After attending the “Fringe Goes Long…” production titled “Broken” written by SFSU student Patricia Reynos, I had a lot to think about. This short play was a staged reading in which the actors held their scripts and referred to them the entire play – a method of emphasizing the writer and showing appreciation for their work.
I always appreciate plays that use as little props as possible, but tell a heavy story. This story in particular dealt with varying forms of abuse. The central character Belle, played by Stefanie Broos, experienced pretty much every form of abuse one could think of from all members of her immediate family.
The play delicately executed topics that can often bring up a red flag and carefully portrayed two sides of an experience. The message clearly saying that although abuse is wrong, it often comes from being abused in the first place and that when you care about someone, you can still care about her/him after they’ve abused you.
The tidy ending may have been unrealistic, but necessary in such a heavy story. The audience certainly needed something more uplifting after all the trauma throughout the play. The actors were spot-on in their performances and even through such a difficult subject matter, the detective and doctor were able to sprinkle in some humor.
This play demonstrates a brave will to express a complicated and touchy issue that many people fear to discuss. The refined playwriting and acting made for an excellent show that I would definitely see again.