‘Pretty Fire’ marks the return to live performances at Blackfriars Theatre

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Live, indoors, and in-person!

Blackfriars Theatre will present “Pretty Fire” from October 21-November 7. The performances will be the first in front of live audiences inside the Rochester venue since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pretty Fire” director J. Simmons discussed the show and a return to performing Wednesday during News 8 at Noon. “It is a huge deal,” he said. “We have been over 18 months shutdown and trying to figure out alternatives, so to be back inside, on the stage, people sitting in seats, it feels completely surreal but ultimately wonderful.”

“Pretty Fire” will engage the audience from the start said, Simmons. “It is a traditional storytelling style of theatre and it is unique because it is presented by a multitude of voices – over 20 different characters – but ultimately, one woman playing all of those characters.”

Adryanna Elmendorf will play Charlayne Woodard. “This story actually is very close to Rochester because Charlayne Woodard grew up in Albany, New York,” noted Simmons. “So the piece takes place as she’s growing up in Albany, but also visiting her family in Georgia. It’s a really great look at a positive black experience, black culture.”

Simmons added, “It is immersive in the way that there is – as we say – it breaks the fourth wall – the fourth wall being normally where the actors are looking into the audience and they’re not allowed to interact with the audience. This breaks the fourth wall because the actor is actually allowed to talk directly to the audience at certain points and jumps back and forth between narrative and then also being the characters in which she’s talking about throughout five vignettes or short stories throughout the whole show. So it really is a really interactive piece and it allows the audience to really use their imagination and be pulled into each story and along with each character.”

Get your tickets for “Pretty Fire” by calling (585) 454-1260 or visiting Blackfriars.org.

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