Patrice Gerideau lays herself bare in “Thank You for Staring,” a solo show that delves into the frustration, grief and embarrassment she felt after receiving a diagnosis of vitiligo. The disorder causes skin to lose its pigment, and that reality was especially wrenching for Gerideau, who is black and developed the condition on her face.
The show opens with a video of the storyteller slowly wiping off makeup to reveal the white expanses of skin around her eyes and nose. The movie could be a video installation at a local art gallery, and seemed to indicate a fresh multimedia approach. For the most part, though, Gerideau tells her story by speaking directly to the audience and reenacting moments from her past. Occasionally she slips into the personae of family members and acquaintances, from a destructive former boyfriend to an insensitive plastic surgeon, not to mention a homeless preacher who renounces vitiligo as the work of the devil.