THE SINCERITY PROJECT takes your assumptions about theater, turns them inside out, then atomizes them every two years for a duration of twenty four years. The first installment took place in 2014; the last one will happen in 2038. Don’t forget to write yourself a letter at the start of this year’s show and collect it in 2018! This is an anti-play whose hyper-realism is theater’s answer to Karl Over Knausgaard’s seven-volume novel My Struggle; a heroic effort on the part of seven performers to push the boundaries of theater until its horizons of possibility are exhausted, the word “acting” is meaningless, and the last barriers between dramatic illusion and actuality, actors and audience, self and other, are sledgehammered. It’s uproariously funny, liberatingly bare-assed, and gut-wrenchingly real. You see it all: an 18-month baby, boobs, butts, Aram Aghazarian lifting a beer cooler with his white-knuckled hands, and Jenna Horton taking a bath in ice.
“Go” says Rachel Camp, removes her clothes, does a jumping jack in the nude and with the speed of an obstacle-course competitor dresses herself again. Performers confess uncomfortable truths, show off tattoos, give instructions on how to take care of loved ones, and weave intimate threads of connection between themselves, their bodies, and us. THE SINCERITY PROJECT unstitches the actor’s mask to question the viewer’s own as it explores longitudinally what it means to be human in a post-everything world. And if you don’t agree, you can at least second Beavis and Butthead and giddily say: “We saw naked people!”
[Plays & Players Theatre 1714 Delancey Place] September 8–18, 2016; fringearts.com/sincerity-project-2016.