Friday, July 26, 2019

Fringe 2019 Top 10 - #5 - First Comes Love - Stephanie M. Hipple - TRP

Description: Out of tragedy, beauty can sometimes follow. A tender memory piece that reflects on the 2016 shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQIA people in US History.

Given my current situation, this choice might seem counter-intuitive.  A play about those lost in the Pulse Nightclub massacre, sure, that’ll cheer me up.  A theatrical memorial, sure, that’s not risky.  But this also falls in the category of watching a lot of shows with queer content this year.  And it’s about remembering that those killed were people, not statistics in another mass shooting - also that they were human beings, being gay didn’t make them any less so.  It’s why they and Pulse were targeted, so we should acknowledge that, and push back, by spending time remembering who they were, and keeping their memory alive.

In the publicity packet the Fringe provides, the artist said the following (a variation of the write-up on the More Information tab of their Fringe show page):

Homeless, the playwright visited Lake Eola, which was a memorial site for those lost and injured at Pulse, the week of the shooting.  She arrived at 10:30 at night, after the memorial service was done.  Around the edge of the lake were foot-high candles, about 4 feet apart.  Just offshore, out on the water in front of each candle, there was a swan afloat with its head bowed.  Which is very unusual, since the swans of Lake Eola normally retire at sundown.  But there they were, one swan, afloat, facing each candle on shore, as far as the eye could see.  In her grief, the playwright knew that the swans of Lake Eola were standing sentry and comforting those souls lost.  They knew, they felt, they understood.
The Fringe preview had a similar feel to that anecdote, quiet grace and comfort, and featured one of the performers from The Womyn’s Mysteries which Mom enjoyed so much in last year’s Fringe.  So that’s another plus.

I’m very curious to see how this concept manifests itself.

First show - Saturday, August 3, 2019, 8:30pm - Theatre In The Round Players (TRP)

For a quick list of links to my other postings, check out my Top 10 and Top 11-20 new Fringe artists to check out for Fringe 2019.  There's also Returning Favorites, and Fringe Shows I Just Can't Watch Right Now, but You Probably Should.  If you want to keep me company, during my first Fringe without Mom, I'll be posting my schedule here.  Also, here's some links if you want to hit all the Fringe 2019 blog posts, or see the full Fringe Archive from years past (just keep scrolling down, or hit the different years in the archive listing for the full blog on the right side of the screen and zero in on July and August)

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