Touching ‘Warriors’ Duet’ to see Fringe Fest debut July 5
By Anthony King | SDUN Editor
Presented as part of the inaugural San Diego Fringe Festival, Circle Circle dot dot’s production of “The Warriors’ Duet,” directed by Anne Gehman and Katherine Harroff, will see three shows only: Friday, July 5 at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 6 at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 7 at 5 p.m. The performances are at the 10th Avenue Theatre’s cabaret space, located at 930 10th Ave.
“‘The Warriors’ Duet’ is a celebration of love, life and language,” the theater company said in press material, and features the poetic words of Laura Jeanne Morefield coupled with Gehman’s choreography. The play, however, was written by Morefield’s mother, theater critic and word-lover Charlene Baldridge.
After Morefield died of complications from cancer, Baldridge edited and published “The Warrior’s Stance,” a collection of her daughter’s poetry that primarily deals with the cancer diagnosis. The Fringe Festival production stems from that collection, based on both Morefield’s and Baldridge’s work.
As the play unfolds, a mother is searching for her missing daughter. The piece incorporates music and dance to tell the story of their relationship, one that is “fraught” and “competitive,” the theater company said.
“‘The Warriors’ Duet’ is the act they never performed [and] the book they didn’t have time to write,” they said, and if rehearsal pictures posted on the Circle Circle dot dot website are any indication, the final production will be an incredibly emotional and artistic show.
Baldridge said when she was asked to have “The Warrior’ Duet” in the Fringe Festival, she was honored but had no idea what the directors had planned.
“I knew only that [Harroff] loved the piece and that I trusted her as an artist and a director,” Baldridge said. “After meeting with [the company] to discuss the piece and answer questions, I set them free to become acquainted with Laura through her words. I think she’s captivated everyone through her legacy of humor and love of life.”
Harroff, Circle Circle dot dot’s artistic director and associate director for the Fringe Festival, said they are “thrilled” and “honored” to produce the play with Charlene’s blessing.
“Taking our lead from the fluid poetic text, co-director and choreographer Anne Gehman and I are creating a whimsical dance-theatre dream backdrop to explore the enchanting bond between a mother and daughter that is unhinged … but never wavers, following the diagnosis and ultimate outcome of a terminal illness,” Harroff said in the release.
Circle Circle dot dot representatives said they are proud to be a part of the first Fringe Festival in San Diego, joining “amazing organizations from all over the globe” to present a number of “innovative shows.”
“The Warriors’ Duet” features actors Kathi Copeland, Samantha Ginn, Shaun Tuazon, Soroya Rowley, Matt Carney, Stephanie Smith, Maria Juan and Desiree Cuizon. Ginn, Tuazon and Rowley are Circle Circle dot dot company members, and Tuazon said working on the production has been a “beautiful” experience, in part because of Baldridge’s work as well as watching Gehman bring the text to life.
“The poetry by Charlene and Laura is so touching that it has left me and the cast in tears during rehearsal,” he said. “Knowing Charlene personally has definitely added to the beauty of rehearsing. … It has made us all work so hard to make sure we honor her and her daughter Laura’s words and relationship.”
Tickets for the three shows are selling fast, and the Sunday show sold out before the festival opened Monday, July 1. The Fringe Festival closes Sunday, July 7. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at sdfringe.org or by calling 619-460-4500. For more information visit circle2dot2.com.