[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatre review of “How To Be an Ending” written and performed by Elena Rosa, directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2023.
Elena Rosa is an artist as well as an actor. The play, “How to be an Ending,” reflects the nuance of that. It’s a performance piece. Each scene within the whole like a movement in an orchestration. The themes are constant -, escape, fear, regret, pain – but the lenses change. One is a pregnant girl, barely old enough to be considered more than a child, worried that her baby would be taken from her. A trucker in a bad relationship trying to move forward. A further assortment of disparate souls all trying to make sense of their lives, few succeeding.
Darkness seems to follow them and as Elena skilfully navigates the stage, the stories, and her own connection to them, we see a pattern emerge slowly. There is a lot of darkness here. A lot of hopelessness, but also poetry. “How to be an Ending” is a journey through lives some of us may have never seen, some of us have lived and all of us can understand when shown them as intimately and with such compassion as this.
Elena Rosa connects to these people as urgently as she connects to her audience. Like a child, she both ignores and seems to climb inside us. She feels the gaze of those around her and also is beyond it somehow. I think that’s the artist in her. What she makes is really much more about her than about us. The fine line between theatre and art then is what is presented and what is created.
I loved it. But then after so many plays that are for us, “How To Be an Ending” felt like a play for her…or even, for them. It’s powerful and mesmerizing and poignant and the utter opposite of contrived. Perfect Hollywood Fringe.
With just one performance left, you should book your tickets!!
Saturday, June 24 at 1:00 p.m.
The Hudson Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038