Denise McCormack Has Some Love Stories For You
Denise McCormack has some stories for you. Love stories.
A one-woman stand-up revisiting the secret and soulful nuances of motherhood, childhood, family, and life, Love Stories comes to the 2018 Fringe Festival with performances in Old City and Trenton, NJ. In it, McCormack brings to life literary and traditional tales to capture the essence of women’s issues and issues of the heart. She spoke to FringeArts about the power of stories.
FringeArts: How did you come up with the idea for Love Stories?
Denise McCormack: I was researching stories for an upcoming show with the theme of transformation during the upsurge in conversation about women’s issues, and I came across one of the literary tales that I ended up incorporating into Love Stories. It resonated so deeply with my own experience that I digested it and it became part of me. With that one story as a start, I felt that it was necessary to expand the performance to a full one-woman show of women’s stories, the kind that all of us can relate to and that have historically been dismissed as embarrassing or a fact of life that we must accept and live with.
FringeArts: Did you go into the piece knowing the themes you wanted to bring out, or did those themes come out in the stories you chose?
Denise McCormack: The themes are apparent in the tales. The lovely thing about stories is that we receive the messages that we are ready to hear. We view them and understand them from our individual perspectives. Sometimes, those perspectives are shared; other times, they are quite different. But that’s okay.
FringeArts: Why do we like stories?
Denise McCormack: Stories are powerful. They reflect who we are and instruct us in how to deal with our everyday situations. They allow us to understand that everyone is afraid, that others have survived our dilemmas, that we are, each of us, human.
FringeArts: How did you choose the tales in the piece? Why?
Denise McCormack: For this program, I selected two literary tales separated by a folktale. If we think of stories on a spectrum, folktales are relevant to the human experience that we all live them. The details are worn away, but the essence of the story is very timely. Fairy tales reshape the folktales, adding details that reflect the cultures and mores of the authors who write them. Literary tales are more personal and contain details of the author’s lives; they’re personal experiences captured and shaped into story. The more that the audiences identify with the characters, themes, and obstacles, whether through concrete situations or metaphor, the more powerful that story is for the teller and the listener.
FringeArts: What else excites you about your upcoming show?
Denise McCormack: The camaraderie amongst the artists, producers, and venue staff is amazing and generous. This is a learning process, and I look forward to this journey, this story, as being the first of many, forever evolving. Just as importantly, I look forward to sharing my performance art and providing an opportunity for others to become familiar with its allure and its power to transform and connect us all through a broader, deeper understanding of each other.
What: Love Stories
When: September 8 + 13, 2018
Where: The Center for Art in Wood, 141 North Third Street + Artworks Trenton, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton, NJ
Cost: Pay What You Wish
Adapted and Performed by Denise McCormack