“Art and Abolition” from Atlanta to Africa

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017It is odd to admire the seed but fault the fruit. But Brittanie Richardson’s solo show Art and Abolition has placed me in such a position.

There is nothing overly original in coming from an environment of abuse; sadly, many can claim that.  But for someone to find the inner strength to lift themselves above their own history, and in doing so commit to helping others, that is a rare thing.

And for doing this Richardson is to be applauded.

However, her one woman show recounting her life is overly rough, raw and jagged; a travelogue from Atlantic to bronze ribbon - Fringe FestivalSouth Africa with the road beset with speed bumps of faith and sexual identity issues.

The narrative lacks artistry in the telling and depth in the exploration.  Its saving grace is sincerity.

The theme is expressed in the dog eared platitude: “God is good.”

In truth, the show itself corroborates an altogether different adage: The hands that help are better than the lips that pray.

For that sincerity: A BRONZE MEDAL

♦    ♦    ♦


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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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