FRINGE 2021 REVIEW: Two Short Films

Race takes center stage in this video-on-demand production, another attempt at conversation on the racial divide between Blacks and whites in America.

click to enlarge Poster for "Two Short Films" - Photo: Provided by Cincy Fringe
Photo: Provided by Cincy Fringe
Poster for "Two Short Films"

Race takes center stage again in this hour-long video-on-demand production for the 2021 Cincy Fringe, another attempt at conversation on the racial divide between Blacks and whites in America.

While the performance has good intentions, it was hard to connect with. It seemed like an opportunity for racial reconciliation following a tumultuous year where racial injustice hit its peak with the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of law enforcement.

Nevertheless, it came off as another example of white privilege filled with defensive dialogue on their views about race. The effort to teach the historical context of race and how it manifests in present lives showed how some are oblivious to race and don’t seek to learn about its history until confronted with it personally.

The transitions between the scenes with a trauma therapist and artistic performances were oddly placed. Often, they left me confused on the story’s journey. Overall, it felt too crammed in for only an hour. Additional or even smoother transitions were necessary to connect the parts. About midway through the performance, several actors begin to discuss their personal connections to race before a quick transition to the next story. This really caught my attention, and I would have loved to see and hear more of their personal thoughts woven into the show.

Overall, Two Short Films just OK. With a bit of restructuring and inclusion of more voices, it could be better. 

The Cincinnati Fringe Festival takes place June 4-19. For more information, show descriptions, a schedule and tickets, visit cincyfringe.com.

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