Reviewed by Marc Wheeler
Pick a white chair, any white chair. There’s eight to choose from, each sitting across a dark chair facing it. The specific chair you select will give you an experience unlike anyone else in the room. And thus begins your journey.
Anne Katherine Lesser’s Getting To Know You: An Experiment In Intimacy being presented at the Hollywood Dance Center (Main Space) is what Fringe is all about.
Experimentation. Creativity. Risk.
This immersive theatrical undertaking gives you the opportunity to find yourself involved in eight different relationships over the course of 45 minutes, each with increasing intimacy and all investigating human fears in relationships. For those who like to take chances and discover what theater can look like outside the usual audience-stage setup, Getting To Know You is a wonderful dive into the waters of interactive art.
The actors — Jesse Goldhor, Dasha Kittredge, Melissa Klein, Kate Lane, Josh Mann, Brigid Marshall, Jan-David Soutar and Sarah Ullman — all do fine work in bringing this piece to life. Yet it is their gift of identity that makes their work that much more powerful. This gift, when you accept it, allows you free reign to explore and play in a world that may look much unlike your own, or perhaps, eerily similar. Whatever it is, it grants you the freedom to choose and express how you wish to show up with other human beings.
To get the most of this interactive show, it’s highly recommended you allow time afterwards to discuss and share your experiences with fellow participants. (Bringing along a friend could also help aid in discussion). Not only is it a great way to connect with other human beings, it’s a great way to solve the puzzle of which you’ve just been a part.
Getting To Know You is a World Premiere Hollywood Fringe Festival event that takes you off the beaten path to get up-close and personal with strangers. All it takes is saying yes to an empty white chair.
Anne Katherine Lesser is writer, director and producer.