Incognito, at Bailiwick Repertory and Apple Tree Theatre. Writer-performer Michael Fosberg’s solo show tells the story of a young man who sets out to find his biological father only to discover he has roots in an entirely different culture than the one in which he was raised. Indeed, he finds himself welcomed into a proud clan boasting significant accomplishments. At first he’s angry with his mother for concealing this identity. But as his search continues, his awareness grows–of the restrictions on women of his mother’s generation, of his own naive perceptions of his birthright, and of the barriers in a polarized society that force loving parents to make difficult choices.
Fosberg’s script could be trimmed to get us to his quest more quickly. But under Michael E. Myers’s sensitive direction, Fosberg’s portrayal of the pilgrim seeking his roots quickly engages our interest: his journey becomes our journey, his astonishment at his lost heritage ours. This last reaction is important: his self-interrogation is more immediate if we share rather than anticipate his discovery. “Did you see me differently when you knew?” he asks the audience. “Did my features suddenly change?”