What a perfect way to end my 2011 Berkshire Fringe Festival experience – with a piece that pokes wicked fun at the kind of pieces you always see at Fringe Festivals! In fact it was so perfect that I thought it WAS one of those Fringe pieces until I sat down and looked at my program and realized that it was a PLAY with a playwright and a director and actors. It was FICTIONAL! I was astounded!
In case you are not a Fringe-going person, many of the shows you see there are one person shows “conceived, written and performed” by the person on stage and they tell either some part of that actor’s personal story, or a story about which s/he feels passionately. This year FACE and Tangled Yarn fell into this category.
To be fair, you don’t just see this kind of navel-gazing exercise at Fringe Festivals. The tight economy means that theatres everywhere are mounting small cast shows which require minimal sets, costumes, and props. No lesser deity than the Williamstown Theatre Festival opened its 2010 season with It’s Jewdy’s Show.