Return of an ambitious 24-year-long performance

2 minute read
The performance evolves along with the same actors in each installment. (Photo by Jen Cleary.)
The performance evolves along with the same actors in each installment. (Photo by Jen Cleary.)

The Sincerity Project #3 will reunite director/creator Alex Torra with performers/creators Aram Aghazarian, Benjamin Camp, Rachel Camp, Makoto Hirano, Jenna Horton, Mel Krodman, and Mark McCloughan for what Team Sunshine Performance Corporation calls a meditation on the passage of time, as explored through the real lives of the cast. This world premiere is the third installment of an ambitious 24-year-long artistic experiment that offers a new devised-theater work every few years.

Devising evolution

Devised theater differs from traditional plays in important ways: it is created from scratch, usually through collaboration among the director and actors. In other words, performers do not begin with a playwright’s script. Instead, the ensemble creates the performance together, but the performance is not improvised.

This may sound novel and unusual, but devised theater is centuries old. It has roots in commedia dell’arte, Bertolt Brecht experimented with it in the 1920s and 1930s, and more recent plays such as Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, staged at the Wilma in fall 2018, also draw upon its techniques. Team Sunshine established The Sincerity Project in 2014, envisioning 13 iterations performed every two years, until approximately 2038. Each installment can stand on its own yet also connects with the work as a whole, which evolves along with the lives of its seven actors.

Writing to your future self

As sincere as its title, the project develops from its ensemble’s honest self-reflection, and audience members are invited to participate by writing letters to their future selves to be opened at a future performance. The last installment, The Sincerity Project #2, premiered during the 2016 Fringe Festival. It captured the passage of time and its impact on the individual performers in a plotless, moving, and unforgettable performance. The Sincerity Project #3 will reflect on change at the personal, social, and cultural levels. Patched together like a quilt of human lives, The Sincerity Project has the potential to reflect powerfully upon growth, aging, and relationships, including the relationship between life and art. This innovative performance is not to be missed.

High Pressure Fire Service will present The Sincerity Project #3 at FringeArts, 140 North Columbus Boulevard, June 4-8. Tickets are $31, $27.50 for FringeArts members, and $15 for students and people under 25, and are available online and at the box office.

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