A choose-your-own-adventure review – pick one of the following: a) I have little or no idea what the Burning Man festival is; b) I know about Burning Man, but have never been; c) I am a Burner.
a) I have little or no idea what the Burning Man festival is
Burning Man is an annual summer gathering of tens of thousands of people from around the world in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. They form an intentional community, where money is disallowed and ten core principles such as self-reliance and radical inclusion are followed. The 10-day event has a popular image of being full of drugs and sex and funky art projects, although there are thousands of ways to move through it. It ends with a ceremonial burning of a large wooden Man.
Ten Principles )'( – Senior Year is the fourth and final in a series of Fringe productions featuring Burning Man attendees telling stories of their experiences.
You may have some slight trouble following along if you are completely unfamiliar, but the atmosphere is of a communal gathering with storytelling, so asking a question or two is possible. There are photography books of previous festivals available to look at pre-show. The storytellers are engagingly unfiltered and unpolished. This is a chance to learn about the strange and life-changing experiences people have at Burning Man, in a manner more direct than just researching it online, and more structurally accessible than attending a meetup event.
Ten Principles )'( – Senior Year
closes July 19, 2017
Details and tickets
b) I know about Burning Man, but have never been
The Burners telling their playa stories vary from show to show; some have several years under their belt, and others fewer. But all of them have a story or two to tell, and this is a good way to get a personal, up-close look at how others have experienced the Burner community.
You’ll have the opportunity to have some myths and preconceptions burst. Perhaps you’ll hear about the personal reality of trying to go to the Orgy Dome, or the psychology of feeling left out in a community of radical inclusion. There are over 90 minutes of stories, perhaps a little bit much, but everyone involved is happy to be there and the cheer is infectious.
c) I am a Burner
You have probably heard lots of other Burners tell their stories of how they got their playa name or how they fell in love with someone on the other side of the country. The presentational format allows the storytellers to structure their tales more than they could around a bonfire. Even if you do not stand to be surprised, it’s always pleasant to get little insights into other people’s lives. Attending with friends, or bringing along the uninitiated, is probably a good idea; and although the $17-plus-$7-button ticket cost might seem high, all the producer’s profits go to helping first-time Burners get to the event.
Ten Principles )'( – Senior Year by AWoL Productions . Directed/Hosted by JR ‘Nexus’ Russ . Featuring Copernicus “Puppy” Brown, Nexus, Rink, Secret, K~Love, Jenn Seiler, Melissa, Clarence, Kristin, and others . Reviewed by Brett Steven Abelman.