Rogue Machine Fringe Review - A Journey in Discovery

The Fringe comes to the Rogue Machine! The Met Theatre hosts three Fringe productions, each with its own special view of the world. Hop on the express train to entertainment with IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW, WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS, and THE PLEASURE PROJECT.  The Rogue Machine trio focuses on social issues from female playwrights.

Cast of IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW - Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Written by Katherine Cortez and directed by award-winning Elina de Santos, IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW is a world premiere production. Playwright Katherine Cortez grew up in Orlando, Florida, and was profoundly affected by the shootings at the LGBTQ Pulse nightclub years later – on the eve of LA Pride. She digs into the many questions raised by this apocalyptic event. What happened to the patrons who escaped and survived – and to their family members and friends? What about those who were less fortunate? Who would engage in such a violent and gruesome act? And why? Answers to some of these questions may be elusive, and the play should spark speculation and discussion.

Tania Verafield and Ethan Rains in IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW - Photo by John Perrin Flynn

WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS explores the lives of two clever 15-year-old kids, Moth (Cecily Glouchevitch) and Belly (Emily James), who live in the underbelly of a once thriving society fallen to dust. But just across the river lies a capitalist society with potential for future bliss. When they meet Leather (Albert Dayan), their lives veer into new and unexpected directions. Internationally famed, award-winning Sheila Callaghan digs into this dystopian world with gusto and a propensity for chuckles. Director Larry Biederman helms a production sure to elicit discussion.

Emily James and Cecily Glouchevitch in WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS - Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Emily James, Cecily Glouchevitch, and Albert Dayan in WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS - Photo by John Perrin Flynn

THE PLEASURE PROJECT showcases the multi-faceted talents of solo star Ava Bogle, who plays seven different people on Planet Earth. This science fiction comedy is directed by award-winning Rachel Avery, who obviously really enjoys the chance to create mini-worlds for each of Bogle’s characters. With a little help from Lily Bartenstein’s production design, this frolic takes off. What is the key question raised by the tale of aliens planning to obliterate our world? What do humans have that could possibly be worth saving? THE PLEASURE PROJECT, a world premiere, works at finding an answer amid hilarious conditions.

Ava Bogle in THE PLEASURE PROJECT - Photo by Jeff Lorch

Each of these pieces is short, ranging from 45 minutes to 88 minutes. As such, they have little time for profound meanderings or seriously fleshed-out characters. However, they do spotlight some of the social issues and conundrums of our times. And they do so with incisive and quick flashes of insight. Each of the trio should generate questions and ideas which triggers discussion after the play ends.

Ava Bogle in THE PLEASURE PROJECT - Photo by Jeff Lorch

The Rogue Machine Fringe trio runs through June 24, 2017, with performances through most of June, sometimes beginning as early as 1 p.m. or as late as 10 p.m. The Rogue Machine is located in the Met Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Tickets range from $20 (IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW) to $15 (WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS) to $10-$15 (THE PLEASURE PROJECT). For a detailed schedule, further information, and reservations, call 855-585-5185 or go online.  

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