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Capital Fringe Fest's 'Bethesda' Hits Close To Home

Playwright Jennie Berman Eng says she hopes locals will be able to identify with the characters in her new play, and maybe laugh at themselves a little.
Photo courtesy of Jennie Berman Eng
Playwright Jennie Berman Eng says she hopes locals will be able to identify with the characters in her new play, and maybe laugh at themselves a little.

The annual Capital Fringe Festival, which aims to bring new energy and artists to the D.C. area performing arts community, is back. This year's program includes one play that hits close to home.

Playwright Jennie Berman Eng makes her Capital Fringe debut with the world premiere of Bethesda, a drama about a family that returns to the U.S. after the father commits certain transgressions abroad that get him removed from his diplomatic assignment. Eng, who grew up in North Bethesda, says the transition is pretty hard on the family's two children.

"They feel like they've been betrayed by both parents, because nobody really listens to them. Nobody tells them the truth, and every act the family makes is an effort to increase their status, get invited somewhere, get into Sidwell. So the darker elements are really about a family falling apart, which is a tragedy," she says.

But, she says the "dark comedy" does include plenty of light moments and local humor.

WAMU is a sponsor of the Capital Fringe Festival, which runs through July 27.

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