#FringeFemmes 2021 are Here! Meet Syn Fontes

By Constance Strickland

We know that when there is cultural and racial equality in theatre, it makes room for artists from all walks of life to contribute to the history of theatre. This past year has reinforced what we have been doing at LAFPI – putting women of all kinds first! It is vital that we make space and open doors wider for women from all cultural backgrounds if we are to have a bold, forward thinking American Theatre that reflects America.

To know Synida (Syn) Fontes is to love the wild and free being that is SYN! Her writing is a reflection of her bold and daring nature. If the title of her show DATING DETOX/ROMANCE REHAB/PUSSY POWER & POWER OUTAGES doesn’t give you insight into magical Woman there is no doubt her show will. I look forward to an originally delicious show experience, for we get to see a Woman of Color’s hysterically/awkwardly/painfully personal narrative as a devout spinster/accidental cougar/badass (mis)adventuress, irreverently tackling women’s issues such as reproductive health (from first gyno exam to hysterectomy), and New World Dating! Let’s Go. I’m Ready!

Constance: What do you hope audience members take away after experiencing your show?

Syn: Connection – They found others/stories they could relate to when they thought they were “strange”.

Validation/support – Their unconventional lifestyle/life choices have been misunderstood/harshly criticized, but in this piece, they are accepted and even celebrated.

Empowerment – Sisters take control and do their thing their way without asking permission and without apology.

Also, just a good, fun time! If people laugh throughout my show, I’ll be VERY happy.

Constance: What’s been your biggest challenge in terms of your development/creation process?

Syn: Making the protagonist more accessible/likable without losing her edge and rawness and crazy. The humor is ballsy and irreverent and could cause offense or cause laughter. It’s not for the hyper-sensitive. I tried my best to be respectful and get input from people in the various groups that are referenced. In the end, comedy is always a risk and I have to brace myself and jump into the fray. (Just don’t give anyone my address, please! LOL)

Constance: What are you enjoying most as you create your show?

Syn: The fabulous support and encouragement from groups like this, a sacred sister circle.

Constance: What has been the most surprising discovery?

Syn: Every time I’ve done a table reading (or otherwise shared my script), people have told me they can relate to these stories! I thought my stories were off-beat, a little crazy, a little weird, and that people would get a laugh, but they wouldn’t identify with me. Instead, everybody has said they share my journey! The details may be different, even the circumstances, but the feelings and human experiences are the same.

Constance: The work will be given away soon – how does that feel?

Syn: Like I’m planning and creating a big surprise gift for someone I adore and want so badly to be adored by, but am not sure how they feel about me. Maybe they won’t want my gift, after I put my everything into it. Maybe they’ll fall in love with me! 

Constance: How long have you been sitting with this work? Why Fringe? Why this year?

Syn: 2017, fall. Fringe is open to ALL/non-juried; it’s an experimental playground/training camp open to new ideas, mistakes, and learning as you go. The pandemic, with all its social distancing, has normalized virtual shows. So, now I can afford it! (No venue rental plus full theater crew, insurance, playbills, box office, etc.)

Constance: Anything else that must be said – please add!

Syn: My theme for the Fringe: SOS – Support Our Sisters. My theme for my show: BYOB/LYOJ – Bring your own booze; leave yo’ judgment. (Booze is good for that. )

For more information on DATING DETOX/ROMANCE REHAB/PUSSY POWER & POWER OUTAGES in #HFF21, visit http://hff21.co/4996

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