#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: Mermaid

by Constance Strickland

Quick peeks at #HFF24’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO: Italome Ohikhuare

WHAT: Mermaid

WHERE: The Broadwater Studio,  1078 Lillian Way

WHY: I was immediately taken in by Italome’s onstage presence. As she entered, dancing, she addressed us directly and thanked us for being in the space with her… then all of a sudden she excused herself, grabbed a bottle of pills and began to swallow them down with a glass of water. It’s striking, startling and disrupts every expectation you had when walking into the theatre. It is a priceless lesson on the power of writing and how acting serves as a powerful tool in telling stories. What I loved about this show was that I could enter into African mythology via the Nigerian American lens – a lens that as an African-American woman, I do not often have a chance to experience. As I closed my eyes, I could see, hear and longed for Africa and my arrival at the Lagos airport she so deliciously described.

Mermaid is a story rooted in culture, memory, magic and heartbreak. The hopes and dreams a mother has moving her family to America ultimately will split the ties that bind her in ways that will crush your soul. Yet do not despair, for Italome’s dynamic and gentle performance brings you into the world of her family. Witnessing Italome embody her cousin and her auntie, your heart remembers that family relationships not only shape us, but also create the possibility to free us to live our most authentic lives.

HOW: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/6394

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