eXtreme eXchange’s Fringe offering Gasoline Hits $10 a Gallon took over Woolly’s mainstage yesterday in partnership with the Fringe Training Factory. The group presented 13 shorts with predetermined formats (duologue/monologue/four person 10 minute work) based upon results of a survey that asked: What issues effect you most? The responses: Enviornment, Healthcare, and the Economy. Things that effect us (apparently) the least: Race/Gender and Gun Ownership Laws. While not all shows were great, most were a solid ‘B’ which lead to solid presentations of makeshift theatre.
So, the highlights. Thankfully, there were a whole handful. All in the first act. Carrie Klewin’s natural direction of Llewellyn Hinkes’ sharp ode to Ron Paul gave surprising depth to a man who is a blank slate no vote and during his now defunct presidential campaign advertised using a blimp. And Kathleen Akerley’s talent, wit and and compassion abounds in this hit of yesterday afternoon about Libby, a girl who just wants to sell lemonade. She does not want to expand, to produce citrus cooler, or to become more enviornmentally sound. The response is that a cast of characters gleefully examine how such a notion has become almost obsolete. Another econimical arguing came in monologue form with Kelly MacIssac’s perfect timing in Kathleen Gonzales’ allegory about welfare; it’s like climbing out a well… alone! And that’s not fun, but it is satisfying!
The act was rounded out by Josh Drew and Dan VanHoozer’s scientifc experiment about the parameters of neighborly kindness in regard to healthcare. Hypothesis: we only care to the point where we ourselves remain comfortable. Test subject: us. We were prompted to give our neighbor a dollar, give them our credit card, and when that was done pay their embarassingly high medical bill. It was the first time during the Fringe that audience participation was warranted and interesting.
The second act reinforced the questions of the first act with a generic somehow less potent brand of aplomb. But all remained simply staged and well suited to the structures given.
eXtreme eXchange has built a reputation
eXtreme eXchange has built a reputation as something more than a forum for art and issues. In watching these artist produce reactions to the issues facing our country, what comes forth is not just the the ideas, but the people who themselves are given a space to interact.
[A special Election edition of eXtreme eXchange will be held Nov 1 & 2 at Round House Silver Spring. ]