Two months ago, I was asked if I would be interested in blogging about the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Sure, I said and proceeded to find plays by women at the Fringe to blog about. This led to a very long list of plays and solo shows by women. In order to keep my sanity, I narrowed the list down to five plays written by women.
Because I chose these five plays, I’m writing not from a place of critical thought but from enthusiasm. I can say that each play is worth checking out, so this week, I’m going to talk about the Fringe.
The first play I saw was Catherine Pelonero’s Another Effing Family Drama. I was excited to see this play because I read the stage directions and did a parrot voice when the play had a reading at the Actors Studio.
Another Effing Family Drama is part parody of kitchen sink melodramas (a kitchen sink is even brought on at one point) and part circus in a dysfunctional space. The play centers on a family named Effing and their neighbor, Eleanor, whose daughter June has come home to dredge up the past and find closure. However, June has walked into the wrong play as the Effings take over her drama.
The Effings defy all logic and sanity. They know they’re in a play. They know the plot points and character maps they have to follow, but these theatrical rule-breakers are great fun to watch. There’s an American bounciness to the play, and I enjoyed watching absurd self-awareness dance with a drive for revelation.
After I saw the play, Catherine emailed me with an anecdote that she’s allowing me to share with you all:
As a woman in theatre, I thought you might find this interesting. Last night after the performance of Effing Family, a man came up to me and said, “What a great play! That was such a good play, I can’t believe a woman wrote it!” I am not kidding. He then followed up with, “Especially a gorgeous woman!”
Another Effing Family Drama has two more performances at the Fringe Festival on Saturday, June 25th at 3pm and Sunday, June 26th at 5pm at Fringe Central at 6569 Santa Monica Blvd. Tickets are $10 and you can call 323-455-4585 or go to the Fringe website, www.hollywoodfringe.org.
You can also go the plays website at www.sharpcocktail.com