Capital Fringe Review: ‘The Freshman 15/Life in Transition’ by Derek Mong

the freshman 15/life in transition presents an intimate, honest look at the college experience for today’s young people. This performance is presented in a series of 15 vignettes that complicate the archetypical ‘college experience.’ Featuring a cast of six young people who range in age from recent high school graduates to recent college alumni, the cast paints a very believable portrait of the nuanced and, often conflicted, lives of today’s college-aged youth.

Despite the fact that the performance is presented in a very conversational tone, there is very little interaction between the cast members -the very talented Trey Tetreault, Dakota Oher, Bryanna Demerly, Stephanie Ramsey, Tyler Ward, and Tenley Spencer White. Instead, each character tells his or her story in short monologues that dovetail loosely with one another over the course of the 75-minute performance. Touching upon issues like college admissions, dream schools, stereotypical frat boys, ‘sorostitutes,’ rape, coming out, and college hook-ups, the performers cover a broad spectrum of topics, doting on each just enough to get you thinking without laboring over the nuances. Whether or not you’ve been to college doesn’t really seem to matter: at its core, the show is about self-discovery, finding true happiness, overcoming loss, and building lifelong relationships. Despite the diverse composition of our audience, it seemed that everyone was able to relate to at least one of the character’s narratives.

Although not a ground-breaking work in terms of subject matter, the freshman 15/life in transition is a show I would recommend you check out as part of your Capital Fringe experience. In a festival that is all about the abstract and the avant-garde, Freshmen 15 is a welcome break; it feels more genuine than the other Fringe shows I have seen  as it is rooted in a common, relatable experience.

So, don your college apparel, and join your fellow classmates at Fort Fringe before it closes on July 29th.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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Derek Mong
Derek is a DC-native and a graduate of Duke University (B.A Political Science). During his junior/senior year at Duke, Derek served as a Marketing and Public Relations intern at the Nederlander-operated Durham Performing Arts Center. At his internship, Derek developed marketing campaigns and assisted press in coverage of the four major Broadway engagements that season: Memphis, The Addams Family, Bring It On, and Wicked. Upon graduating from Duke in 2012, Derek joined a tech and management consulting firm in Arlington, VA, where he currently works. Derek enjoys frequenting the DC-NYC theatre scene; when not in the theatre, Derek can probably be found running outdoors, blogging, playing the piano, traveling the country, and, of course, tweeting (@derekmong). Derek is currently obsessed with Disney's 'Newsies' on Broadway.


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