Presented by PNC Arts Alive

2013 Fringe Festival

Sept. 5 – 22

2013-14 Annual Membership

Includes 2013 Fringe Festival + year-round programming

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That's not all! Click here to browse all 150+ shows in the Festival.

Photo © Johanna Weber

AJAX, the madness

Attis Theater (Greece)

A co-presentation with The Wilma Theater

U.S. Premiere

"My belief that experiment can be combined with perfectly calibrated art was confirmed by an amazing Greek director, Theodoros Terzopoulos."
Michael Billington, The Guardian (UK)

Madness has gotten its own production. Theodoros Terzopoulos, an internationally acclaimed director of Greek tragedy, has crafted a contemporary study on war's paranoia, diving deep into the murderous insanity at the core of the tragedy of Ajax.

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All The Sex I've Ever Had

Mammalian Diving Reflex (Canada)

Senior citizens from Philadelphia talk all about the evolution of their sexuality over the course of their lives, the current state of their romantic affairs, their challenges and pleasures. Hear the experiences of entire lifetimes from this panel of elders as they trigger conversations, field questions, and dance with the audience.

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Photo © Johanna Austin

Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak

Brian Sanders' JUNK

World Premiere

"A glorious artistry that captivates your senses."
Deni Kasrel, Philadelphia City Paper

Creator of many of the Festival's most popular shows, Brian Sanders premieres his newest dance sensation involving high heels, nursery rhymes, and the black hole of memory at the 23rd Street Armory. Expect raw physical daring, striking imagery, live music, and a "sweet" in-your-face attitude.

Previous Festival shows include: The Gate Reopened (2012); Sanctuary (2010); Urban Scuba (2009)

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Produced by Y2D Productions in association with Chamäleon Productions

"The audience gets gravity-defying spectacle and the wizard behind the curtain at the same time."
Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times

In this gleeful combination of circus and theater arts an ordinary man's world spirals into a gravity-defying performance of acrobatic talent, whimsy, and optical illusions. From confined spaces spring limitless worlds as video animations playfully interact with the live perfomer. All ages.

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Photo © Reinhard Werner-Burgtheater Wien

Life and Times: Episodes 1-5

Nature Theater of Oklahoma

"One of the most unforgettable adventures of my theatergoing experience." Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

Based on the entire "unremarkable" life of a Nature Theater company member, this musical extravaganza uses a 16-hour verbatim transcript of recorded audio as libretto. Presented in five episodes, each with its own genre-warping approach, the tale was generated from the question, "Can you tell me your life story?"

Previous Festival shows: Romeo and Juliet (2010); No Dice (2007)

Funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Photo © Antoine Tempe


Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group

World Premiere

"Startling, starkly beautiful and enigmatically deep."
Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune

A new work by renowned choreographer Reggie Wilson features eight virtuosic dancers pushed to the edge of their abilities. Migrating peoples and the rippling effects of culture, ritual, and body language are fused with intensely precise yet infinitely varying movement.

Previous Festival shows: The Tale (2006)

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Photo © Klaus Lefebre

On the Concept of the Face Regarding the Son of God

Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio

"A must-see for anybody interested in boundary-pushing theater." Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post

An enormous, iconic portrait of Christ looks on while human actions transpire that question the nature of faith and our desire to be in the presence of god. Does the face of Jesus indicate his presence, or absence? This visually transfixing, emotionally harrowing, and deeply felt work has stunned audiences worldwide.

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On the Concept of the Face Regarding the Son of God has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Out of Time

Colin Dunne

"An intimate, sincere and funny artistic calling card which tells us why he is who he is, and how he is where he is."
Michael Seaver, Irish Times

A leading figure of Irish step dance, best known for Riverdance, Colin Dunne integrates his virtuoso dance technique with electronic sound manipulation, archival film, and spoken word to chronicle his journey from child dance prodigy to commercial success to a man in search of his art.

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Photo © Jacques-Jean Tiziou /

Pay Up

Pig Iron Theatre Company with the University of the Arts

"One of the few groups successfully taking theater in new directions." The New York Times

Step into a labyrinthine, choose-your-own adventure about buying and selling everything under the sun. Pig Iron re-imagines its 2005 show, post financial crisis style. Part circus, part laboratory experiment, part shopping experience, Pay Up is a pay-as-you-go race against the clock to pick what pieces you want to see.

Previous Festival shows include: Zero Cost House (2012), Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2011), Cankerblossom (2010), Welcome to Yuba City (2009)

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The Ballad of Joe Hill

Swim Pony Performing Arts

Within Eastern State Penitentiary, a ragtag band of vaudeville-inspired clowns enact a troubled songwriter-turned-union-leader's life: a railcar ride, a drugstore murder, a sham trial, and a mystery woman whose reputation is in jeopardy. Music, humor, and great physicality illuminate this rousing revival of the 2006 Philly Fringe hit. Directed by Adrienne Mackey.

Originally created in 2006, this remounting has been freshly realized with new historical revelations concerning Joe Hill.

Previous Festival shows: Lady M (2011), Recitatif (2007)

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The Living Newspaper: On Location

Liz Magic Laser

Culling from a long list of therapeutic, focus group, and even cult-like techniques, audiences become members of a live study in interpreting the local news, featuring discussions with local experts on issues from Philly school closings to the city's obsession with sports teams.

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Photo by Lars Jan

The Object Lesson

Geoff Sobelle

World Premiere

Alone in an enormous pile of dirt and debris, one man reaches into the heap and finds the flotsam and jetsam of life; inherently ordinary objects become imbued with meaning before being lost and forgotten. Theater artist Geoff Sobelle's latest work embraces and ridicules the act of collecting.

Previous Festival shows: Elephant Room 2011, Amnesia Curiosa (2006), all wear bowlers (2005)

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The Object Lesson has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Photo © Josh McIlvain

The Quiet Volume

Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells (England)

In a public library, during regular hours, two audience members sit side-by-side with headphones on. Taking cues from words written and whispered, they burrow an unlikely path through a pile of books and come upon the strange magic at the heart of the reading experience.

Previous Festival show: Etiquette (as Rotozaza, 2008)

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The Society

Jo Strømgren Kompani (Norway)

"Comedic touches worthy of Peter Sellers, and a witty stream of nonsensical language." Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

In a European society dedicated to coffee, the shocking discovery of a used teabag threatens to tear the coffee drinkers' world apart. An investigation into a possible Asian infiltration spirals out of control. Civility turns to conspiracy and fear: just how far will they go to bring the traitor to justice?

Previous Festival shows: The European Lesson (2008), The Convent (2006)

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Photo courtesy of the artist

This is Not a Theater

Navin Rawanchaikul (Navin Production) (Thailand)

Based on conversations with Plays & Players actors, directors, and stagehands from the last forty years, Thai artist Navin Rawanchaikul reproduces that history, and his own experiences researching it, on gigantic illustrative banners, a comic book, and video portraits.

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Photo courtesy of the artist

Where (we) Live

Sō Percussion

"The range of colors and voices that Sō Percussion coaxes from its menagerie is astonishing and entrancing."
Billboard Magazine

Brooklyn's boundary-breaking percussion group performs its seminal work about experimentation, collaboration, and how homes influence personalities. Dance, theater, video artists, and guest artisans—violin maker, metal worker, brew master—join a stage where everything becomes a musical instrument.

Previous Festival shows: Bang on a Can Marathon (2011)

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Where (we) Live has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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