Saturday, July 18, 2015

#txtsmall challenged the audience to think and create as one.


Fringe tech rehearsals were in full swing when performance artist Brian Feldman returned to Orlando from Washington, D.C. to do a performance of "#txtsmall" a new variation of his "txt" show. The performance took place in the home of Carl F. Gauze. Carl has written and produced many Fringe productions, so he understands the need for a good set and production values. He set an antique desk on top of a wooden stage he made for the performance. Tiki gods and lava lamps set the scene while a disco ball was the cherry on the ice cream sundae.

"txt" was first performed in 2009 at the Kerouac House. The premise is simple: Everyone in the audience logs in to an anonymous account on Twitter. invited to an account on twitter. The audience tweets and Brian reads them all aloud. This has become Brian's signature performance and shows continue in DC. At one show in DC, every Sunday night. At one show the audience began to work together -unprompted-constructing a storyline. It was a magical, unexpected collaborative effort and Brian hoped that the Orlando show might duplicate that magic.

"#txtsmall" had an audience of six gathered in Carl's living room. There were isolated instances when a storyline began to form involving monkeys, but like most "txt" performances, chaos and mad improvised thoughts took over. Genevieve Bernard tweeted stage directions asking Brian to dance like a lava lamp. He got up, stood at the front of the stage and moved with a liquid oozing flow.

After the show, Brian told us about a new performance he will premiere at Capital Fringe in Washington, D.C. called Dishwasher. At a mutually agreed upon time, he will go to the ticket buyer's home, wash the dirty dishes in their sink and, once completed, cold read any monologue he is assigned. As the show description states, "Is he a better actor or dishwasher? You decide." Brian's first job was as a child actor in a production with Orlando Shakespeare Theater, his second job was as a dishwasher. This production should decide once and for all which career path he is destined to follow. If you happen to be in D.C. right now, I would have suggested you get a ticket. However the 18 show run is completely sold out.

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