I can be in a public space but be in my own private bubble or I can be in the privacy of my own home but I have platforms on social media and other ways to connect with a global presence.
What is your involvement in Fringe POP? Tell us something interesting about your component of the event.
AK: I am performing in Klara and the Park Bench and Fully Present. For Klara, I am discovering that the play itself is so open-ended. It focuses on Klara’s world, which is a intensely private experience, but yet the structure of the play also exposes how her world is viewed from an outside perspective. For this character and her whole world, different perspectives can dramatically alter the interpretation or judgment on that world.
FB: I am performing in Roof of Heaven and Talking Trash. Right now, the most interesting aspect is the addition of a live cameraman on stage. I am all about experimenting with different forms of theatre, and the presence of a live feed adds another dimension and energy to the performances. I’m excited about the camera getting up close and personal in the lives of these people, and even perhaps the audience.
What is the most interesting thing that you have discovered in exploring public/private space?
FB: Both of these plays take place in open areas, and at the same time, there is a level of privacy involved, when no one else is around. Also, there is poetry in these texts, especially with Gus in Roof of Heaven. I am enjoying discovering his language, flushing out the poetry of his life through his words. Gus understands the world around him in a unique and quite beautiful manner, and I love taking the time to discover these insights and bring them to life.
AK: I like that rehearsing for this series forces me to think of every play in terms of public versus private space. Every show is about the combination of these worlds; it’s not about either one. Theatre needs conflict, needs tension and resolution. I find it fascinating to explore the tension between trying to be private in a public space, as it is for Jennifer in Fully Present, or vice versa. It is thrilling to investigate the difficulties she’s having separating the two. Jennifer is having a lot of struggles being a private person, letting go of her public persona.
What do you want the audience to take with them or experience from your performance?
AK: I would like them to feel free to love/hate/agree with/disapprove of the characters portrayed on stage. I don’t want them guard their feelings; these short plays and films are meant for you to feel something or be left with a lot of questions, or both. Experience it fully in the moment, that’s what is so special about live performance.
FB: I want them to believe that their experience is personal and truthful to them. It is impossible to preconceive how an audience will respond or react. Their experience is truthful to them; it’s not wrong, it’s not right, it just is. Then the audience can take that experience and see what they discover.
Are you a more private or public person? How would your friends describe you in this category?
FB: My friends would say that I am a bit of both, and I think I would say the same. Generally, I feel I’m more private than public. I’m very careful about revealing things and such. The last few years have become more public though, and these recent shifts have allowed me to explore new aspects of life. So I suppose I am a bit of both.
AK: I would say that it depends on the circle of connection we share. I consider myself a private person, with public moments. My inner circle would also consider me private. But the outer circle of people, everyday acquaintances that I meet are likely to have a different perspective and thinks that I am very public. It all depends on how well I know you.
Klara and the Park Bench - 10 minute play by Elizabeth Jordan, directed by Nick Martin
Featuring: Alani Kravitz, Andrew Flurer, Bryan Norrington and Rebecca Ballinger
An moving exploration of the life of Klara, a homeless woman that is often passed by and ignored.
Fully Present - 10 minute play by Cynthia Faith Arsenault, directed by Ty Hallmark
Featuring: Alani Kravitz
The challenges of staying connected on a blind date might prove too difficult for Jennifer, with the world at her fingertips.
Roof of Heaven - 10 minute play by Robert Kangas, directed by Renana Fox
Featuring: Frank Britton, Reginald Richard and Genevieve James
Three locals meet at a gas station parking lot and discover their daily routine has more to reveal than merely just “hanging out”.
Talking Trash - 10 minute play by Emma Choi, directed by Renana Fox
Featuring: Frank Britton, Christine Callsen and Reginald Richard
Amy questions life, relationships and makes quite a discovery about her through the surprising help of an orange peel, among others.
With only one weekend of performances we encourage you to snag your tickets early. October 6-9, Logan Fringe Arts Space 1358 Florida Ave NE. Be sure to come over before the show! Fringe Arts Bar opens one hour before each scheduled show time or stay after! FRESH POP Popcorn and drink specials for all! See you soon!!!