Performing Arts: Exploring the Fringe Festival

by Editorial

Don’t miss the captivating dramas featured at this year’s Capital Fringe Festival
By Candice Norwood

Manifesto! during the Capital Fringe Festival (Credit: Capital Fringe)

Founded in 2005, Capital Fringe is a nonprofit organization that seeks to highlight the performing arts in the Washington D.C. area. Through the yearly Fringe Festival and Fringe Training Factory, Capital Fringe seeks to “connect exploratory artists with adventurous audiences by creating outlets and spaces for creative, cutting-edge, and contemporary performance in the District.” Each year the Festival provides upcoming and veteran artists with a venue to showcase their work.

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The 2011 Festival features a diverse group of shows including a number of entertaining and thought-provoking dramas.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf

Presented by the The Colored People’s Theatre Collective, this poignant, Tony-nominated play is a series of 20 poems that divulge the obstacles several African-American women face throughout their lives. The play’s seven female characters recount their stories that involve hardships such as domestic violence and abandonment. Though the piece explores these heart-wrenching concepts, it ultimately seeks to offer hope, to fight against this treatment and to empower women to do the same.

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The show will run on select dates from July 8 to July 24 at the Studio Theatre – Mead Theatre.

King Lear

William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy takes a contemporary turn in this adaption performed at The Apothecary. A story of sex, violence and betrayal, the play follows the leader of the biker gang Knights of Albion, King Lear as he seeks to hand over control of the gang to his daughters. After banishing one daughter in a drunken rage, Lear ignites a bloody turf war that divides the group. As Lear’s older daughters and their lovers ruthlessly compete for power, the King and his legacy slowly crack under the tension.

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The show will run on select dates from July 9 through the 21st at The Apothecary.

Belle Parricide

A family of nobility torn apart by incest, greed and murder; this is twisted fate of Italy’s Cenci family. Several years ago, the show’s artistic director commissioned 5 female playwrights to create pieces about Beatrice Cenci, a woman executed with other family members for the murder of her father Francesco.

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The result of this collaboration is Belle Parricide, a unique take on the Cenci family that presents shifting views of Beatrice. Though Beatrice’s allegations of rape have never been proven true, audiences can observe this new perspective of Beatrice’s life and possible motives for murder.

The show runs from on select dates from June 9 to June 24 at Fort Fringe.

The Bird

John Feffer, a playwright and North Korea expert at the Institute for Policy Studies has authored several productions including Edible Rex. At this year’s festival, he will present The Bird, a one-man show drawn from his experiences while living in Poland during political upheaval. The Bird combines three intersecting stories including a young man looking for adventure in 1989 Poland, a female assassin and a Jewish skinhead and a mysterious bird.

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Regarding Edible Rex the Washington City Paper stated “Feffer is a brilliant writer and performer–he’s humorous, transportive, and when the production’s done, you’ll want to go and grab a meal with him.”

The show will run on select dates from June 9 until June 23 on the Goethe Institut mainstage.

To see any of the Capital Fringe Festival shows, get your tickets here.

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