The Fresh Five is a series of five world premiere one-act plays currently being staged at Bedlam Theatre by 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities. Each play is directed by an emerging female director, handpicked by the theater for her “gutsy” and “provocative” attitude towards her work. While in theater the verb “gutsy” is often mistakenly attached to plays which pointlessly try to raise the stakes of perversity, histrionics, or sheer confusion, the Fresh Five directors admirably work within the bounds of conventional narratives to tell their unconventional stories.
|the fresh five, playing through january 23 at bedlam theatre. for tickets ($10-$20) and information, see bedlamtheatre.org.|
For instance, though we are well past the point when a play could be considere edgy simply for including a transgender character, in Artichoke Hearts (directed by Nicole Wilder) transgender actor/playwright Anthony Neuman delves into the world of transgender online dating with some hilarious and poignant results. Perfect Match by Rachael Borgen Flannery (directed by Leah Adcock-Starr) presents the world of predatory organ harvesting, but through the lens of the all-too-familiar awkwardness of a first date. The result brings the audience in close to a world that (hopefully) they have no familiarity with whatsoever.
Nina Mansfield’s Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx, USA, directed by Lindsey Cacich, particularly stands out for the fluidity with which it incorporates interlocking narratives surrounding a horrible tragedy. It’s a little slice of anxiety taken out of a NYC teacher’s very bad day. It doesn’t exactly say much, but the short drama is brought to life vividly by a talented group of actors. The ensemble of plays is rounded out by Amber Miller’s staging of Kathleen Warnock’s Kids Play, a heartfelt examination of the innocence and candor of children, as well as 10:00 Bistro Caprice, a midlife crisis piece written by Ruth Virkus and directed by Ellen Apel. The Fresh Five will be playing until January 23, and any Fringe Fest enthusiast should seriously consider checking it out.