So as I’ve been sorting through my pictures I made the unwelcome discovery that in the midst of switching out camera cards I deleted some of the pictures from our morning at the Peter and Paul Fortress. I’m working on recovering some of those but in the mean time wanted to let you know about a show I saw here at the Fringe Festival. As I stated in my last post, I’ve only been going to shows that have come highly recommended and it has definitely worked out for me. On Tuesday I saw No Child by Nilaja Sun. The remarkably talented Sun based her play on her experiences teaching theater at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in the Bronx (renamed Malcolm X High School in the play). At turns hilarious, startling and moving, this play was amazing. Sun plays all 18 characters herself, quickly switching from one personality to another in a flurry of activity. The story is a wonderful one and captures the hope and heartache of teaching one of the most difficult classes at the school. There are moments of pathos such as when a student with a severe speech impediment announces that he wants to be an actor and another moment when a young female student announces she’s pregnant but is going to stick it out in school while being a young mother. Another tearjerking scene involves the gang-related death of a student’s brother. In those tear-jerking moments, Sun herself is crying and one gets the feeling that those tears are not stage props but true empathy for the desperate situations in which her students find themselves. Originally scheduled for a 30 day run in NYC, it was so successful it ran for 331 performances. Here’s a review of the play, in case you’re interested. And another review from New York Magazine. For those of you in Edinburgh, it runs until the 30th and for everyone else, if you’re ever able to see it, I would highly recommend it. Funnily enough, I ran into Sun on the street about an hour after her performance and was amazed to see that she’s tiny – her on-stage persona was so large and engaging. I spoke with her briefly and complemented her on her work – praise she received with humility and grace. Apparently you can see Sun in the new movie Day and Knight and she’s appeared on 30 Rock. While all that is great, this play reveals a bit of her heart and it’s a beautiful thing to see.
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