Before I Go, performing for the Minnesota Fringe Festival at the Mixed Blood Theatre, is a “collection of tragicomedies” which explore death and the moments before. Each mini-play involves a different set of characters who go through very distinct journeys to their last moments of life. The play uses these diverse circumstances to examine the ways in which people handle death and what is most important before dying, as well as what is left unsaid when death comes unexpectedly.
Before I Go is written by college sophomore Daniel Duren and features the talents of Seth Johnson, Duane O. Koivisto, Maddie Scanlan, and Daniel Duren himself. The depth of Duren’s script is unbelievable, not to mention his understanding of the diversity of sentiments towards life that doesn’t usually arrive until a much older age. The third mini-play, “Do You Remember?” features only Duren, playing Phil, as he slowly becomes more and more desperate. Witnessing Duren fully embrace and recreate the words he wrote is like nothing else; the intimacy between Duren and his words is tangible.
What Before I Go does not do, is answer questions. The play does not tell you what to think about what you’ve just seen; it does not tell you what you should get out of the story or the performances. Therefore, the moral of the story is left up to the interpretation of the viewer, much like life itself. Although not the most straight forward in terms of end goal and expected takeaway, Before I Go is worth seeing simply to witness Daniel Duren performing his equally heartbreaking and hilarious words.
Enjoy this play before it ends! See Before I Go at the Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis Wednesday, August 6 – 5:30 pm; Thursday, August 7 – 7 pm; Saturday, August 9 – 10 pm. Visit http://www.fringefestival.org/2014/ for more information.