Where does one take the leap between apathy and compassion for our fellow people? Are we content to pass by a grieving stranger on the street without a second thought, or can we extend a kind thought or word and maybe actually connect with them? That feeling, in both its positive and negative outcomes, is what director Jenny Selby and her ensemble look to explore in their docudrama Cross The Line now playing at The Shop at Fort Fringe.
Taken from collected in-person interviews from people around the world (Spain, Australia, France, DC, and Virginia to name a few), the cast presents each vignette as it actually happened, often jumping from one moment of a concert in Europe to picking up trash on the Blue Line to a burglarized bungalow in Jamaica, with such a hurried energy as though they might not get to tell each story.
Selby and choreographer Natasha Shamloufard help aid these rapid transitions with a grounded sense of movement for the ensemble, but having so many stories put into a 50 minute performance may be what injects this rushed feeling. Docudrama is a difficult style to work with because it’s based in the journalistic purity of telling and not necessarily on showing the audience the moments that transpired.
by Jenna Selby
at The Shop – Fort Fringe
607 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets
This developing work deserves some time spent fine tuning the piece. Cross The Line is definitely a show that explores the issues we face in the here and now. Maybe if we look up from our smartphones and give someone else a second of interaction or compassion, we too can step out of our comfort zones and discover something completely new.