Triple Bypass: 3 Ten Minute Plays About Living for Death & Dying for Life - Hardly Working Promotions LLC

Reviewed By Teresa Leggard

Fringe Reviewer

In Triple Bypass, directed by Brian T. Schultz and written by Deena M.P. Ronayne, three small pieces deal with some pretty big themes. There’s a trigger warning, since the production does mention abuse, addiction, and depicts mild violence, but these elements are handled in a very ‘suitable for all audiences’ kind of way. And closed captioning is provided—a nice bonus to virtual Fringe.

In the first play,  “Seeking Dignity,” a man (Kane Anderson) looks to end his suffering, and a woman (Paige Walth-Tiede) arrives to help him do just that. But there’s a catch. During their exchange, viewers are confronted with questions about suffering, mercy, and responsibility. The second piece, “Close to Black”, takes place outside a morbidly exclusive club where Amy (Michelle Schaunaman) and Karen (Julia Friedrichsen) swap music industry war stories, each woman having weathered her share of battles. As one character puts it, “We all sang the blues, really.” Some hints at the top of the scene reveal a major conceit fairly quickly, but it’s satisfying to be in on it as the rest of the play unfolds. The final piece, “Tangoed Web”, is a comedy about nature, instincts, and destiny that proves there are no small parts—only tiny characters. A suitor armed with self-help references (Jason Honerman) is on his way to woo a widow (Emily S. Davis). En route, he meets a bee (Curt Campbell), and the two debate the futility and inevitability of mating and attraction. Campbell takes to Ronayne’s puns and wordplay  like, well, a bee to honey.

Each 10-minute play (one drama, one fan fiction, and one comedy) offers a distinctly different story, but the production is linked together by poetic interludes and a shared location—an actual, honest-to-goodness black box (Capitol Aberdeen Community Theatre) with minimal sets that remind of the happy, scrappy aesthetic of Fringe.