My final show for the day took place in the Asylum Lab where The Vagrancy presented their latest offering The Conduct of Life. Much like last year's award winning White Hot, The Conduct of Life is controversial and raw, and will definitely generate an equal amount of debate and discussion.
White Hot's Karina Wolfe is back with another knock-out role as the emotionally abused wife Leticia. Robert Homer Mollohan plays the central villain Orlando, an Army officer who will use whatever means are necessary to reach his goal, whether that includes rape, torture or abuse. Emily Yetter plays Nena, who is mesmerizing to watch as she goes from being a victim to being a supporter of her attacker. Belinda Gosbee as Olimpia and Jeremy Mascia as Alejo round out this stellar cast.
Much like Friends Like These, The Conduct of Life shows the progression from victim to perpetrator. It depicts that a victim who is pushed too far can all too easily turn violent. As such, the play contains explicit depictions of rape and violence and is NOT suitable for children.
Director Sabina Ptasznik has brought out all the nuances of Maria Irene Fornes' script, and has assembled a remarkable cast that bring it all to life. This is the type of play that needs to be reflected on - the images are visceral and the underlying story so profound that the audience needs to reflect upon it to fully grasp the message. On the other hand, the audience will leave the theater knowing that they have experienced something unique.
Kudos to The Vagrancy for pushing our boundaries. While their shows are controversial, they challenge our notions about life. They do not try to entertain us - they want to make us think. To that end, The Conduct of Life is a screaming success, and should prompt a lot of table talk around Fringe Central and on the street. Do yourself a favor and see this show, but make sure you go with an open mind. I guarantee that you will leave a different person.
Remaining performances are June 25 at 7 p.m. and June 28 at 9 p.m.