Monday, August 15, 2016

Fringe Festival 2016: "Becoming Inga"

Day: 11

Show: 50

Title: Becoming Inga

Category: Something Different

By: David Mann

Created by: Colleen Kruse and David Mann

Location: U of M Rarig Center Arena

Summary: A woman takes a job at a "health spa" and through putting on the persona of Inga, discovers her true self.

Highlights: Colleen Kruse begins her solo storytelling show by telling us she's just like us. She looks like a typical Minnesotan in boots, parka, and furry hat. But Colleen's job is a little different than what most of us experience in our 9-to-5 lives. As an unemployed alcoholic empty nester in her '40s, she needed a job, and unable to find anything else, she answered an ad on Craig's list. Her job at this "health spa" or "massage parlor" as it's euphemistically called involves catering to men's fantasies, but in an environment where she makes the rules and has the power. She tells stories about some of her clients, from the young marine, to the busy wealthy man who barely looks up from his phone, to Richard who feels the freedom and support to become Renee in their sessions. Although some of the stories are uncomfortably graphic, Colleen is a wonderful storyteller, and it soon becomes apparent that these sessions are like therapy, not only for her clients but also for her. She stops drinking as she finds a confidence and sense of self-worth in "becoming Inga." This is a show I didn't want to end, and I wanted to know more about how her work life affected her non-work life, if she was ever able to share her work with her friends and family (well I guess they know now!), or bring the newfound confidence and self-worth of Inga into her life as Colleen. Perhaps we'll get a chance to see that sometime.