The Long and Short of FIT

New plays feel long and come up short on ideas at ongoing FIT fest.

Barrett Nash, who bears an eerie resemblance to Corrie, drives this short piece with tremendous energy that always feels natural, unforced. She makes Corrie strong but vulnerable, girlish but determined. The young woman's intense passion for life, for activism, for the welfare of the people she met in Gaza, comes across. Whatever you think of the politics around her actions, you will come to love and admire Rachel Corrie. And the actress playing her.

Actor, musician, painter and now playwright Justin Locklear has a lot of talent and a lot of ideas. Unfortunately, he's tried to cram too many of them into his one-act I Met You and I Screamed, another of FIT's premieres. The title is the most intriguing thing about this choppy tale of a lesbian romance between a dancer (Danielle Georgiou) and a kook (Cassie Bann). Dancer suffers abuse from her gay-hating Chik-Fil-A of moms (Cindee Mayfield in yet another handwringing role). Kook unloads on her therapist (Ochre House actor Mitchell Parrack, the only bright spot in this murky melodrama). Therapist admits to being bored by his patients. We're on his side.

Directing his own play under the auspices of Upstart Productions, Locklear throws everything at the wall to see what sticks: live music played by Stefan Gonzalez, modern dance, filmed sequences that are nothing more than Warholian close-ups of the girls' faces, a nude painting and showers of confetti. The blah-blah about Sapphic love and "dee-yance," as dancer Georgiou pronounces the word, drones into a dull hum.

Connie Gold Parry and Beverly Daniel go on a quest for spiritual enlightenment in Conversations with God and Other Women I've Known at the Festival of Independent Theatres.
Mark Daniel
Connie Gold Parry and Beverly Daniel go on a quest for spiritual enlightenment in Conversations with God and Other Women I've Known at the Festival of Independent Theatres.

Details

The Festival of Independent Theatres

Continues through August 4 at the Bath House Cultural Center. Call 800-617-6904.

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Halfway through the play (though it felt like hours), Gonzalez suddenly hits the bass drum and cymbals with a deafening crash. The sound is meant to symbolize the destruction of the lesbians' affair. But it's a terrible way to be awakened from a nice short nap.

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