Strange Daughters by local artist Jenni Cockrell brought an expressive dance performance celebration of femininity that was both inspiring and moving.
The festival also fully embraced its international heritage with a pair of talented performers from the United Kingdom (and their unique style of decidedly cheeky British humor). The Fig Leaf Wars found Brits Chris Murphy and Joanne Tremarco dressed as a giant penis and vulva, respectively, entertaining Lazoom Bus passengers near the flat iron sclupture on Wall Street. The performance was both bravely inventive and oddly abstract in a way that felt right at home on the Asheville street corner.
Tremarco continued the genital theme with her one woman show, Women Who Wank: A Fools Attempt To Untwist Herstory, at The Mothlight. The comical-tragical look at female sexuality relied on heavy audience participation, as the mostly improvised show elicited gales of laughter from the at-capacity crowds. Tremarco was sweetly charming while delving into the profane and more intimate aspects of femininity. Her performance was a near-titillating, goofy dismantling of sexual taboos.
Mina Samuels’ one woman show Hazards took the audience on an inventive and bizarrely captivating trip. The award-winning avant-garde show is about all of hazards that humans face on a daily basis. This is theatre as social awareness by way of absurdist comedy.
Dressed in an orange vest and standing behind Caution tape, with clipboard in hand, Samuels began by reciting short lists of hazards from the slightly silly to the emotionally crushing. She broke things up with a series of physical movements, then slipped back into the trancelike recitation. Before the end of the performance, she got closer and more intimate with the audience as she recounted a disturbing moment of awareness from her own youth. It was sure to have the audience thinking about the implications of what they had seen and heard long past the performance’s end.