One With the Current is a one-man show that dissects the idea of mob mentality. The play provides context into the people and emotions behind the January 6th insurrection.
It is not evident from the beginning this man participated in January 6th. The show begins with a man from North Carolina talking about a fishing trip he went on with a friend. Cutting between scenes from the fishing trip and monologues spoken to an unseen interrogator, a story begins to unfold about a man dealing with the outcome of the COVID-19 lockdowns and the political unrest that came with it. Eventually, it becomes evident the interrogator is asking about his whereabouts on January 6th, 2021. The fishing trip that at first comes across as a winter trip for two friends to get away and relax reveals itself to be the trip in which the protagonist decides to participate in the insurrection. They then use this trip as a cover for their involvement. Scenes of family conflicts inform the perfect storm that led this man to participate in the unthinkable. In the final scene, the protagonist enters in an orange jumpsuit and speaks to his son from prison, reflective and repentant. The slow unveiling of the truth of the story is masterfully executed, creating intrigue and surprise for audiences.
The most remarkable part of the show for me was the sound design. Using news reports focusing on politics in America, the interjections of audio between scenes helped let the audience know when the scene takes place and the political climate in which the character is immersed. In addition, the mixing added to the chaotic and stressful energy and informed the state of mind of the protagonist and the country. For a show so steeped in current events, these touches really helped set the tone and sell the themes.
The script, written and performed by Daniel Damiano, smartly uses the metaphor of fish swimming with the current and following others to underscore the main character's decisions. In the ending scene, he even acknowledges this metaphor and his place in it.
One With the Current's inside perspective of why people behaved the way they did on January 6th was illuminating and focused on the humanity of all involved.
"One with the Current"
Performed by Daniel Damiano
Directed by Leslie Kincaid Burby
36th Street Studio Theatre
312 West 36th Street, NYC
Ticket Information Here
Carmen! is a trans-multimedia artist specializing in playwriting, acting and crochet. Originally from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, they are currently based in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, returning to their Atlantic Oceanic roots. Their play Taking the Plunge has been performed at the Tank and the Chain off-Broadway and in the 2023 Fresh Fruit Festival slated this June. Carmen has also worked in front-of-house and technical positions for prominent theater organizations including New Dramatists, Portland Playhouse, Emursive and Future Proof. Carmen’s mission is to use play to create meaningful representation by and for underrepresented communities. For more information on Carmen! Follow them on socials @carmenacetosociety or check out www.carmenburbridge.info