Tackling the David Foster Wallace text is a bold choice for any stage adaptation– even for an artist with Fish’s history. The profoundness of Wallace’s story relies upon carefully constructed sentences and an acutely melancholy tone. His most well known work, Infinite Jest, is best known for being crafted to perfection and impossible to read. Meanwhile his first novel The Broom of the System raises contentious questions about the lives of college girls. His legacy is twisted, controversial and honest to a fault. So what makes his short stories so relevant to a festival about new devised work? The stories in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again were the inception of Wallace’s career, and are often overlooked. With depth and nuance, they offer a compact look into the loneliness inside all of us that we seldom express.
In a world where the integrity of a story is often traded for higher stakes, explosions or fancy chorus numbers, Daniel Fish uses his commitment to the text and imagination to physicalize the challenges that David Foster Wallace presents. His unrelenting choices to give the audience every word in a fresh and unexpected way conjure new images from the known text with bold decision-making and unconventional theatricality. For Fish, compromise is far from the next thing.
If you’d like to see anything else in the Festival, the festival pass admits you to see all of the groundbreaking companies and works: Vision Disturbance by New York City Players, Blood Play by The Debate Society, Birth Breath Bride Elizabeth by Sleeping Weazel, and Spring Training by UNIVERSES, as well as a concert with The Army of Broken Toys, The Shakespearean Jazz Show, films, workshops and more!
Michelle Roginksy is a senior Emerson theatre major, and the Creative Producer-in-Training.