I have seen a lot of plays at this year's Hollywood Fringe, but I must say that “Still Life of an Orange and Other Parables” is definitely the most unique by far.
More of a performance piece than a traditional play, the writer and performer Jean Minuchin takes us on a fascinating journey. With the use of movement, puppetry, documentary film and sound scapes she creates short stories full of magical realism and hauntingly suggestive prose.
The stories are based around the inhumanity of greed and the tragic effects it has on our world, but the characters in the stories are not victims, rather they represent us, our complicated needs and wants and how we long for peace. What might be traditionally considered the bad guys morph into something else and the lines are blurred…just as they always are.
This non-linear, multi-faceted, cross dimensional, multi-purposed and beautifully wrought performance has a sweetness to it. There’s nothing abrupt, nothing contrived. The lyrical softness of the prose is matched by the gentle yet extremely impactful message. We are all invited to participate as we watch with fascination and a deep sense of our human familiarity. Jean manipulates this medium with a deftness and a confidence that imparts her passion and her soulfulness so perfectly.
This is more than a play, this is an experience.
“Still Life of An Orange” is activism made into art. This strange and perceptive production is deceptively simple and so easy to watch and yet I find myself remembering each individual piece so clearly. It’s hard to describe honestly. Like most epiphanic moments it is deeply personal, even though a shared experience. Somehow this play has wound its way deep into my mind and drawn me to the things that remain always the most important. Purpose, meaning, love, family and home.
I highly recommend “Still Life of an Orange and Other Puppet Parables.” It’s the perfect Fringe production - exquisitely and purposefully unlike anything else.