Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fringe PlayList: Dark and Twisted

Everyone's got their dark side. And sometimes it's fun, or even therapeutic, to indulge and exorcise those demons, whether it's with a scary movie, or a creepy book, or even a  Stephen King musical.
But, we at the Atlanta Fringe have plenty of shows that appeal to those with nefarious tastes.
 So, if Mr. King happens to be in town for the closing weekend of his musical, here are a few shows we think he'd get a kick out of.

Attic 
In case the terrifying eye poster isn't enough of a hint, this one's scary.
Written by local playwright Daniel Guyton, "Attic" follows William, "a young man with a mental illness, and his attempts to reconnect with his family, despite his dark urges which threaten to destroy them all."
Now, Attic is part of the Darker Places Trilology
which follows the same disturbed young man at age 17 (Attic), 27 (Basement) and 7 (Crawlspace). 
I participated in a reading of part of Basement a few weeks back, and it was a doozy. I laughed, I screamed, I was frightened, uncomfortable, fascinated, and eager to see more.
 Fortunately you can.  If you're in for something right on the edge of funny and terrifying, this may be the show for you.

Apparently there's something in the water, because this next dark Fringe play comes from another local playwright, Mr. Raymond Fast.

"What’s a girl to do when her overbearing parents keep getting in the way of her love life? Candy just wants to live a normal life, but things are never quite right once you’re touched."

Initially, there was a typo in the press release, so this play was advertised as "Touched By Raymond Fast," which sounds like Delta Burke meets To Catch a Predator. But fortunately for us, Mr. Fast will be doing lots of writing, and likely much less touching.
 
(Vampire) Medea
 How do you make a classically dark and disturbing play even more dark and disturbing? Add a blood sucking fiend!

A current and thrilling rendition of an ageless story, complete with blood, violence, comedy, and primal sexuality. 
“Immurare” is inspired by the life of serial killer Ed Kemper, the Coed Butcher. 

Why yes, that Ed Kemper, who dismembered 6 female hitchhikers and killed his mother and grandparents near Santa Cruz, California. What a cheery piece! Bring the kiddies!

Seriously though, this a freaking terrifying story. Just flipping through the Wikipedia page will give me nightmares (e.g. - "The garbage disposal could not break down the tough vocal cord tissue").

But, this play also follows FBI agent Camlin Sheridan, who would go on to develop the system for profiling serial killers and become a hero. So it's an interesting look into the mind of a killer ( a really twisted killer, seriously, I couldn't finish the wiki entry, eek) and the man who devoted his life to studying and classifying those minds.
But not all darkness is quite so loud and terrifying. Dance piece Chiaroscuro seeks to explore a subtler and more relatable side of mental illness, anthropomorphizing and exploring five distinct mental disordered.

We’ve all had a brush with unreasoning anxiety, unprovoked depression, a need to take control of our lives in the midst of chaos. The piece is not named for the darkness inherent in the subject matter, but for the interplay of light and shadow, which ultimately make up our lives whether we struggle with these disorders, love someone who does, or are fortunate enough to live a life untouched by these.


What shows are calling to your dark side? What do you think Stephen King should come see? Post a comment, and submit your own PlayList to our AtlFringeBuzz Tumblr!

One and a half weeks!

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