Fringe Fest 2013: Threads follows woman into war-torn Saigon
In Threads, solo artist Tonya Jone Miller pays homage to her American mom, Deborah, who, at the height of the Vietnam War, travelled to Saigon to teach English at the Buddhist University. The stakes are high and some of the episodes are compelling; just wait till you see the heavily pregnant Deborah racing to get out of Saigon before it falls. Mostly, Miller bounces skillfully between story lines, weaving together Deborah’s time in Vietnam, the effect that the war had on her soldier brother, Chuck, and the international intricacies of Deborah’s love life. Some material feels like filler, however: bits about food prep and an orphanage called the Swiss Village don’t fuel the main narratives, for instance. Miller doesn’t let the audience know that she’s writing about her mom, so in descriptions of saintliness, the writer, who is also the speaker, might appear self-aggrandizing. Still, Threads holds the attention.
At the Waterfront Theatre on September 8 (12:30 p.m.), 9 (6:45 p.m.), 12 (8:40 p.m.), and 14 (7:50 p.m.).