Fringe review: The Wright Sisters Present: The Wright Brothers

The Wright Sisters Present: The Wright Brothers
Directed by Rebecca Merkley; Margin Release; Sugar Swing Ballroom, Upstairs; until Sun., Aug. 25.
Our Score
The Wright Sisters Present: The Wright Brothers

Written by Calla Wright, The Wright Sisters Present: The Wright Brothers shares the history of the two men who invented, built, and flew the first successful airplane from the perspective of two sisters who happen to share the same last name.

Calla Wright takes on the role of the elder Wright brother, Wilbur, while her younger sister Maya Wright takes on the role of Orville in a show that really begins at the beginning—going all the way back to a toy the boys received as children that first sparked their interest in flight. 

Between scenes, the Wright sisters break character to give historical context. This helps the sisters cover two entire lifetimes in the span of about 45 minutes, but their frequent on-stage costume changes do somewhat break up the flow of the play. 

That being said, the feeling that the sisters are playing on stage—which comes not only from the dress-up feel of the costume changes, but also from the simple props and the dolls that appear in some scenes—really suits the story their telling. The close relationship between the two brothers that the sisters are portraying is echoed as they work together to build the story.

There were some technical issues, but the sisters pressed on, and while their performances could have been slightly more polished, it was overall a delightful show. Also, given the fact that Calla Wright was working with true historical events, it’s impressive that she found a way to give the play an uplifting ending. 

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