Devised and presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Conceived, written and directed by Bryn Boice
Review by Gillian Daniels
(Boston, MA) I, Snowflake is an airing of grief. It’s a response to the triumph of a boldly and casually racist America that was always there, like groundwater nourishing the trees. In fragmented pieces—commuters loudly reacting to headlines on a train, a café of women discussing the importance of their diets and dates, a family circle miming eating—we are given a portrait of a moment in our shared history. And that moment is raw and tender as an exposed nerve.
In February, fellow writer Geek and webmistress, Kitty Drexel, reviewed the show as it stood. It appears in this time of uncertainty and shocking headlines, very little about it has changed over the course of several months. A detail about Comey’s firing has been added as well as a reference to “preconditions.” The moment we are in has not yet passed.
Director Bryne Boice, after being accused of being a “snowflake” by family in response to her political leanings, decided to put together a show about what it currently feels like to be progressive (or leftist, liberal, neoliberal, socialist, moderate, etc.) in the wake of a hotly contested election and the social aftermath. She circulated a questionnaire among friends, family, and strangers to get a slender glimpse into their psyches.
Julee Antonellis is Snowflake, a silent clown done up in classic Pierrot make-up. She reacts with silent innocence, anger, shock, and pratfalls to the world falling apart around her. Antonellis is enormously talented and darkly funny.
Because the show tries to catch everything in the zeitgeist—Black Lives Matter, Pussy Grabs Back, Pro-Choice—it’s more of a potpourri basket than a solid narrative, a conversation-starter checklist rather than a deep investigation of every issue presented.
This show is a commiseration among the curious, the educated, the sensitive, the artistic, the angry, the kind—everyone who has walked through the past few months as if a dark cloud has sat above their heads. It’s a show made for and by “snowflakes,” and as such, I’m unsure just how many minds it has the power to change. For someone who assumes what liberal millennials are like, this will confirm many of their suspicions.
But works of art that reaffirm community are important, too. More people voted against the current administration than for it, a fact hand-waved away quickly by many. This play is not quite as niche as the title would have one think.
Much like the insult it seeks to reframe, I hope it catches on. Much like a snowstorm, I hope it spreads and remains utterly devastating. See it while you have the chance.
We elected a thin-skinned bigot to the office of the President dead set on turning our “democracy” into a fascist, totalitarian oligarchy dominated by the 1%. Trump is a monster. His policies, when he names them, are destructive. His narcissistic behavior is more so.
Congressional “negotiators” released a spending bill that saves the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, and National Public Radio until September at which time, the President and his impotent cronies may still cut arts funding. It is ever important to remain vigilant. And, for the love of all that’s sacred, keep creating. If you need help, ask for it. Our existence is our resistance. May the force be with you. – KD
TCG has a list of things you can do to help.
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