Editor’s Note: The 32nd Annual International Fringe Theatre Festival will be held May 16-29, 2023 at different venues in and around Loch Haven Park and downtown Orlando. Freeline Media will be previewing the shows right up to the festival date.
ORLANDO — If you’re in your 30s, have explored the dating scene in Orlando, and love love love the Orlando Fringe Festival, there’s definitely a show you can probably relate to, being premiered by FunnyBrownGirl in May.
Billed as a show about dating when you’re 30something, 1,001 Red Flags is comedian Shereen Kassam’s one-woman show about overcoming adversity in her career — and in her love life. Shereen wrote and performs the show being directed by Danielle Ziss.
1001 Red Flags will have six performances at The Renaissance Theatre, and “The show is a comedy centered around Kassam’s career and a long term relationship of, you guessed it, red flags,” Ziss noted. “It’s a bit of ‘dating in Orlando in your 30s’ mixed with a little true crime investigating, and the struggles of being a woman of color in a male-dominated industry.”
Shereen, an internationally touring stand-up comedian who was named Florida’s Funniest Female and has appeared on HBO and NBC, noted that “Debuting my solo show at Orlando Fringe is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. I’m excited to connect with audiences on a personal level, while offering a bit of comfort in our shared experiences. It’s an hour of laughter and fun with a side of questionable decisions!”
What’s the Background Story to this Play?
Freeline Media reached out to Shereen to raise a few red flags about this show.
Freeline Media: How did you come to develop 1,001 Red Flags?
SHEREEN KASSAM: As a comedian and storyteller, I draw inspiration from my personal experiences and observations. Dating in my 30s has been an adventure, and 1,001 Red Flags was born out of a series of questionable decisions I made. I began to share these stories in my stand-up comedy routines and was surprised at how many people could relate! With the help of my director, Danielle Ziss, we crafted the show into a one-woman storytelling comedy that blends humor, personal anecdotes, and even some true crime investigating. I’m thrilled to bring 1,001 Red Flags to the Orlando Fringe Festival and share my journey with audiences..
FM: I’ve never heard of a mix of dating in your 30s and true crime investigating. What can you tell us about that unique mix?
SK: I’ve always been fascinated by true crime stories, and as I started reflecting on my dating experiences, I realized there were many similarities between the two. Both involve investigating, analyzing evidence, and trying to piece together a story. .
FM: Now, let’s be honest here — is this a Chick Show or should guys definitely show up too?
SK: Everyone should come to the show! While the show is centered around my personal experiences, the themes of love, dating, and self-discovery are universal. Additionally, the show touches on themes of diversity and representation, and it’s important for people of all genders and backgrounds to come together and have these conversations.
FM: As you rehearse the production, what do you find are the challenges of staging a solo show?
SK: As a solo performer, I am responsible for holding the audience’s attention throughout the entire show. This means that I have to keep the energy up, engage with the audience, and deliver a captivating performance. I am lucky to have Danielle Ziss as my director. She has written and directed multiple Fringe shows, including Gone, which was awarded Orlando Fringe 2022 Patron’s Pick..
FM: Should Fringe audiences expect some surprises during the show?
SK: Everything in the show is taken from my life – you never know what you’re gonna get with true storytelling!
Where is 1001 Red Flags being performed?
The show times are:
- Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m.
- Saturday, May 20 at 4:30 p.m.
- Sunday, May 21 at 4:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 25 at 8 p.m.
- Saturday, May 27 at 9 p.m.
- Saturday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book A Christmas Eve Story. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.