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THIS IS MY SISTER To Take The Capital Fringe Festival By Storm

Presented at the pop-up Bliss Theatre in the former Talbots store at 1122 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. on July 13, 14, 20 and 21.

By: Jul. 09, 2024
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Love, Loss, and Elections: 'This Is My Sister' to be presented as part of Capital Fringe Festival. A new production by award-winning playwright Luigi Laraia navigates sibling rivalry in a divided nation.

The Capital Fringe Festival is about to be rocked by Luigi Laraia's "This Is My Sister," a play that promises laughter, tears, and a powerful exploration of sisterhood during a politically charged time.

Opening this Saturday, July 13 during the annual Capital Fringe Festival, the play centers on Lisa, a seemingly unflappable soccer mom, and Amy, a fiercely intelligent writer. These sisters, as different as night and day, find themselves grappling with the 2016 presidential election, a family death, and some "interesting" behavior from their neighbors.

Laraia uses "This Is My Sister" as a scalpel, exposing the vulnerability and simmering resentments that can define sibling relationships. The audience becomes an active participant, shifting allegiances with each of Lisa and Amy's unyielding monologues, delivered with a potent blend of emotional honesty and razor-sharp wit. His last play, “September 11, 1973, The Day Salvador Allende Died,” which won top awards at the 2022 Capital Fringe Festival, premieres next month at the world-renown Festival Fringe in Scotland.

Beyond the laughs, Laraia aims to spark important conversations. He describes the play as "a ferocious and scathing comedy" that offers a "much-needed dose of laughter and reflection at a time of uncontrolled digital overstimulation, blurred ethical dichotomies, and widespread disillusionment and fear in politics."

Bringing the Sisters to Life

The production features a talented cast of new faces, featuring Rachel Sexton as the ever-reliable Lisa and Alexandra Recknagel as the fiercely passionate Amy. Seasoned character actor and stand-up comic Sean Gabbert directs the production.

Both Sexton and Recknagel radiate enthusiasm for the play. Sexton, a recent transplant to D.C. from Florida, describes being drawn to Lisa's character, a woman who juggles motherhood with a hidden yearning for something more.

“Lisa is like the boss of her own life,” Sexton says. “She's a stay-at-home mom, but she's very confident in the things that she does being the person who runs her household, and she likes her life, she loves her kids, she has a good husband. But she's got this bubbling thing underneath all of that perfectionism that really drew me to her."

Recknagel, who has appeared on stage in New York, finds undeniable parallels between herself and Amy, a woman who navigates the world with a strong moral compass and struggles to reconcile her ideals with the harsh realities of the world.

"Amy is extremely sensitive, and I think she navigates the world based on her feelings and a very strong moral compass of what is right and wrong,” Recknagel says. “She doesn't take things like a president spilling out ad hominem-like insults at everyone that well. She takes everything extremely seriously and close to heart, which I do relate to."

This shared passion spills over into their working relationship. Sexton describes it as a "fun learning experience," praising Recknagel's emotional depth. Recknagel echoes this sentiment, highlighting the collaborative and cathartic nature of acting.

"Acting is a collective catharsis," Recknagel says. "We need more Amys," she continues, referring to her character, "but Amys with therapy! We need them equipped to handle their strong feelings and turn them into action."

Tickets

Presented at the pop-up Bliss Theatre in the former Talbots store at 1122 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. during the Capital Fringe Festive on July 13, 14, 20 and 21. Tickets are available at https://capitalfringe.org/events/this-is-my-sister/.




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