Just like the lesser gods of Greek mythology struggle to be noticed over the glorious deeds of the greater gods, so do the participants of a “reality” TV show (as well as the show itself) in the Cincinnati Fringe Next’s production of Persephone’s Prerogative, reiterating, as all performers know, “In theatre, there is always competition.”
Persephone’s Prerogative, written and directed by Kyla Norton, follows the “cast and crew” of the failing reality TV show Battle or Go Baroque as they strive to define what art really is to the individual and as a whole. The stressed hostess of the show attempts to raise ratings by featuring two ordinary actresses. The two women, thinking they are there to audition for a role in a show, are expected to “battle” over this imaginary part, as predicted by a reality TV “formula,” but instead begin to discuss art and its meaning, causing the hostess to reevaluate her life and her place in the world of theatre. Despite moments of stiff dialogue and flat jokes, Persephone’s Prerogative provides an interesting look at the life of an artist and the purpose of theatre.
Kitty Davies played Meryl, the feisty Hispanic actress from the Bronx with a brusque and blunt attitude, and a gritty and hardened view of art and life in general. Though her mannerisms and humor sometimes seemed forced, Davies’ casual bearing, skeptical expressions, and witty wisecracks engaged and amused.
Cameron Baker played the TV show’s awkward yet intelligent camera man. Though his character did not actively partake in the search for the true definition of art, Baker’s eager and accommodating characterization made him especially likeable.
Persephone’s Prerogative provides a unique view of the “reality” of reality television, as well as individual interpretations of art, theatre, and life. Though the answers to these creative ponderings may never be found, all artists, as Meryl reveals, are “waiting for the sake of theatre.”
By: Lindsey Gwen Franxman