Sunday, August 13, 2023

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2023: "Dock Work"


Show: 32

Title: Dock Work


By: Jackdonkey Productions

Directed by: Zach Christensen

Location: Rarig Thrust

Summary: A multi-media performance around unions and workers' rights using dance, music, spoken word, and scenes.

Highlights: This is definitely unlike anything else I've seen at Fringe. An experimental devised work like this is exactly what Fringe is for. Directed by Zach Christensen, performers Caiti Fallon, Tessa Dahlgree, and Sri Peck represent dock workers, and really all workers. Wearing black pants and tank top with an orange hat, they dance, perform repetitive movement like someone might do on a dock or in a factory, and perform spoken word or storytelling, alone or as a trio. They're all incredibly expressive, in their movements, facial expressions, and emotional delivery of text. The dances are accompanied by recorded music and later, a live rock band in similar costumes (Karsten Mink, Leo Lerner, and Clark Amann). The only set pieces are three stools, sometimes used as stools, other times as props, and a ball of red yarn that becomes impossibly entangled in the stools and forms a triangle for performance. The spoken pieces are poetry or stories, including the attempts at unionization at a Starbucks. With the prominent current strikes by TV and film writers and actors, it's a timely, powerful, and affecting show that explores the theme of workers' rights in an unconventional way.