The Republic

The Republic

The Republic
Created by Sarah A. S. Elger
The Warehouse on Alden, around in back and catty corner to the Black Venue
Orlando Fringe Festival
Loch Haven Park, Orlando, FL

This commentary was based on a technical prevue.

Not only must you buy a ticket, pay the inconvenience fee and sign a liability waiver; you also sign a non-disclosure agreement before entering the space. And in true Orwellian style, you don’t get a copy for your files. I got a special press exemption, but still: try to read the fine print and don’t spread any of this around. A bouncer at the door pulls you from the line, takes your camera and cell phone, and tells you to shut up. Don’t think about staying with your date, this is a fine mix of TSA hassle, East German border crossing, and Immersion Theater. Inside, you are assigned a role but receive no training. Safety shoes haven’t been invented, and as for the HR policy manual? Only the lucky get to see that. Stanford Prison Experiment, here we come! Expect situations you may abhor, form alliances you don’t trust, and live a slice of a life the way Jade Helm fans expect.

While this is by far the neatest experiment I’ve had at any Fringe Festival (and it truly is more than just “a show”), this experience challenges on multiple levels. Beside the freezing air conditioning and stifling heat (sneak a bottle of water in if you can) you are physically active. We rushed about, climbed stairs, and lifted bricks in claustrophobic spaces double time. You are never quite sure just how far you can push or be pushed, and after it’s all done you think: “Did I really do THAT?” Yes you did. And you loved it.

For more info on “The Republic” check out This show was part of the 2015 Orlando Fringe Festival. Information on tickets and times may be found at www.OrlandoFringe.org.

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