SUICIDE STORIES (Elephant Room Productions): 2017 Fringe review

Suicide-Stories-fringe-festivalElephant In the Room Productions lives up to its namesake in SUICIDE STORIES: GALLERY OF THE UNTOLD – unpacking the taboo silence surrounding suicide.  This thoughtful ensemble of nine vignettes reveals the pulsating center of a phenomenon claiming 121 lives daily, providing much needed context behind the 10th leading cause of death in America.  A “gallery of untold stories” forges far beyond the hard facts – questing to understand the motivation and struggle brewing inside a person willing to take their own live. While at the same time, excavating beautiful moments of humanity for the shattered hearts left behind.

Inside a large room, divided into sections, nine performances happen simultaneously and continually while the audience parcels off visiting booths at their discretion.  Each intimate story share uses a different artistic modality – be it spoken word, painting, a podcast, or clay molding – to express the often repressed.  Tears shed.  Vulnerability shines.  And by the end, an inexplicable morsel of hope rises from within – the afterglow of bearing witness, being seen, and having the privilege to be let into another’s heartache.  A surprising reminder of how good it is just to be alive.  

[Asian Arts Initiative] September 12-17, 2017; http://fringearts.com/event/suicide-stories-gallery-untold/

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