Love, Loss and Tales of Finding True Love
I recently received word that a D.C. dancer took the type of advice I give on dating and relationships, and created a fun, flirty play from it. After hearing this news, I had to meet this woman. And just as I expected, this girl is a genius.
Sarah J. Ewing moved to the United States from Australia at the age of 20 to pursue her dream to dance professionally. She is now 30, and has danced for CityDance for five years. She is starring in CityDance Onstage Ignite’s modern day performance of The Princess and the Pea (or) A Millennial’s Guide to Dating as part of the 10th annual Capital Fringe Festival. In this 21st Century take on The Princess and the Pea, the princess sets out to explore and share her personal experiences and thoughts of societal constructed relationships with the audience.
The performance is set up like a television show with commercial breaks included. The characters meet on a dating show, which is hosted by “Faith.” The plot is that you can play as many love games as you want, but faith will have a hand in everything you do. So maybe you’ll meet your true love through Tinder or OkCupid, but there’s no guarantee, and you can meet him or her some place else unexpectedly.
Set to upbeat tunes by Meghan Trainor’s Dear Future Husband, Bitter Sweet’s The Mating Game and other top hits, this performance brings a romantic sitcom to life following a crazy dating situation with humble, yet quirky reflections. The audience will be on a relationship roller coaster as the cast embodies their superficial, as well as meaningful roles in the dating game. This tale of finding true love uncovers both love and loss. When asked how this modern version of The Princess and the Pea varies from the original, Ewing said the main difference was the influence of technology, but that the underlining theme remained — you will find your soulmate when the time is right.
In order to relate to her character, Ewing did a ton of research and literally “played the field” to entertain the DMV’s most eligible bachelors. She went on Hinge, Tinder and OkCupid dates as part of her process and used her experiences, both good and bad, to create her script. She learned that dating apps and websites have added to the confusion of modern day dating and have made it even more of a game than what it was in the past.
While doing her research, Ewing found she liked Hinge the most, because she could see if her matches and her had mutual friends. That way she was sure not to meet up with a complete stranger. She also enjoyed Tinder and was lucky enough to have no horror stories from it. I told her to consider herself lucky because many of my single friends have had the most uncomfortable, awkward Tinder dates. But the great part is that these terrible Tinder dates make for great brunch stories.
Dating today is more stressful than it needs to be. In reality, dating back in the day and dating today are very similar. There are still many dating rules that vary from person to person. But things get complicated because there are so many more outlets to meet people from apps to online sites. You can meet endless suitors without even leaving your house. Hollywood makes it seem so easy. A princess meets her prince, and they live happily ever after. End of story. But in reality, it’s much more complicated than that. You meet someone either online or in person, you get anxious over when you should reach out to the person again and how soon is too soon. Plus, when you’re single you can’t help but wonder how long it will take for your own real life Prince Charming to come knocking on your door.
The bottom line is the love is a big deal, and it’s crazy that we depend on something so like an app to find your soulmate. We need to stop looking for that fairy tale romance and write our own happily ever afters. So download Tinder and make an OkCupid account, but don’t expect it to hand over your true love. It may lead you to them, but it’s all up to faith, after all.
The Princess and the Pea (or) A Millennial’s Guide to Dating will be performed at 8:05 p.m. this evening as well as Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 1:45 p.m., July 25 at 8:35 p.m. and July 26 at 1:30 p.m. All performances are at Dance Place: Cafritz Foundation Theater, 3225 8th Street NE. Tickets are $17 each and can be purchased online or at 45 minutes before the start of the performance at the door. A $5 Capital Fringe button is also required for admission.