This show was everything promised by its title. Clear and to the point, Cult Model is about one’s experience with gatherings of people who create cults, and how and why we are so drawn to them. Truly thought provoking, the stories shared by Mr. Fales leaves one to understand better how we get caught up with cults in the first place, and how dependent we have become. In the end, I wished to be free from all cults. Because just about everything can be turned into a cult. It’s just that, as humans, it is our nature to reach out to each other. And therein lies the conflict. Pretty fascinating.
The Fringe Festival, both from New York and in Hollywood, has long been regarded as a workshop ground to try out new theater. It gives the opportunity for written works to have a moment to be heard. It is a succession of many shows running back to back, without time for striking or building of sets. It is all very quick and mass-production like. That said, it is hard to quibble with the festival. It is an opportunity for audiences to get an early glimpse into a production, and that’s what it is. So if you go, you accept that as part of the experience. That’s how many works get started.
My general impression of the show is that it shows amazing promise and potential. After two decades in theater catering to a largely gay following, Steven Fales has tapped into the next big thing: stories about our culture from his view – and he takes us in. It no longer matters if one is gay or straight, and Fales wisely gets past those trappings to explore the question, “what’s next?” In doing so he creates a powerful argument that we are all caught up in the same lures that seduce today’s Twitter culture for the sake of self-importance – or belonging. While the Fringe production only clocks in for an hour, it is only a taste of what can be done with a fully fleshed out production.