There are few productions I have ever enjoyed as completely or deeply as Our Lady of the Clouds. Written in Spanish by Aristides Vargas under the name, Nuestra Señora De Las Nubes, the play has been translated and reworked for presentation at Capital Fringe under the brilliant direction of Stevie Zimmerman.
…a magnetic and unforgettable experience.
For a play with such an abstract sounding title, the narrative creates a beautiful exposé about the life of exiles, thoughtfully exploring themes of memory and forgetfulness; love and death, silence and speech and citizenship.
Two exiles, Bruna (Liz Dutton) and Oscar (Edward C. Nagel) meet one day and discover they share not only the loss of a country, but the same country. Through a series of beautiful, painful, and sometimes devastating vignettes, they remember their past identities and the country they have left behind while continually shaping and reshaping their relationship to their past, the present, and one another.
Despite the weighty material and heart-wrenching scenes, Dutton and Nagel create both a levity and the necessary distance for digestion through a vaudevillian treatment of the script and their deeply honest portrayals of their characters. Their performance, combined with the inventive, simplistic use of space, colour, props, light and sound, create a magnetic and unforgettable experience for the audience.
While Our Lady of the Clouds may especially resonate in the hearts of internationals like myself, the story is timely to anyone in DC and America at large right now as we experience our own version turbulent times and look from the forces at work in our cities and this country today to the future we dream about. Slightly absurdist and sublimely abstract, the production speaks to the heart of truths we can all understand in a magnificently magical fashion.
If you only make it to one show this month–Fringe or otherwise–make it this one.
Running Time: Approximately 80 minutes.
Tickets and information are available here.
Our Lady of the Clouds runs through July 25, 2015 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. 1333 H St NE in Washington DC.