We are lucky that Viscosity Theatre, an experimental company based in Montana, chose to bring their production of FISH & BEAUREGARD to this year’s Fringe. The story, filled with energy, follows a shy introvert named Beauregard as he escapes the safety of his own little world to form a friendship with the outgoing and bouncy Marzi. Together, they learn about loss, trust, and the importance of taking risks.
Given the description, it is hard to tell if you are going to see a piece of children’s theater or something avant-garde. But that is the charm of the piece: as it unfolds, it never decides whether it is for adults or children. Rebecca Schaffer, as Marzi, and Mikey Winn, as Beauregard, portray eight-something-year-olds in such a truthful way that it is hard not to find part of yourself in the characters. Beauregard and Marzi serve as reminders that aging doesn’t harden us, but rather, merely changes how we process emotions, which are timeless. Winn and Schaffer devised the piece along with director Kelly Bouma and designer Daniel Scott Morris, whose part-sidewalk-chalk part-bed-sheet-fort set helped immerse the show in the imaginative and playful world of Marzi, Beauregard, and his fish, Jamie. The story is full of heart, energy, joy, and remarkable insight. As Marzi says, “Breaking things is okay. It’s how everything is discovered…Nothing can be known until everything around it has been broken. That’s what errors are. Errors are very important.” [South Street Magic, 617 E. Passyunk Avenue] September 5-9, 2015; fringearts.com/fish-beauregard.