Friday, September 17, 2021

"You Who I Always/Never/Once Loved" by Fortune's Fool Theatre at the Crane Theater

Last fall, Fortune's Fool Theatre presented a beautiful collection of storytelling pieces by local artists around the topic of having or not having children. They did it as safely as possible, but since the pandemic was still raging I watched the video recordings of To Breed, Or Not to Breed at home. Their follow-up this fall is stories about love in all forms, and since I'm comfortable going to see theater in a vaxxed and masked audience (as most are these days), I was happy to see the first weekend of You Who I Always/Never/Once Loved at the Crane Theater, which is another collection of beautifully honest stories. Performances continue through this Saturday, with another set of storyteller and stories next weekend (click here for details). After the run, they will also make the video recordings available to view online.

On a bare stage with just a mike stand and a music stand, theater artists and storytellers Jen Scott, Josh Cragun, Larisa Netterlund, Lacey Poitter, Tim Uren, Eli Effinger-Weintraub, Destiny Davison, and co-producer/curator/lighting designer Ariel Pinkerton shared their stories about love. Love for a spouse, love for a temporary lover, love for a child, love for a parent, love for a pet, love for nature, or even the love that's exchanged between strangers having a shared experience (Lacey eloquently explaining why we all miss this thing we call theater so much). Love that's beginning, or ending, or continuing through difficult times. Some stories are funny, some sad, some poignant, some all of the above. Aaron Henderson provides musical transitions between these stories that are all are honest, specific, well told, and relatable in some way. 

Some of the stories also touch on the pandemic and how quarantine has affected their life and love, whether it's having to spend all your time with your spouse or children or pet, or relationships needing to move at a different speed than they would without pandemic restrictions. It was a very healing, come-together kind of evening, not just for the storytellers, but also for the audience. It's been a long time since we were able to share stories together in person; You Who I Always/Never/Once Loved is a great welcome back to this kind of necessary shared human experience.