A eleven-year-old who is mercilessly bullied by her classmates develops an obsession with the legendary Bigfoot.
Should you see it?
Cyndi Freeman is a special kind of storyteller; for almost an hour, she stands in front an audience and talks – and it totally works. It’s a testament to her talent that as I left the theatre, I was surprised by just how much time had gone by. I could have listened to Cyndi Freeman talk about her tumultuous childhood for another hour and been perfectly happy. Freeman is disarmingly honest and funny in a natural, conversational way.
I Was A Sixth Grade Bigfoot is about how tough it is to be a kid who is considered “weird” in middle school. Freeman’s empathy with Bigfoot made me see a whole other side of the mythical beast; like the hairy creature, Freeman was the victim of a hoax, one that turned her into a monster to adults and children alike. This show also supports one of my long held theories: middle school girls are terrifying.
Also like Bigfoot, this story snuck up on me. I’m always a little suspicious of straight-up storytellers at Fringe Festivals. Shows like this live and die by their performers, and as a result most are either terrible or fantastic. I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot definitely falls into the “fantastic” category. It was a slow, dawning moment when I realized that I was very involved in this story, mostly because it spoke to me personally – here is someone who went through something very similar to my own experience and turned out to be pretty awesome.
By the end of the show, I felt like I knew Cyndi Freeman. She has a very special way of connecting to an audience and making them feel like she’s speaking to them personally. Simply put, Freeman is great at what she does.
What did you think of I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot? Join the discussion in the comments below!