Watermark on the Fringe: Stardust: After Dark – an immersive audio drama

By : Danny Garcia
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On a whim, I tried this show during a press preview. I was in flip-flops and shorts and was a little wary since it was all out doors and it had just recently rained. When I arrived at the Rocket Thrower Statue on the Princeton Street entrance to Loch Haven, we were given the choice to go with the Fairy, she had twinkling lit up wings, or the hunky burly pirate – a tough decision, I went with the fairy.

We were given a piece of paper with a QR code (download a QR reader prior to your show). Not bringing my own earphones, I was provided with some (bring your own, especially if they’re a better quality). After scanning the code, my Soundcloud app loaded on my smart phone (although the recording was only 33 minutes, I recommend having a fully charged device), a faint whistle started, we paused the recording and waited for the rest of the group to get situated. Once we were settled, we were asked to hit play.

My experience with the lustful fairies included a brief walk on the urban trail (I recommend a spritz of bug repellent if you attract mosquitoes like I do).

I’ve been attending Fringe for many years and I’ve seen some experimental and obscure things before. This is one of those rare moments where you can use your personal technology at a show to immerse yourself in the experience and not receive dirty looks for doing so.

There was a lot of audience interaction, dancing and touching. I did mention these fairies were lustful, all coming together at the end with the boozy pirates and the Siren, who we all came together to have a ball with. At this point, both group stories become one single experience, which in the evening adult version resulted in a surprising ending.

There are two versions of this show: A light kid-friendly version that runs only during the day and the one I experienced, after dark, the adult version. It’s a great change of pace for the Fringe experience. Stardust is both reactive and physical, not your typical hour in a dark room.

Running through May 28 at the Rocket Thrower Statue at Loch Haven Park. For more information, go to orlandofringe.org

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