New performance companies, still exploring their identities and fresh from birth, often emerge from the Capital Fringe Festival, testing the waters in the ultimate indie theatre environment. With SELF, relEASE chooses to literally explore themselves from the outside in, examining personal narratives, memory, and identity through a highly physical and wonderfully lyrical performance.
The show existed within a framing device where the performers (Tori Bertocci and Pasquale Guiducci) act as children at play. The kids are playing make-believe games and wondering about their futures. These scenes would fast forward to present-day Bertocci and Guiducci, who would then explain through dance and storytelling some of the struggles they’ve faced with self-love. The vibrant duo switched between these formats throughout the show.
First of all, Bertocci and Guiducci are highly talented performers and devising partners. The hour of the show passes by quickly with their high-energy movement and contemplative poetry. They are also able devising partners and writers.
The introspection that SELF provides is startling and self-aware. The journeys of the characters are relatable and expressed clearly and fluidly.
by Tori Bertocci and Pasquale Guiducci
at The Shop – Fort Fringe
607 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets
The only major drawback to SELF is the framing device, which seemed unnecessary. The adults-as-children seemed a kind of crude portrayal of youth, and didn’t offer that much value for the rest of the piece.
If you want to see the seeds being sown for a bright new ensemble, check out SELF. Following their journey is nothing short of a great ride.