Fort Fringe — Bedroom
Remaining Performances: Friday, July 18 at 10:30 pm Saturday, July 19 at 10:30 pm Wednesday, July 23 at 6:30 pm Saturday, July 26 at 5:00 pm
They say: Burning Man Founder Larry Harvey wrote the Ten Principles in 2004. Ten years later, ten burners from the National Capital Region will share their experiences, true stories from Black Rock City to Washington, DC. Get a little dusty with us.
Cara’s Take: I admit it. I’m a sucker for stories about people finding their tribe and Ten Principles )'( has self-discovery galore. Since “Participation” is one of the defining principles, don’t be surprised if you find yourself taking a piece of costume out of the stash at the front or standing up and reading one of the principles aloud between stories. Another principle, “Gifting,” meant that the cast had cold bottles of water for anyone who wanted them, a welcome gesture on a hot day.
This production is very loosely structured. JR Ross, who has a “conceived by” credit, opened the performance I saw with the story of how he got his “playa name” — that’s playa as in “dried up desert basin,” not as in playa hate — Nexus. It was a gentle and funny story which helped get the audience on the path to the festival.
All of the stories were deeply personal. All of them reflected a moment when life, for whatever reason, had lost its flavor, and the storytellers found their way to the Burning Man Festival to find something about themselves.
Today’s set of storytellers was, except for Kathy Baird Westfall, male. Nexus announced at the end that every performance would be different and that more women’s voices would be heard at later performances.
The three whose stories most stood out to me, were TD Smith’s description of how far he’d lost himself before rediscovering his better self at a festival, Nikolas Schiller’s explanation of the principle of “Decommodification” and how well it is or isn’t working, and Oliver Josephs’ funny realization that he couldn’t make financial planning his gift on the playa.
See it if: You enjoy deeply personal stories told around a central theme.
Skip it if: You need a great deal of structure in your shows.