FRINGE 2015: Junk Food Satan – In a Word: Memorable

By Jay Menard,

First off, most morbid Smarties reference ever.

In 45 minutes, Junk Food Satan answers the question about what happens if you eat the ‘red ones’ last.

But flippancy aside, Junk Food Satan is a powerful examination of the question: What makes us human? If we remove a part of ourselves — even something as intangible as a memory — do we retain who we are? If that memory serves as the foundation of what we have become, does the entire facade crumble?

Stefannie Flannigan stands out as the “program” designed to remove memories from willing subjects who come to a facility to engage in what can best be described as a virtual lobotomy. Her transition from soulless, robotic entity to a fully functioning and emotion-filled ‘human’ is dramatic and inspiring.

We watch as Flannigan slowly consumes co-star Taylor Axford’s memories — he losing his humanity as she gains it. At the point of equilibrium, we’re presented with a schism — an emotional, mental, and even physical break.

But just because memories aren’t tangible, can they not be felt. Axford refers to a feeling of itchiness — seemingly akin to the phantom limb of amputees. A part of him is gone and we’re left to consider what form that takes — is it merely ephemeral or is it much more. We’re left to consider, are our memories merely a part of us? Or are they who we are?

The show starts slowly, but once it hits its stride, it’s captivating.

Junk Food Satan is, in a word, memorable.

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