With a title this powerful, I was instantly intrigued by the world that this tale was set in: the world of high-power public relations. Although this world is often defined in terms of image and order, in The Fiery Sword of Justice, one professional, Lauren, dares to do the unthinkable: She tells the truth and often says out loud what others are too afraid to admit.
The Fiery Sword of Justice, written and performed by Lauren Letellier, who worked in public relations for almost three decades, is part of the New York International Fringe Festival, and is told in a snappy and enlightening 55 minutes. Illustrating conversations between staff members and flashing back to childhood memories, Letellier takes on the many personalities of those she is battling, while keeping the strength and sass of her own personality at the forefront. She is bold, funny, wise, and brave, and most importantly understands the insanity of a world all of us experience in one way or another -- knowing just how hard the fight for justice is.
This production goes much deeper than the image that this world tries to portray, as Letellier relates it to the various roles in a family. There is the people pleaser, the enabler, the bully -- all different types making up the workplace -- with the representations of the adult selves stemming from beliefs and labels carried from childhood. Another theme that hit home was the idea that the outside world often demands that we suppress our emotions; Letellier suggests that expressing our truth is necessary for us to retain our sanity -- especially in the workplace.
In the end, the “fiery sword of justice” proves to be a blessing and a curse for Letellier, but ultimately saves her soul. For anyone going against the grain, this story provides a sense of connection and overall hope. Letellier and her wit cannot be missed and the power of the lesson will be felt by all. Rock on!
The Fiery Sword of Justice is playing at Abrazo Interno at the Clemente through August 22 as part of the New York International Fringe Festival. For more on FringeNYC productions, click here.
Through August 22 at Abrazo Interno at the Clemente.