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San Francisco Fringe 2015

Theatre Show

Adam Smith

Genre: Comedic, Experimental, Theatre

Venue: Exit Theatre


Low Down

“Theatre Show happens when culturally savvy members of a local community gather in a shared space to enjoy live performance for approximately 55 minutes. An empty stage, a woman enters on her own volition. The show begins. Join Adam Smith in an avant-garde world of personal meta-theater as the woman’s mysteries unfold. Possibly funny and/or meaningful.”


Theatre Show is performed and written by Adam Smith and it’s the most intriguing show at the San Francisco Fringe 2015. Smith leads his show by sitting on stage upstage left at a small café table for the entire 45-55 minutes of the performance. On the table is a light, plus a script and a pen. In his smart light suit Smith speaks calmly and confidently to an empty stage – he is a narrator cum stage manager – speaking all the stage directions, which tell us what is happening – and guiding the other(s) onstage. Even though Smith is in full sight, the dark, still atmosphere and his enthralling voice evokes that of a radio play. Then he says the magic words “A woman enters…”

At this point all bets are off and without giving away a huge spoiler, it’s difficult to reveal what happens from now on. However, Smith’s performance is paramount to the success of the show. First, the personality of his unnamed character is professional, compelling, thoughtful and always calm. This certainly helps the flow and development of Theatre Show. Next, his economic script is clear, to the point and easily followed by everyone in the theatre.

From the start, the audience is engrossed, wondering what this play is about – after five minutes everyone is 100% rapt with attention, watching this story unfold. It’s not a complex story but the execution is theatrically risky – and there are variables! During several transitions Smith leaves his chair at the table and performs sequences of stretches and fascinating quirky movements, choreographed by Arletta Anderson. Piano music wafts into the theatre now and again, played live by Fred Kolouch. The cast includes guest appearances by Anderson, Kolouch, and Amy Sanger.

Smith joined the Neo-Futurists in 2008 creating non-illusory work and has since worked with the NYC Neo-Futurists and founded the San Francisco Neo-Futurists, to continue producing this genre of theatre. Theatre Show is a brilliantly deconstructed piece of comedic theatre. Smith takes a risk at every performance and each show not only has similarities but also has differences. To find out what this means exactly, you should go and see it!