So I won a Super Pass for this year’s Victoria Fringe Festival. Apparently donating last year during the text to donate campaign was an extra well spent $10, because not only did I support a festival I love, I also get to to see as many shows as I want to see this year for free. Thankfully I also got smart and booked my vacation for the same time so I didn’t have to worry about being up in time for work after seeing a late night show.
I went to the preview on Wednesday morning to finish compiling my list (well at least the list I’m starting with because you never know what else might catch your attention while talking in a Fringe line up). Yesterday I made a plan. There was a spreadsheet involved. Stop laughing! (Well, okay, keep laughing, ’cause even I think it’s funny to plan my vacation this much, but my mom would be proud of my scheduling skills). If you’re trying to fit in as many shows as possible, a little planning is necessary.
Opening night’s plan was three shows all at Venue 6 – Fairfield Hall.
First up, The Child Behind the Eyes, a monodrama by Nava Semel performed by Nava Sarracino.
I’m still trying to figure out how to put words to my thoughts about this piece. At one level it is a simple story of a mother’s love for her child, but it is also a story that kept reminding me how often we only see the outside, make judgments, and miss the beauty of each human being. In this play, the judgments were about a baby boy with Down’s syndrome, but whatever it is that makes us different on the outside doesn’t actually mean that we’re broken. There is still perfect beauty, if we’re willing to look behind the eyes.
One other thing that struck me in the play was the use of language. The play was written in the 1980’s and clearly our use of language has changed. There were moments that made me cringe, because we have learned not to use some of those words anymore. I think we understand more about the power of the words and labels that we use to describe and categorize people. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but wondering, whether we’ve actually changed the underlying prejudice that some of those words used to reflect. I hope we have, but … I guess we each have to be our own judges on that question.
Oh! If you go see the show, make sure you pick up one of the flyers. There is a link to let you access the music that was created by Christel Veraart for the show. I haven’t done that yet, but I will be. The music underscoring the show was beautiful.