Reviews - Fringe 2016

Fringe 2016 Review: #dirtygirl

By Amos Crawley
Published July 18, 2016

Why do we want our innermost thoughts and feelings to be broadcast to the world at large? In everyday life we are rarely able to make ourselves truly understood by those closest to us, let alone by acquaintances or strangers.

It would seem logical that by shortening our expression to 140 characters we only increase the likelihood of being misunderstood or having our message co-opted and used by others to further their own agendas.

And yet ... there is a seductive quality to sharing (part of) yourself with the world. You have an opportunity to show someone else the world through your eyes. Its beauty and its tragedy.

Thematically, an awful lot is introduced efficiently and with a lovely conversational nature in the opening few moments of Mr. Kras' play #dirtygirl.

The straightforward and natural performances of Claudia Spadafora, Cass Van Wyck and Matthew Power allow us to enter into a seemingly quotidian teenage crisis that quickly spirals downwards into an eminently relatable ghost story.

While the play touches on technology as an illusion of progress, it smartly doesn't blame technology for the flaws in human nature: sometimes we can't fix our problems and young women continue to be held to a disgusting double standard.

By never forcing a name on the villain, Kras allows us to understand that we as the audience-our excitement at the prospect of voyeurism, our willingness to laugh at misfortune, our unthinking reactions and ability to express ourselves with no filter in the relative safety of the virtual world-become cipher for the villainy of the story.

The play is clever and worthwhile. One hopes that it has continued life, when a more confident and technically advanced staging together with ample rehearsal time will allow for stagecraft that holds up the dramaturgy of the piece.

Amos Crawley is an actor, director and acting instructor who lives in East Hamilton with his wife, actor and director Cadence Allen, and their young son.


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