4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

SD Fringe: Ceremony and Nightbird

Entwinement and separation at play in two fine Fringe pieces.

Nightbird
Nightbird

Ceremony, by Michael Kass

“Michael,” she said, “it’s not going to work out.”

Michael Kass was a 35-year-old white male who, along with other “First World problems,” looked to go zero-for-eternity in relationships. He had a prestigious job and the trimmings. Then one day he up and quit. To change his ways forever he flew to Peru and partook in the mystical ayahuasca tea ceremony. He heard it would be like “20 years of therapy in six hours.”

Ceremony

Said to taste like rotting mold, Ayahuasca contains DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). The brownish liquid’s a “graduate level hallucinogen” that makes LSD “trips” look like cheap carnival rides. People vomit – their emotional baggage, some claim – and have visions of paths and maps and cosmic unity and, as Jeremy Narby says in his controversial book Intelligence in Nature: An Inquiry into Knowledge, they see entwined spirals like the “double helix” of DNA.

“The zone of what we think of as uniquely human,” Narby writes, “is gradually shrinking.” He adds that “plant communication is likely to be as complex as within a brain.” These revelations have come, in part, from research with ayahuasca.

In a performance at once personal, funny, and spellbinding, Kass literally walks you through his tea ceremony: shaman guides, freaky expectations, the sights and sounds around the circle of 19 imbibers (screaming, blithering, vomiting), and the morbid fear of being shown “who I am” face to face.


SD Fringe Festival: Nightbird

  • RAW Space, 921 First Avenue, downtown
  • $10

Nightbird, by Eddie Yaroch

There’s probably a new term for it these days. “Co-dependence”? The terms change while the condition remains the same. The old one, “neurotic interlock,” is more vivid: partners in a relationship entwine and enforce each other’s neuroses. On the surface a couple may seem to function quite well, though the inner dynamic between them is toxic.

Eddie Yaroch has become one of San Diego’s most dependable actors. With Nightbird, he unveils two more impressive skills: he wrote and directed the compelling piece in which hope vies with inevitability on stage — and in the audience.

As the old song goes, it’s not the bullet that kills you, it’s the hole.

To say Sarah has “low self-esteem” just labels her without specifics. As performed by Kristin Woodburn, she’s much more than a case study; she’s such a fractured sweetheart you can’t help but pull for her as Mark, her jealous boyfriend (a convincingly sinister Max Macke), pulls her down.

But then — what? He doesn’t?

Vimel Sephus’ excellent Woody narrates the story. In her eyes, Woody may be the only being, other than Mark, who’s paid Sarah any attention. Woody’s motives are clearly human, not sexual. He sees another, freer Sarah, whose only joy is dancing, and tries to help break the Gordian Knot of her poisoned life with Mark.

Eddie Yaroch — pronounced “Yaro,” which wastes a perfectly good “ch” – just sayin’ — writes (and directs) with a natural clarity rare in writers who don’t work all the time (and often in those who do). Given the sharpness of the dialogue, the depth of the characters, and the effective arc of the piece, Yaroch should write a lot more from now on.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Triangle-shaped in Solana Beach

The “manicured grounds” add a pop of color to an exterior that’s otherwise black, white
Next Article

Everyone has a spot at the rail

San Diego, home of the world’s largest live bait sportfishing fleet.
Nightbird
Nightbird

Ceremony, by Michael Kass

“Michael,” she said, “it’s not going to work out.”

Michael Kass was a 35-year-old white male who, along with other “First World problems,” looked to go zero-for-eternity in relationships. He had a prestigious job and the trimmings. Then one day he up and quit. To change his ways forever he flew to Peru and partook in the mystical ayahuasca tea ceremony. He heard it would be like “20 years of therapy in six hours.”

Ceremony

Said to taste like rotting mold, Ayahuasca contains DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). The brownish liquid’s a “graduate level hallucinogen” that makes LSD “trips” look like cheap carnival rides. People vomit – their emotional baggage, some claim – and have visions of paths and maps and cosmic unity and, as Jeremy Narby says in his controversial book Intelligence in Nature: An Inquiry into Knowledge, they see entwined spirals like the “double helix” of DNA.

“The zone of what we think of as uniquely human,” Narby writes, “is gradually shrinking.” He adds that “plant communication is likely to be as complex as within a brain.” These revelations have come, in part, from research with ayahuasca.

In a performance at once personal, funny, and spellbinding, Kass literally walks you through his tea ceremony: shaman guides, freaky expectations, the sights and sounds around the circle of 19 imbibers (screaming, blithering, vomiting), and the morbid fear of being shown “who I am” face to face.


SD Fringe Festival: Nightbird

  • RAW Space, 921 First Avenue, downtown
  • $10

Nightbird, by Eddie Yaroch

There’s probably a new term for it these days. “Co-dependence”? The terms change while the condition remains the same. The old one, “neurotic interlock,” is more vivid: partners in a relationship entwine and enforce each other’s neuroses. On the surface a couple may seem to function quite well, though the inner dynamic between them is toxic.

Eddie Yaroch has become one of San Diego’s most dependable actors. With Nightbird, he unveils two more impressive skills: he wrote and directed the compelling piece in which hope vies with inevitability on stage — and in the audience.

As the old song goes, it’s not the bullet that kills you, it’s the hole.

To say Sarah has “low self-esteem” just labels her without specifics. As performed by Kristin Woodburn, she’s much more than a case study; she’s such a fractured sweetheart you can’t help but pull for her as Mark, her jealous boyfriend (a convincingly sinister Max Macke), pulls her down.

But then — what? He doesn’t?

Vimel Sephus’ excellent Woody narrates the story. In her eyes, Woody may be the only being, other than Mark, who’s paid Sarah any attention. Woody’s motives are clearly human, not sexual. He sees another, freer Sarah, whose only joy is dancing, and tries to help break the Gordian Knot of her poisoned life with Mark.

Eddie Yaroch — pronounced “Yaro,” which wastes a perfectly good “ch” – just sayin’ — writes (and directs) with a natural clarity rare in writers who don’t work all the time (and often in those who do). Given the sharpness of the dialogue, the depth of the characters, and the effective arc of the piece, Yaroch should write a lot more from now on.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Ralph + Advil = “Radvil”

Kwillipers would be a pretty cool name for a cat
Next Article

All is not wonderful where Amazon set up in Tijuana

La Nueva Esperanza dwellers expect evictions, property taxes
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close