2013 Capital Fringe Festival Show Preview: ‘Dance of the Wasp and Spider’ by Suzanne Knapik

Dance of the Wasp and Spider asks bold questions: What, or who makes a shooter?  Why do neighbors always seem shocked when that “nice but kind of quiet” kid goes on a shooting rampage?  Why didn’t the family get him help? How does he transform from being the friend, brother, son you love and know so well to the embodiment of evil on the evening news?

Out-Side the Box Theatre’s Dance of the Wasp and Spider, a new stage play by Larry E. Blossom, unflinchingly stares down these questions with unparalleled realism. Blossom takes his more than 30 years in the mental health field to create an intimate, piercing look into the lives of a family that could be your own neighbors, maybe even your own family. It’s a family with the outward trappings of success and respectability. But the true story, the one that is neither fully seen nor understood by most of us, is at the kitchen table – punctuated between sibling squabbles, the sturm und drang of adolescence, and the dreams and longings of loving but flawed parents. Nothing here suggests imminent violence.

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Dance of the Wasp and Spider is Blossom’s reaction to the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook and the question that resonates in the American psyche:  How can this keep happening over and over? The issue of gun control is entrenched in political debate with both sides saying we must keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys, those who are rotten to the core.  So, who are the bad guys and how do we identify them? Is that “nice but kind of quiet kid” rotten to the core when something inside him snaps, twisting his psyche beyond recognition? Some blame the family for not getting him help or even recognizing the potential for danger. Some blame law enforcement for failing to protect us. Blossom catapults us into the very heart of these thorny issues and the weeks, days, and very moments that could erupt in tragedy.

This is Out-Side the Box Theatre’s third stage excursion (all have been written by Blossom) into exploring weighty subjects that are often so puzzling in these times, and the first involvement in the Capital Fringe Festival. A Family Reunion (2011) examined the impact of human trafficking on an American family. The Waiter (2012) portrayed a chilling story of an adolescent suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. Dance of the Wasp and Spider follows in this tradition of examining the fringes and is a perfect marriage with the Fringe Festival.

Mountain at Mr. Vernon Place United Methodist Church – 900 Massachusetts Ave., NW, in Washington, DC  20001

Only a 3 minute walk from any of 3 metro stations: Mount Vernon Square- 7th Street Convention Center Station (Green/Yellow Line), Gallery Place – Chinatown Station (Red Line), or Metro Center (Red Line/Blue Line/Orange Line).

Saturday, July 13 at 7:00 pm
Tuesday, July 16 at 6:30 pm
Thursday, July 18 at 8:45 pm
Sunday, July 21 at 2:15 pm
Saturday, July 27 at 10 pm


ABOUT CAPITAL FRINGECapital Fringe is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2005 with the purpose of connecting exploratory artists with adventurous audiences by creating outlets and spaces for creative, cutting-edge, and contemporary performance in the District. Capital Fringe’s vital programs ensure the growth and continued health of the local and regional performing arts community by helping artists become independent producers while stimulating the vibrant cultural landscape in our city.



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