The Girls Inside

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Editorial Review

'Girls Inside' at Fringe: Drive-By Drama

"The Girls Inside," Leayne C. Freeman's drama about life in a detention center for women, is so new and unfinished that it's only 35 minutes long. (You can get that kind of thing at Fringe.) Still, it's a good start -- better than expected, really -- because Freeman has worked at a detention facility in Laurel, and the voices she channels ring true.

Freeman gets it off to an action-packed start as four young women each get apprehended by unseen authorities, snarling and resisting all the way. "Why me?" they wail, and Freeman then has them tell their stories to the audience, sometimes in hip-hop style.

The performers are passionate, and they're ably directed by Anastasia Wilson. Freeman oversimplifies the issues, of course, because her goal is simple for now: she wants you to hear these girls and like them a little. If you need an introduction to the hard choices faced by the young women who land inside juvie, you could do worse.

-- Nelson Pressley