Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2023: "Audacious Ignatius: Lost in Atlantis"


Show: 19


By: Kyle B. Dekker

Created by: Kyle B. Dekker

Location: Theatre in the Round

Summary: A deep dive into the life and work of Minnesota's second Lieutenant Governor Ignatius Donnelly, early conspiracy theorist.

Highlights: Truth is stranger than fiction, which is one of the reasons I love history. I had never heard of Ignatius Donnelly before, a fact playwright/performer Kyle B. Dekker acknowledges and explains. Donnelly went from a promising political career in Minnesota to a proponent of wild theories like the lost city of Atlantis, and that Francis Bacon wrote the Shakespeare plays, with a little racism along the way. In period dress, Kyle tells the story of Donnely's life, reading some quotes from him and his contemporaries. It may be an "info dump" as he says, but it's a fascinating and well told one. A couple of visual aids help with the storytelling - a trading card of the presidential hopeful, a map showing the supposed location of Atlantis, and covers of his books. But this isn't just an interesting look at an eccentric historical character. Kyle ties his writings to current day politicians and conspiracy theories, because knowing our history helps inform our present. As Shakespeare (or Bacon according to Donnelly) wrote - "what's past is prologue."