The Whitefire Solofest 2020 Presents: “Soul Trek: A Sci-Fi Journey Toward Wholeness”

Written and Performed by Margaret Mendenhall. Directed by Christi Pedigo

Another brilliant solofest solo show. “Soul Trek: A Sci-Fi Journey Toward Wholeness” is a peak inside the fascinating and hilariously sweet mind of its writer and performer, Margaret Mendenhall. 

The story is set in a therapists office, Margaret’s first appointment.  As she describes the torment of having two powerful voices inside her, Puella and Miss Perfect…pulling her mercilessly from one side of herself to the other, in an attempt to explain herself, she likens her psychosis to Star Trek, the original series of course, much to the bemusement of her therapist…Using storylines  and characters from the original series, Captain Kirk, Spock, Sulu and even a Trible or two…she describes her life, her struggles and her lack of confidence, self empathy and any understanding of just how gorgeously unique and wonderful she really is.  Years of sustained melancholy have brought her to this point and with the audience empathizing all the way, she makes progress, understands herself a little better and forgives herself for losing her way.

It’s a beautifully inventive show filled with the joyful imagination and the irrepressible charm of Ms Mendenhall. 

These disparate voices in her head cause her continual feelings of guilt and lack of confidence, fear and ultimately her deep depression.  Ms Mendenhall finds solace in Star Trek.  She sees herself and her issues within these flamboyant and familiar characters.  The logic of Spock, the passion of Kirk, the anger of Dr McCoy…all sides of the same whole…all perfect examples of our vivid human traits, flaws and failings, frailties ferociousness and fundamental goodness.

Star Trek is the perfect myth. It beguiles us, understands us and celebrates the sometimes insane human condition.  As we watch, we see ourselves, in all our multi colored and multi limbed glory.  To be human is to err.  To be humanoid is to err a lot…MS Mendenhall’s solo piece is a mirror to our humanity.  She gently and lovingly explores our crazy and her sweetness and grace make it seem alright to be a little cooky…better even, than to be boring and perfect.  Far, far better to sing out loud in a supermarket for no apparent reason and to spread joy.

I loved this show.  Ms Mendenhall is effortlessly funny, warm, soulful, insightful, playful and true.  She capers and hams it up, she shyly opens to us as she braves the world and all its flaws and she does so very, very entertainingly.  Life’s too short to be taken seriously…especially when everything is so very serious – like right now. 

I think we should all be like Ms Mendenhall for a while and ‘be’ Star Trek. We certainly have the time!

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.