Co-Artistic and Executive Director Karen Lange talks about PS’ 2013 productions and what the future holds:
This was the year of identity. We didn’t plan it that way — it just happened. Last spring’s Unclear Family Repertory featured characters redefining what it means to be a friend, a wife, a husband, or a mother, as well as who they were as people. Whether they were moving, evolving in their relationships, trying to bond, or trying to mourn, the women in Smudge, Benched, and Bleed were all struggling to keep a sense of themselves amid a swirling, changing world.
And we kept that theme rolling with Cabaret XXXY: Who Do You Think You Are? — the third in our series of hit Capital Fringe musical cabarets. And though it dealt with its title question in a fun, flirty, sometimes irreverent way, it was still honest in its push for self-examination.
In a way, all of our full-length shows have been about identity from a woman’s perspective. 2011’s Carol’s Christmas dealt with a woman who opted to disappear rather than move on from heartbreak. 2012’s Killing Women explored whether a woman can work and be a mother at the same time without giving up either part of herself.
2013, however, has focused on Identity in a way we never have before and will continue to do so in this fall’s Bondage, whose leather-clad leads try to find honest emotional connection by role-playing many different people. It’s the classic masking and unmasking that is portrayed over and over again in cultures around the world. Are you the mask or are you the person?
In the past, we’ve planned shows in a more or less catch-as-catch-can manner. Scripts have come across our collective desks that we couldn’t resist, and we’ve leapt at them. But this method, while it’s led to some great art, also has us remaining behind the proverbial 8 ball, struggling to select shows, find space, produce, and promote in a much shorter schedule than we want to. We’re growing up — and we need to pick a major so we can graduate to the next level.
Ergo, after Bondage, we’ll be hunkering down to make plans for the shows we will do for the next two years. Two deadlines loom large – applications for Capital Fringe Festival are due in late December. In early January we need to have selected a script for a yet to be announced but very exciting festival in DC. We have several ongoing projects in development, so the strategic planning will include setting dates for those and selecting some scripts to produce. We’re looking at innovative locations, local talent, and provocative topics.
We’re choosing a direction and getting on the road. Stick with us for a great ride.