Tag Archives: Dating

#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

Click Here For More “Women on the Fringe”

All Hail #FringeFemmes! Meet Odunayo Majekodunmi

By Constance Strickland

We know that when there is cultural and racial equality in theatre, it makes room for artists of all walks of life to contribute to the history of theatre. It is vital that we make room, make way for women from all backgrounds to have a chance to be included in the future of theatre. It is with great excitement and joy, I introduce Odunayo Majekodunmi, the GIRL FROM SCHENECTADY! Odunayo’s #HFF19 show received an Honorable Mention from the Fringe. Odunayo takes us on a personal journey from her Nigerian roots to finding love in her hometown of Schnetady, NY… in the most unexpected of places. Does losing your virginity need to include true love? 

Constance: How long have you’ve been sitting with this work? What led you to Fringe?

Odunayo: I started writing my show about 8 years ago. I was advised by my director, Danielle Mone’ Truitt,  to open the show at the Fringe. I started attending Fringe one-person shows in 2017 and 2018, which gave me confidence to move forward.

Constance: The work is now out there; you’ve given it away. How does that feel?

Odunayo: It feels amazing! I’m so excited to keep up my show and to continue performing it for audiences. I’m happy with the feedback that I’ve been getting; most of it is from women stating the story is very relatable and they have experienced similar situations. Audience members have also mentioned the story is funny, entertaining and heartfelt.

Constance: What are you enjoying most doing your show? What has been the biggest  discovery?

Odunayo: I am enjoying performing my show and perfecting it each time I get on stage, believing each performance  will be better than the last one. I was nervous about how men would react to the story because I didn’t want them to think it was male bashing of any kind. Luckily, I haven’t received that response from the male audiences.

Constance: What’s been your biggest challenge in terms of the Fringe?

Odunayo:  Producing and marketing the show myself. Writing the script, rehearsing, finding the right director was one thing. However, deciding to produce it and pay for everything was challenging – but I’m so proud of myself that I accomplished it!

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

Odunayo: I hope audience members are inspired, encouraged and empowered in their lives, especially in believing in true love – women in particular who have experienced any kind of pain in relationships, or just haven’t had the best luck in finding Mr. Right.

For more information on THE GIRL FROM SCHENECTADY in HFF19, visit  https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5754

Odunayo Majekodunmi