Gallaudet University: Kendall Demonstration Elementary School Pavilion

Remaining Performances (tickets available here):

Saturday, July 11 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, July 12 at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, July 19 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 23 at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 25 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, July 26 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

They say: The rules of the playground were simple, but the rules of life? Complicated. Play nice and play fair… and fall behind. Seems bullies are still on top. Can you retake the blacktop and square the game for all of us?

Will says: What if your childhood daycare had been run by bell hooks? That’s the question Squares lives out, as a couple of manic, Zoom-style hosts lead the audience through a series of agitprop playground games.

Squares‘s setting is aggressively nostalgic (I thrilled at the appearance of a rainbow-colored parachute). From there, the games get progressively more progressive. In one, players compete to get across a court, with advantages given for real-life advantages like race or a college education. At the very least, Squares will satisfy those who want more games of tag in their lives.

The originality of the ideas here isn’t going to score anyone a graduate thesis—the big reveal here is the concept of intersectionality—which makes you wonder whether Squares is reaching its intended audience. At a time when even the National Review is conversant in the language of privilege, are the kind of people who seek out Fringe plays really going to be stunned by lefty chalk games? By the end of the program, the rest of the audience and I were shifting uncomfortably—not because our privilege had been checked so brutally, I think, but because the answers the organizers wanted out of us seemed so obvious.

Bring good shoes so you can crush it at tag.

See it if: You want the Fringe experience without sitting in a theater.

Skip it if: Childhood wasn’t your thing.