Red Flags

immersive theatre · capital w · Ages 21+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by AARON VANEK

June 23, 2017 certified reviewer
tagged as: immesive · interactive · intense · Love

What I liked

The extremely deep and profound nature of the conceit—you will be asking yourself questions about yourself as you leave. This “play” (it’s more of a larp, or live action role playing) experience has a deep ‘propensity for “Bleed”—a larp term coined by Emily Care Boss that refers to the emotions of the player informing the character they are playing (bleed in) and the emotions of the character informing the player (bleed out). This was a chance for someone like me, who has barely dated in the traditional sense, and the last “date” was with my current wife, nearly 27 years ago, to experience the deep desire to quickly connect with another human being over a few drinks. I think it’s nearly impossible for this to not have an effect, of some kind, to a greater or lesser degree, on you.

What I didn't like

The current hot topic in larp is safety and consent. I’d have loved some “real world” boundaries before this “performance.” How far can we go physically? How do we walk out if we are too uncomfortable? Where is the line between the real world and this fictional one? I’d love to know if there was a safety net (say, a safeword), escape hatches etc., before going in.

Not that I personally needed any of that, but I think anyone who does not have a performance background (acting or larping) could be at a greater risk of trauma than those who can separate themselves from their character or performance. If you are someone who may be traumatized from emotional exposure (yours or someone else’s), this show might not be for you.

My overall impression

A one-one-one show (one actor, one audience member) that is highly interactive and as deeply personal and profound as you allow it to be. Unless you are inhuman, you will leave the show asking questions about yourself and/or life or humanity. What would happen if you did something different, or said something different? How much are you willing to expose to a stranger? What makes Emma, the actor, a bad date? Why are the “Red Flags” red flags? What does that mean about society? I didn’t see this as a bad date as much as a sad date. I personally know one person similar to Emma—don’t they deserve a chance at true love (whatever that means) as anyone else?

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