Wednesday, July 18, 2018

There And Home Again: More Stories From the Sun Cafe San Diego Fringe International 2018

             Delores Fisher and Gingerlily Lowe inside Fringe Offices
 (I've known Gingerlily for many years now.  We re-connect at San Diego International Fringe.)

Asian Story Theater  presentations are always finely staged and acted. After the show ended an hour later, San Diego International Fringe Festival format, I sat in my seat wanting more...more...MORE!

The stage for  There And Home Again: More Stories From the Sun Cafe opens with a brief history of San Diego's Asian immigrant populations whose migrations brought them to participate in the fishing industry of the late 1800s.  Asian immigrants' life-narratives intertwined with those of other immigrants whose daily activities played out in diverse historic sections located along San Diego's  waterfront and Stingaree district.

Historical Society wall plaques record facts that open a small window onto this fascinating portion of San Diego's micro history. There and Home Again, performed over a series of years and in various venues, is a well researched ongoing story which celebrates San Diego's Asian community.

Directed by Kent Brisby, the show revolves first around the early all male fish camps, how they changed and expanded as female immigrants arrived. The plot focus later centers around the historic Sun Cafe building. The location provides a lived-experience loci reflecting changing attitudes and eras for various owners and patrons -- from WWII and Japanese Internment camps through the 50s and 60s to its closing. (article by  Sandee Wilhoit )

The Asian Story Theater's ensemble of actors enliven each narrative segment with a poignancy that signals a depth of living, shadows of cultural metaphors within marginalized lives. This version of the show's sets are sparse but very workable. And, scene changes are smoothly choreographed.

It was a full house with an audience that exited the Geoffrey talking about San Diego's ever changing dynamics. I will look for the show to surface again. A researcher in San Diego's African American history, There and Home Again  left me wanting  . . .more...more...MORE!  

The next show I saw at San Diego Fringe 2018 was . . .well . . . don't  react to the title before you read the review:

The Black and The Jew Reveal:

    Delores Fisher with Epstein and Hassan outside of Fringe offices
(Trying to stop laughing long enough to take a "serious" photo)

I noticed this couple during opening celebrations for San Diego Fringe 2018. Both have a glow. I'm not sure how we started talking. It just seemed natural and flowed into conversations about our youth and teenage dating experiences.  I stated that I would come see the show.

 Epstein and Hassan outside the Fringe offices-opening day

A general rule for me is that a stage that has a minimal set or only that has only lighting had better be entertaining. Epstein and Hassan were hilarious as well as insightful. This award winning couple travels all around the U.S.    They draw from a rich narrative cache of interchangeable dialogue and vignettes based on their lived interactions as a couple and adapt their show to audience responses. The audience laughed loudly in appreciation as various scenes resonated with their experiences.

                                                               Epstein and Hassan
In today's very uptight American societal ambiance, Epstein  and Hassan's show is a much needed mature reality check not only about race, but about couple mutual respect and caring based on a love beyond the stereotypical immature "it's about me, me, me"  reality TV scripted infatuations.


                                                Hassan and Epstein after the show

If the show comes to your city-see it. Epstein and Hassan teach relationship 101 with joy, insight, a little raucous humor, and LOVE.

As San Diego International Fringe Festival VI came to a close, I was happy to have had the time to enjoy a couple of shows in the middle of summer performances and appearances.

 Fringe on!!!!

Delores Fisher

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

San Diego International Fringe Festival 2018

Hello all you 2018 International Fringe Festival Frolickers! Happy World Fringe Day! (July 11th) Keep playing and enjoying progressive artistic creativity at its most extreme humanity embracing expression.
                                   Delores Fisher Fringe Festival San Diego 2018

This year I attended the beginning festivities, at the Spreckels Theater on Broadway, for our San Diego International Fringe Festival. The Spreckels historic stage, the smaller Geoffrey Off Broadway stage, and the Lyceum Theater stage complex were the festival's performance center with various outlying venues including Writer's Ink, Starlight Bowl Upper Palisade, the Bristol Hotel, and adult entertainment space Les Girls.  Tijuana again hosted Bi-National performances at the Avenida Revolucion in Mexico.

Fellow Fringe supporters and I joined with performers for this years opening.

We enjoyed  Assemblyman Todd Gloria speech about the arts in San Diego. For those who don't know, we are continuing to grow as a national theater center. As Assemblyman Gloria read
and presented the official opening proclamation to San Diego Fringe International's executive Director Kevin Patterson,  we all clapped with excitement. Fringe 2018!!!!!!!!

         Assemblyman Todd Gloria presenting proclamation
                       to San Diego Fringe  founder, Kevin Patterson

I even got in on the ribbon cutting!

And . . . .the selfie!
Kevin Patterson on the photo ladder across the street  from us at the Spreckels

 Kevin Patterson off to take care of pre-show opening details. I got a chance to say a quick hello; then, off he went!

It is really cool to watch San Diego embrace Fringe International artists. Seasoned and neophyte writers, directors, musicians, dancers, singers, and actors work hard on the world circuit as they perform their creative concepts for audience's who might not be able to access their work live without the International Fringe Festival opportunity.Kevin has been promoting Fringe for several years. Here's his story about Fringe in his words:

I saw only two shows this year, due to my heavy rehearsal,  performance, and research schedule. However, both shows provided plenty to blog about. More next week.

Until then . . .Keep Fringing world!!
Delores Fisher

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

San Diego Reflections July 4th 2018

                                              A summer hello from me! Delores Fisher

Summer is here and the United States is poised  for its official "independence day" celebration. Our nation is still somewhat divided across various ideological fractures and factions; but, many of us still join together to say we love our country and for the most part our fellow citizens--as most of you, my international readers love yours. Sometimes, we just have an odd way of showing it. And although San Diego and neighboring cities of California are often quiet and laid back when it comes to overt political expression, it's been kinda "hot in here" over the last few years.
                        San Diego, California Immigration protest June 2018

Whether conservative, or liberal, or non-declared, or whatever, the more reasonable and vocal of us yell at each other a lot, hold town hall meetings, create panel discussions, write frustrated editorials with scathing language, tweet furiously or actually physically  picket, sit in, or boycott.

                   CSU Faculty Protest, Long Beach California circa 2015

                      Local Southeast San Diego Student walk out 2017

        San Diego Climate Change Protest near the Embarcadero 2017

                                             San Diego Women's March 2018

Protest is usually our way of asking others with whom we disagree to just listen to our side for a minute. It's almost an American tradition starting with the Boston Tea Party and well, the Fourth of July signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Actually, according to Elizabeth Harrison at History Stories

"On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12  of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. The delegates  then spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by   Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a   result the date is celebrated as Independence Day."  

So, we protest. We debate. We write declarations and manifestos.

When we  join together as a nation . . .that's what makes us strong beyond our differences of how to run the country. Maybe I'm too optimistic. I hope we have the courage and integrity to engage in productive problem solving dialogue, no matter how much we disagree.Yea, I know. Sometimes it works and we can compromise. Sometimes, it doesn't work and life seems to fall apart for way too many. But discussion is worth a try.

I said it several years ago in a Youtube op-ed:

Many did not share my opinion--see the low viewership.  I posted  the videoblog anyway.

It's ironic. At that time I was one of very few African American San Diego based bloggers. Shortly after making this video, sitting under the same gazebo, I was harassed by nearby security guards who had been watching me, wondering what I was doing. Profiling and censorship existed in 2011.

I am very much aware that today, real time profiling is rampant. And social media? Trolling, general bullying, and comment shaming is synonymous with censorship.  What are we doing? Social media could become another space for positive dialogue if  all sides really wanted to create healthy solutions. Yea, I know what I just implied.

Anyway,  here's a flashback video opinion.  I continue to hope we Americans work diligently to positively engage each other as a way to create viable solutions for our present issues.   We need to dialogue people.

Happy July 4th America,
Delores Fisher