Fringe of the Fringe Festival
Written and Directed by Joe Kolasa
Starring Matthew Gennell and Joe Kolasa
Seminole State College
Lake Mary, FL
He’s a writer. He has a paying gig. But Willard (Gennell) blocked, and even worse, his key board mocks him. I sympathize – long periods of no good ideas, punctuated by bursts of surreal stream on conscience blather. The page fills, but no one would want to read it. I feel his pain. Oh, yeah, his boss and creator (Kolasa) nags his writer’s block. Oh, the audacity! Demanding text for pay. What has this world come to? But boss isn’t all bad , he provides nude models, as if THAT will get the text flowing. Mocked above by a display screen, mocked form the left by authority, and mocked from the floor below, Willard’s life line is a well mouthed but never lit cigarette. He struggles; nothingness. But it’s a clever nothingness, with lots of agony and little ecstasy and few ironic laughs. Somehow I missed this show at the last Orlando Fringe, but it’s certainly a show one would expect in that frothy miasma of weird concept.
Seminole State College lost the use of its theater recently (something about a sink hole eating the scene shop) and they’ve been crammed into a large, sterile lecture hall with good sight lines and no back stage. The concept flees high, the execution done as well as the space allows, and I found the well-dressed nudist added their own special charms. It good to see these Fringe shows take on some extended life, so may rise and fall like the mayflies of theater. The blocked writer is a constant trope in entertainment, and here Willards work product may not be earth shattering, but his boss seemed happy. So should you.