Thursday, August 11, 2022

2022 Fringe Review - Wounded Healers - Intense, Necessary Viewing - 5 Stars

“What made America great?”

Synopsis: Wounded Healers is an original spoken-word play and performance. It is a historical chronology of how Black bodies have used creative expression to heal from racialized trauma.

Tweet review: #mnfringe Wounded Healers: intense condensation of just a sampling of the history of black trauma in America; gifted speakers connecting through honest emotion and song - 5 stars

Dr. Timothy Berry’s Fringe offering of Wounded Healers is a condensed version of a longer work but it still packs a hell of a punch.  It’s intense but necessary viewing.  Dr. Berry himself, in addition to writing and directing the piece, is onstage at a keyboard playing the music he composed for the play.  Michael Berry and Daniel Walker take care of the acting part of the program.  Dr. Berry periodically joins them in song and dance throughout.

“White fear produces black death.”

This abbreviated version of Wounded Healers moves swiftly through several eras of the African American experience, starting with slavery and moving to the present day.  The exploration of trauma is not without purpose, it’s always in service of a larger point.  It’s a bracing sight to see a noose draped over an American flag, but that symbolism should give you some idea of the complicated meditation on American identity this production is tackling.

“Day after day, year after year, we survive.”

From start to finish, in both spoken language and in song, words are the salvation of these storytellers.  Words are also their gift to us.  None of my words can really do it proper justice.  But more people in the seats is probably the least we can do to honor what they’re offering to us.  Experience Wounded Healers for yourself.  It has a lot to offer.  Wounded Healers has two more performances, Friday 8/12 at 7pm, and Sunday 8/14 at 1pm.

5 Stars - Very Highly Recommended

(You can click on the following links to see a set of links to reviews of all the 5 and 4.5 star shows (VERY highly recommended), 4 and 3.5 star shows (highly recommended) as well as other shows, plus the full Top 10 list, the Top 11-20 list, a list of returning favorites, and the full coverage of the 2022 Fringe on this blog.) 

(Side note: The primary may be over, but the midterm elections are coming up soon. Early voting for the election starts Friday, September 23 (so, not much more than a month after Fringe is over). You can check out what's on your ballot ahead of time on the Minnesota Secretary of State website, as well as other voting services and information - like handy links to all the candidates who have websites so you can learn more.  In Minneapolis, not only do we have the Governor and Lt. Governor on the ballot, but there's our U.S. Congressional Rep., our MN State Senator, the MN Secretary of State and MN Attorney General, as well as our County Sheriff and County Attorney, and two members of the Minneapolis School Board.  These are the people who decide what laws we live under and how they get enforced.  These are the people who decide whether or not we have voting rights.  These are the people who decide how our kids learn.  This is how we change things.  Personally, I'm alternately furious and despairing that my goddaughter and her little sister now have fewer rights over their own bodies than they did when 2022 began. There are things we can do, voting in the general election is one of them - if you're looking to volunteer, here's a place to learn more.)



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