Posts Tagged ‘Fringe Festival’

Fringe at 20 Profile: Manfred Fischbeck

Posted September 21st, 2016
Above: Direction of Harmonization (photo by Bill Hebert)


manfred-fischbeckName: Manfred Fischbeck

Type of Artist: Multi Media Dance Theater, Artistic Director

Company: Group Motion Multi Media Dance Theater

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in: All Group Motion Multi Media Dance Theater shows as Artistic Director

Fringe show I participated in for 2016VIBRATO: 3 Solo Dances – Artistic Director, performer (music and spoken word)

First Fringe I attended: I can not remember, I was there from the beginning of time

First Fringe I participated in: Daedalus, as dancer/performer


Vibrato (photo by Dominique Rolland)

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: I believe it was Interspace at the Painted Bride with Kenshi Nohmi (Japan). Or Spaces with Carol Brown (London) at the Arden Theater.

The craziest idea for a Fringe show I wish to one day do: A live stream interactive improvisational performance with another artist/company on another continent.

Fringe notes: I was member of the first two or three years curating panel for the Fringe Festival.


Lung-Ta (photo by Bill Hebert)


Chinnamasta (Bill Hebert)

Fringe at 20 Profile: Anna Michael

Posted August 29th, 2016

Anna Michael (photo by Zoë Carmen)

Name: Anna Michael

Type of Artist: Devisor/Collaborator/Producer

Company: The Hum’n’bards

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Dolls of New Albion, 2015 – Actor

Fringe show I’m participating in for 2016:
Pangaea: A Folk Opera – Deviser/Collaborator/Producer/Performer

First Fringe I attended and highlight: So I am not entirely sure, because I was very young, like five years old. Which, I mean, how lovely and fortunate was I that my parents thought that would be a good thing to do. In collecting our memories we recall it being outdoors, and free. In my memory it was an exciting downtown adventure in Old City I think, and the piece we saw was a dance piece, and there were two women in tutus, and they were dancing to Frank Sinatra, or maybe they were singing Sinatra while they were dancing, but again I was five, and at this point the memory might be fused with another, or fictionalized in my head. I remember they had umbrellas, and I was running around outside and getting to experience the piece as myself without being restricted or told to sit down and be quiet. It is a strangely strong memory, and in retrospect, the production, being one of my earliest memorable exposures to theater, probably strongly affected my ideas about theatre, and what an audience’s experience is allowed to be.


Michael and John DiFerdinando in Dolls of New Albion (photo by Nicholas Pontoski)

First Fringe I participated in: That would be last year as an actor in the Dolls Of New Albion. The production itself was a lot of fun, it is a sort of underground steampunk opera with a bit of a casual cult following. We were out in Manayunk so audiences were not super fruitful, but we did have this group of girls, and 3-7 of them would come to almost every single performance. They would come in costume, sit in the front row, and sing along, and applaud, cry, and laugh generously. We chatted with them after most shows and they told us about how the show saved their lives, and that they had never been able to see a live performance of it up until our production. It was the most unusual performer/audience relationship that I have ever had. They honestly made the show for me.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Shelli Pentimall Bookler

Posted August 24th, 2016
Headshot Full 2016

Shelli Pentimall Bookler, photo by Chorus Photography

Name: Shelli Pentimall Bookler

Type of Artist: Producer, director, actor, playwright

Company: Underbite Theatre Company

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Snyder v Phelps, the Musical, 2014 – Director
Salesmanship for Life and Limb, Tall Grass Productions, 2012 – Performer
Alchemy of Desire, 2008 – Performer

First Fringe I participated inAlchemy of Desire. I was so excited to see us covered on a local television news broadcast!

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: My musical, Snyder v Phelps is based on the controversial 2011 Supreme Court decision for the Westboro Baptist Church. On our opening night, Al Snyder, father of the marine who was killed in Iraq, who sued Fred Phelps and the WBC after they protested his funeral with signs reading “God hates fags” and “Thank God for dead soldiers” attended the performance and met the cast afterwards.


(L to R) Brittany Adams Recupero, Katie Romano McGrier, Marty Sherman, Maria Leonetti, Marquis Wilson in Snyder v Phelps (photo by Kevin Monko)

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experiencedSalesmanship of Life and Limb was a wonderfully absurd comedy where a group of sales folk bought into the theory that is we amputated our limbs, the blood flow would be more confined to our brains and we would be more brilliant and creative. The end of the play had us all hobbling around with our missing limbs and featured our mentor with just his head on a podium, proud and still promoting his theory.

A Fringe show that influenced me as an artist: A few years ago I saw an opera of stories by Edgar Allen Poe. The music was brilliant the stories true to the text and there was a lot of creativity in the staging and lighting and was a great way to connect contemporary audiences to a classic genre.

Fringe at 20 Profile: Scott Sheppard

Posted August 15th, 2016
Above Photo: (L to R) Jesse Paulsen, Jack Meaney, Sheppard, and Alison King in Speed of Surprise (photo by Pete English)


Name: Scott Sheppard

Pictured: Scott Sheppard Credit: Pete English

Scott Sheppard in Speed of Surprise (photo by Pete English)

Type of Artist: Theater Artist

Companies: Lightning Rod Special, Groundswell Theater Company, Pig Iron Theatre Co.

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
How to Solve a Bear, 2010 – played Connie LaPire, co-creator
Speed of Surprise, 2011 – played Bernie, co-creator
Hackles, 2012 – played Greg, co-creator
Go Long Big Softie, 2013 – played Derek, co-creator
99 Breakups, 2014 – played guy in bed, co-creator
Underground Railroad Game, 2015 – played Stuart, co-creator

First Fringe I attended: I’m not sure if it was the first Fringe I attended, but I remember watching Untitled Project #213 in 2010 and then sitting outside of Caribou Cafe for a few hours talking about the show, deciding that I wanted to make theater for the rest of my life.

First Fringe I participated in: I played Harry Truman in a rock opera one year about a political campaign for an invented position. The most memorable moment was when I was caught doing steroids but sang a song about how I did it because I loved Philadelphia so much. Everyone cheered.

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: How to Solve a Bear, 2010. My favorite moment was getting pulled out of the ranger station by the hairy arms of the bear (our co-writer and Assistant Stage Manager Alex Cohen), getting pulled back and forth, clinging to a trash can for dear life until finally, Sandy, my sweetheart in the play, lit a stick of dynamite (cardboard tubing with a sparkler adhered) and stuck it in my hand, so that when the bear tried to eat me we would explode together in one fiery ball of martyrdom and chaos.

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: I may have to say Go Long Big Softie, which we made in an old South Philly boxing gym, 7up bottling plant, Vietnamese Cultural Center. We literally made that show amidst 5-15 hippy, burner artists who were living in the space at the same time as we made the show. One night two of them got married on the roof of the space during our performance and we had to really implore them to stay on the roof until the show ended. It was one of those, “it’s fine if you guys want to have your wedding up there right now, but just make sure everyone goes to the bathroom, because when the show starts you’re trapped up there,” kind of situations.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Rebecca Wright

Posted August 2nd, 2016
Rebecca Wright pic

Rebecca Wright (photo by Kate Raines)

Name: Rebecca Wright

Type of Artist: Director, Creator

Company: Applied Mechanics

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Rrose Selavy Takes a Lover in Philadelphia, New Paradise Laboratories, 2004 – crew
Batch, New Paradise Laboratories, 2007 – crew
Inside Julia Child, with John Jarboe, 2009 – director/creator
It’s Hard Times at the Camera Blanca, Applied Mechanics, 2009 – director/creator
Portmanteau, Applied Mechanics,  2010 – director/creator
Overseers, Applied Mechanics, 2011 – director/creator
Some Other Mettle, Applied Mechanics, 2012 – director/creator
Black Market, Applied Mechanics, 2015 – director/creator

2016 Fringe show I’m participating inFEED with Applied Mechanics, as director and creator

First Fringe I attended: 2004 was my first Fringe in Philadelphia. Everything was a thrill! I remember seeing Thaddeus Phillips do his Tempest in an alleyway, and watching Brian Sanders’ JUNK over a chain link fence by the Festival bar.

17 overseers treehouse

Mary Tuomanen in Overseers (photo by Tasha Doremus)

First Fringe I participated in: I ran camera for New Paradise Laboratories’ Rrose Selavy Takes a Lover in Philadelphia in 2004. I taped the show for live feed every night, and also had a few prep tasks that included hot-gluing a string to a glass bottle and emptying out a shop vac so that it could be set to reverse and blow rose petals out all over the space. I felt so cool. I got to watch that show maybe a dozen times and I loved it more with each viewing.

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: I produced two shows at once in 2009—Inside Julia Child with John Jarboe and It’s Hard Times at the Camera Blanca with Applied Mechanics. They were super different and both super memorable. John and I were living together at the time, and we had to make two tarte tatin for every show. I remember peeling and coring hundreds of apples together with this hand crank apple peeler/corer he got Williams Sonoma to lend us for the labor. John also performed in Camera Blanca, which Applied Mechanics produced at Murph’s Bar in Fishtown. They donated the space to us, but we didn’t realize until right before opening that they weren’t planning on closing down the bar during the show—rookie mistake on our part to not be clear on the agreement!—so every night was this wild mix of regulars and Fringe audiences, plus our actors who were playing down and out circus performers all over the bar.

som rad

(clockwise from front) Thomas Choinacky, Mary Tuomanen, Kristen Bailey, John Jarboe, and Jessica Hurley in Some Other Mettle (photo by Maria Shaplin)

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: For Overseers in 2010, we rented the upstairs storeroom of a marble and tile business on Washington Ave. It hadn’t been used in years and was full of weird old stuff, and we had to (try to) sweep and mop all this 50-year-old tile dust out of there so that we could use the space. I remember just being covered in muck. And it was so hot in there that we had to eat our company meals outside—so many dinners sitting on a tarp in the parking lot! Inspired by the space, we built a play about a city suffering from drought. We ended up serving the audience cold beer and popsicles during the show, and giving them little spray bottles to keep themselves cool with.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Jennifer Kidwell

Posted July 29th, 2016

Name: Jennifer Kidwell

Pictured: Jenn Kidwell in The Underground Railroad Games Credit: Johanna Austin

Pictured: Jenn Kidwell in Underground Railroad Games Credit: Johanna Austin

Type of Artist: theater-maker, performer

Company: Lightning Rod Special

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Gayze: the Miniseries, 2013 – performer
The Object Lesson, 2013 – “assistant director”
99 Break-ups, 2014 – creator, performer
Underground Railroad Game, 2015 – creator, performer

First Fringe I attended: 2012’s Untitled Feminist Show (I’m a big Young Jean Lee fan)

First Fringe I participated in: 2013. The highlight was getting to watch people watch The Object Lesson.

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: Underground Railroad Game – it was amazing walking into Christ Church the first day our set was actually in there.

Credit: Kate Raines

Credit: Kate Raines

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: sight-free Macbeth? Or, maybe Go Long, Big Softie in a soon to be demolished boxing gym?

A Fringe show that influenced me as an artist: Bang! – Made me want to go as far as possible

An artist I have met or was exposed to in the Fringe who I went on to collaborate with: I met Steven Dufala while working on The Object Lesson in 2013 and we’re still collaborating and now working together on two projects.

The craziest idea for a Fringe show I wish I had done or to one day do: Drag version of Drunk History stumbling tour/bar crawl/pageant of/through Olde Philadelphia.

Fringe at 20 Profile: Adrienne Mackey

Posted July 11th, 2016

Name: Adrienne Mackey

Adrienne Mackey, Swim Pony

Adrienne Mackey, Swim Pony

Type of Artist: Theater and lately interdisciplinary

Company: Swim Pony Performing Arts

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
A Portrait of Dora as a Young Man, Stolen Chair Theatre Co, 2003 – actor
Hell Meets Henry Halfway, Pig Iron Theatre Company, 2004 – assistant director, sound operator
Like Ink and Paper, 2004 – director
Bardo, Leah Stein Dance Company, 2005 – production manager and vocalist
The Ballad of Joe Hill, 2006 – director
recitatif, 2007 – director
Echo, Tribe of Fools, 2007 – director
The Giant Squid, The Berserker Residents, 2008 – director
Purr, Pull, Reign, Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret, 2009 – director
Lady M, 2011 – director
The Ballad of Joe Hill, 2013 – director
It’s So Learning, The Berserker Residents, 2015 – outside eye – fringe

Also a past LAB fellow.

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: Possibly working with Mary McCool on her in-progress piece. Still not definite . . .

First Fringe I attended: My initial experience with Fringe was in 2000 as a first semester freshman in college. I was only weeks into school, living away from home for the first time and so excited to see what Philly’s arts scene had to offer. I remember taking the train into Philly with some guy on my hall named Dima who I barely knew. We picked a show at random—all I remember about it was that it was a middle-aged woman in a tutu who took off all her clothes halfway through the show. I had no idea what was happening and I remember feeling both overwhelmed and extremely cool to be doing something so weird. Later that same festival I saw a play in a karate dojo in which actors were trapped in a scene with their own feelings portrayed by other actors wearing black and white mime makeup. Sort of Marcel Marceau meets No Exit by way of Pirandello. I remember thinking, “I could do that.” Two years later I was in my first fringe show.

First Fringe I participated in: While I was still a junior in college I acted in a show called Portrait of Dora as a Young Man that explored Freud’s famous case of Dora, one of the few women who ever rebelled against his analytic theories. We rehearsed an entire summer together at Swarthmore College—a mix of folks who had just graduated and a bunch of us still in school. We lived together and worked together in this commune-style experiment in creative collaboration. I played Herr K, a neighbor to the young troubled girl, I think, it’s all a blur now and designated this mostly using an old fedora and trying to talk in a low voice.

 The Ballad of Joe Hill, 2013. Credit: Kyle Cassidy

The Ballad of Joe Hill, 2013. Credit: Kyle Cassidy

What a gorgeous mess! I broke up with my boyfriend, the director, near the end of the process and half of us ended up furious with each other because we would rehearse all day and then have to go home and sleep 10 people in a tiny house with no room to get away from each other. I remember taking the train into Philly from Swarthmore and setting up a dress form mannequin in the courtyard of the old National Museum of American Jewish History (behind the bank on 5th and Market). I did an entire scene puppetting that inanimate mannequin while playing a German man named Herr K. Dear god, we had no idea what we were doing—all the actors wore khaki pants and either a forest green or maroon long sleeved shirt and did vocal warm ups outside the museum’s entrance as homeless people passed by looking at us in mild horror.

Read More

Fringe at 20: John Schultz

Posted July 6th, 2016

Name: John SchultzJohn Schultz Headshot-003

Type of Artist: Actor/Director

Company: Bright Invention

Fringe shows I’ve participated:
Missed Connections, 2009 – actor
The Heart of the Revolution, 2013 – actor
Till Birnam Wood . . . , 2014 – director, producer, actor

Fringe show I’m participating in for 2016: This year I’ll be directing and producing my second immersive rendering of Shakespeare, Let’s Fuck Around With Hamlet.  The piece will be running in the Power Plant basement, and will be a show for anyone who hates Shakespeare and anyone who loves Shakespeare just little too much.

First Fringe I attended: I don’t remember the first Fringe show that I saw, but the first Fringe show to really leave its mark was Gunnar Montana’s Resurrection Room. I had never experienced that kind of work in Philly before. It was incredible.

First Fringe I participated in: My first Fringe show was in 2009, Missed Connections. It was a piece based entirely on found Craigslist postings. I believe it was among the first shows in West Philly, we ran at Curio Theatre, and at one point I delivered a monologue dressed as a giant cock. A penis, not a rooster. There is a picture out there somewhere.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Bruce Walsh

Posted June 29th, 2016

Name: Bruce Walsh

Chomsky vs. Buckley, 1969 (2012) (l - r) Rob Weatherington (Chomsky) and Bruce Walsh

Chomsky vs. Buckley, 1969 (2012)
(l – r) Rob Weatherington (Chomsky) and Bruce Walsh

Type of Artist: Playwright

Companies: Kaibutsu. And I did a show with Chris Davis, Douglas Williams, and Sarah Mantel.

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
The Wounded Body, 2002 – playwright
Dasein, 2002 – playwright
The Guided Tour, 2004 – playwright, director
Northern Liberty, 2005 – playwright
The Guided Tour, reprise, 2006 – playwright
Chomsky vs. Buckley, 1969, 2012 – playwright, director
Holly’s Dead Soldiers, 2013 – co-playwright, co-director

First Fringe I attended: 1998. I was a sophomore at Temple University. I saw the opening performance of Brat Productions’ A 24-Hour The Bald Soprano, directed by Madi Distefano. It remains one of the highlights of my theater-going life. I was pretty much right out of high school. I think the edgiest thing I had seen to that point was Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July. I had no idea theater could be so bizarre, ridiculous, hilarious, lugubrious, et cetera, et cetera. At about 2 a.m. that night, I hailed a cab and watched three more performances. In one of them, the Maid stepped off the stage, sat in my lap, and gave her monologue while tussling my hair.

First Fringe I participated in: 2000. My friend Chanel Benz—now a novelist in Mississippi (long story)—produced and directed two of my very greenest, decidedly experimental short plays. It was on the third floor of Christ Church, and it was something like 104 degrees up there. Just before the show started, the ushers turned off the fans so the audience could hear every single word clearly! There was this very loud collective moan, and . . . lights up! I wanted to run screaming. Chanel and the actors did a wonderful job, though.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Meghann Williams

Posted June 27th, 2016

Name: Meghann Williams

credit: Lauren Schwarz

credit: Lauren Schwarz

Type of Artist: director, burlesquer, writer, props maker, teller of dirty jokes

Companies: I am one-half of Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque (with Gigi Naglak) and was a co-founder of Flashpoint Theatre Company (RIP)

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Fatboy, Brat Productions, 2007 – assistant director, stage manager
Chlamydia dell’Arte: ASex-Ed Burlesque, 2009 – creator, performer
Chlamydia dell’Arte: MORE Sex-Ed, 2013 – creator, performer
Zombies…With Guns, Tribe of Fools, 2015 – guest zombie

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: None this year, looking forward to seeing some of my favorite companies and performers and hopefully discovering some new weirdos to love.

First Fringe I attended: Corinna Burns mentioned my first Fringe show in her interview – Tiny Macbeth. It was 2002 or 2003, back when everything happened in Old City and everyone wanted to hang out at the Fringe bar every night to see what was up. I was so excited to see something so small and so smart and as bizarre as Macbeth performed by one man, a desk lamp, and a legion of toys. I wish I could remember the performer or company name.

First Fringe I participated in: I worked at the Fringe before I participated as a performer. I was the Volunteer Coordinator in 2004, the year the name changed to Live Arts and people were just losing their minds about it for some reason. On my first day of work the entire staff went out to see a workshop showing of Pig Iron’s Hell Meets Henry Halfway. I fell pretty deeply in love with every person in that cast and had the distinct feeling that perhaps I wasn’t actually cool enough to work for this organization. Beyond that memorable first day, working with the Fringe in 2004 was how I met some of my absolute favorite people and I’ll forever feel like it was a charmed time.

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: Gigi Naglak and I premiered the original Chlamydia dell’Arte show at the 2009 Fringe. CDA is a vaudeville-style burlesque (skits and scenes and fan dancing and strip tease and songs) where every section deals with different elements of sexual education in a fun, engaging way. There is a recurring CDA sketch called Cooking with Wine, which is basically a couple of boozy morning show hosts demonstrating different techniques (oral sex techniques in the 2009 iteration of the show). My incredibly supportive parents came to the show and I was a little nervous about how they’d like Cooking With Wine. When I asked my dad what he thought of it he paused for a moment and then said, “You know, Meg . . . you put a dildo in a room with that many people and someone’s gonna suck it.” Words to live by.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Megan Bridge

Posted June 24th, 2016

Name: Megan Bridge

Megan Bridge and Meredith Magoon. Photo: JJ Tiziou

Megan and Meredith Magoon. Photo: JJ Tiziou

Type of Artist: Dance, performance

Company: <fidget>

Fringe shows I’ve participated in: In the early 2000’s I co-produced, choreographed, and performed in several shows in the curated Fringe which at that point was application based. I was matched up by the festival with other choreographers and we shared double and triple bills. My wedding was a Fringe show in 2003. When the structure changed in 2004 I was curated into the festival one last time, and then my work wasn’t produced again by the Fringe until 2015, with Dust (and this was not part of the festival). More recently I’ve been involved with Fringe Festival shows as a venue manager of <fidget> space.

First Fringe I attended: 1997 was my first Fringe, I remember nothing except that the cabaret was at a place called Helena’s. The Late Nite Cabaret was always a highlight but I also remember some amazing outdoor theater in the Quarry Street alley, right next to what was then The Quarry Street Café.

First Fringe I participated in: I first participated in the Fringe in 2000, right out of college. I performed two solos, one choreographed by Rennie Harris and one by me. I think the show was just called Triple Bill . . . I was placed on a shared bill with Fleur Frascella, a bellydancer, and Rodney Mason, who was doing a solo show (he was then a Rennie Harris Puremovement dancer, and has gone on to do a lot of great acting stuff including playing Tony Sinclair, the Tanqueray gin guy). The most memorable part of that show was that Rodney, Fleur and I, total strangers to each other till that week, took all our completely different works and wove them together in a seamless program where we cross-faded all our pieces, sharing entrances and exits. That was my first “professional” gig and we got a great review by Merilyn Jackson in the Philly Inky, which called our show the Fringe’s sleeper hit!

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Mel Krodman

Posted June 21st, 2016

Name: Mel Krodman

Type of Artist: Performer, creator

Companies: I make and perform work with various ensembles including the Philadelphia-based companies Pig Iron Theatre Company, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, and No Face Performance Group. And since 2010 I’ve worked in collaborative partnership with New Orleans-based choreographer Kelly Bond.

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Elephant, 2010, with Kelly Bond – performer, creator
Colony, 2012, with Kelly Bond – performer, co-choreogrpaher
Swamp Is On, 2015, with Pig Iron Theatre Company and Dr. Dog – performer, creatorIMG_4776

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: Sincerity Project with Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (performer, creator).
Also in November my show JEAN & TERRY: Your Guides Through Dark, Light, and Nebulous will premiere at FringeArts.

First Fringe I attended: The first time I came to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival was with Kelly Bond when we were producing Elephant in 2010.  We were both still living in DC and drove into town in pouring down rain, rushing to make it to the Kimmel on time to see Jérôme Bel’s piece Cédric Andrieux. I was absolutely blown away by this work—instantly impacted, forever changed. As soon as the show was over we jumped back into the car and were rushing (possibly even more than before) to make it to Brian Sanders’ JUNK. It was a truly jam packed evening of dance work at two ends of a spectrum: Bell’s stripped down and Brian’s spectacle. From then on I was in love with Philly and totally hooked on the festival.

First Fringe I participated in: I was a co-creator and performer, along with Lillian Cho, in Kelly’s piece Elephant. Kelly had found a venue that was an artists’ collective—FLUX space—in North Kensington up near Allegheny and Front streets. Our piece was performed entirely in the nude, which was kind of hilarious in this raw space with fine sawdust everywhere. And it was hot out and we were sweating. So you can imagine. But that kind of artists’ space was so inspiring to see. It was my introduction to the badass DIY Philly art scene that I love. It was during this run of Elephant that we met the magnificent Megan Bridge of <fidget> space. She invited us to come back and perform Elephant at <fidget> the following spring. In 2014-15 Kelly and I were yearlong artists in residence with <fidget>, so we have Fringe to thank for launching a significant creative relationship and friendship.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Todd Cardin

Posted June 17th, 2016

Name: Todd Cardintodd cardin headshot

Type of Artist: Writer, actor.

Company: ETC Theater

Fringe shows I’ve participated in: 1WG (2005), Dramamine High (2007), Like, So Totally 80’s (2008), Destination Summer (2009), The Angel, The Devil and Greg Brady (2010), Getting The Knack (2011), The Has Beens (2013), By The Slice (2013), # (2014), Man on The Moon (2015).

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: I haven’t written it yet. I better get cracking.

First Fringe I attended: Jerry Perna did a one man show at the Shubin in 2005.  The title escapes me, but it was brilliant.

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: For our first show, we did 1WG, a one woman musical based on the life of Melissa Gilbert.  We were served papers from her legal team, forcing us to alter the show.

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: Dirty Diamond at the Triangle Theatre . . . Genius.etc theater

Artists I have met or was exposed to in the Fringe who I went on to collaborate with: Denise Shubin, Bill McKinlay and Katherine Filer.

The craziest idea for a Fringe show I wish I had done or to one day do: I’d like to do a show about a very untalented theater company from the suburbs who gets regularly skewered by The City Paper every year at The Fringe.  But, 10 years later, they’re still doing the Fringe and the City Paper is no more.


Fringe at 20: Tina Brock

Posted June 15th, 2016

Name: Tina Brock

Madwoman of Chaillot (2010)

Madwoman of Chaillot (2010)

Type of Artist: Producing artistic director, absurdist theater company

Company:  The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Tales of a White Hoe, solo show, 2004 – performer, director, sound design
The White Hoe Returns, solo show, 2005 – performer, director, sound design
Catastrophe, director’s female assistant, 2006 – performer, director, sound design
Come & Go, Flo, 2007 – performer, director, sound design
For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, Amanda, 2007 – performer, director, sound design
Desire, Desire, Desire, Blanche, 2008 – performer, director, sound design
The Chairs, old woman, 2009 – performer, director, sound design
Madwoman of Chaillot, Countess Aurelia, 2010 – performer, director, sound design
Ivona, courtier, 2012 – performer, director, sound design
The Castle, innkeeper, 2013 – performer, director, sound design
Rhinoceros, 2014 – director, sound design
Exit the King, 2015 – director, sound design

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs, old woman – director, sound design.

First Fringe I attended: Not sure. . . perhaps 1998? Beckett’s Endgame, directed by Mark Lord, and starring Pierce Bunting and Maggie Siff is the show that sticks as the starting point.

First Fringe I participated in: Tales of a White Hoe in 2004. The most memorable moment was getting through a solo show without dying, as a solo performer.

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: Three One Acts: Works by Beckett, Ionesco and Durang in 2006. In the middle of one of the long silences during Beckett’s Catastophe, the blender whirring, whipping up frozen margaritas at L’Etage Cabaret was a highlight.

Tina Brock and Bob Schmidt, The Chairs (2009)

Tina Brock and Bob Schmidt, The Chairs (2009)

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: So many.
Carmen Funebre, Teatr Biuro Podrozy (2002), beautiful, disturbing street theater; Beckett’s Endgame, Mark Lord, Pierce Bunting/Maggie Siff (1998); Cynthia Hopkins’ Accidental Tourist (2005); The Wooster Group, The Emperor Jones (2007); The Cherry Orchard, Hungary’s Moving House (2001).

Read More

Fringe at 20: Eric Balchunas

Posted June 10th, 2016

Name: Eric Balchunas

credit: Shari Lewis

Credit: Shari Lewis

Type of Artist: Theater (comedy)

Company: IdRatherBeHere

Fringe shows I’ve participated in: Wawapalooza (2008), Wawapalooza 2: Get Shorti (2009), Wawapalooza 3: The Dark Roast (2010), Wawapalooza 4: Damaged Goods (2011), Wawapalooza 5: Under Destruction (2012), Wawapalooza 6: The Great Almost (2013).

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: 2008. The highlight was having a sold out show during our first year. I honestly thought the audience would be my mom and a few of the cast members’ friends.

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: The Red Room at Society Hill Playhouse right off South Street. We did our show there five out of the six years, and to me it is perfect Fringe space because it is sort of half comedy club, half theater space with tiny, shared dressing rooms. Plus, the audience gets a free beer or wine with every ticket, which helps make any Fringe show better.

Read More

Fringe at 20: Aaron Cromie

Posted June 8th, 2016

Name: Aaron Cromie

Type of Artist: Multidisciplinary theater artist

Lautrec in Window

The Body Lautrec. Photo by JJ Tiziou.

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
First Festival Volunteer Coordinator, 1997
Son of Fantoccini, Mum Puppettheatre, 1998
I Was A Teenage Fantoccini, Mum Puppettheatre, 1999
Across, Big House Plays & Spectacles, 2000
The Story of Your Life, Threadbare Theatricals (self-produced), 2000
Hotel Obligado, Hotel Obligado, 2001
Contagion, Hotel Obligado, 2002
Contagion 2.0, Hotel Obligado, 2003
Two Hats, Two Heads, with Dave Jadico, 2003
The Foocy, workshop reading with Ugly Stepsister, 2004
Punchadelphia, Self-Produced Punch & Judy Show, 2005
Eye-95, Re-tarred, with Brat Productions, 2006
Afoot!, The Brothers Cromie, 2007
The European Lesson, Jo Strømgren Company, 2008
Afoot!, The Brothers Cromie, 2009
Afoot!, The Brothers Cromie, 2010
A Paper Garden, Mary Tuomanen/Aaron Cromie, 2011
Saint Joan, Betrayed, Mary Tuomanen/Aaron Cromie, 2013
The Body Lautrec, Mary Tuomanen/Aaron Cromie, 2014
The Swamp is On, Pig Iron Theatre Company, 2015
The Light Princess, workshop presentation with Ugly Stepsister, 2015
There might have been a couple more collaborations in there—I feel like we are all helping each other find/make/give feedback on each others’ developmental work each year—so I might have left out some things.

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: Exile 2588 with Almanac Dance Circus Theatre. I am writing and performing the original score to Almanac’s new piece with my acoustic music duo Chickabiddy (with Emily Schuman).


Chickabiddy. Photo by Hannan Van Sciver.

First Fringe I attended: The very first one. Probably the highlight was seeing Dan Froot play sax naked. A good start to the first 20 years. Lines were out the door at Christ Church Meeting House. And I ran around a lot finding volunteers to cover shifts—we learned a lot that first year.

First Fringe I participated in: I was volunteer coordinator for the first festival, but the next year I got to perform with Mum Puppettheatre. The memorable moment was making people laugh by standing still in a stupid hat.

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: The first show I did myself was a teeny puppet show in the box office of the National Building—remember that place?—called The Story of Your Life in a shared space with a woman who knitted herself naked from a single length of yarn which made up the dress she was wearing/making.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Douglas Williams

Posted June 7th, 2016

Name: Douglas Williams

Type of Artist: Playwright, producerD. Williams Headshot (L)

Companies: Orbiter 3, Apocalypse Club.

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Holly’s Dead Soldiers, 2013 – playwright
Safe Space, 2014 – playwright
@AstroJennie, 2015 – playwright

First Fringe I attended: In 2009 I was a senior at Temple University and had to see a Fringe show for a class. I decided to go to Pig Iron’s Welcome to Yuba City, which feels really lucky since I knew nothing about the show or the company. The whole thing blew my mind.

First Fringe I participated in: Holly’s Dead Soldiers was the first Fringe show I was involved in. Most memorable moment was probably Chris Davis scrambling to learn his four page monologue two days before we opened.

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: Holly’s again. In creating it I guess I would say the most memorable moment was bouncing around Bruce Walsh’s house trying to figure out how to use every room, every space, and how much dialogue could be heard when delivered from the basement . . .

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: There was something really beautiful about seeing Go Long Big Softie in a building that was going to be torn down after the run had ended. Filling that place with art and people before it went away forever seemed like a good way to say goodbye.


Apocalypse Club (Emma Goidel, Maura Krause, Douglas Williams, Emily Acker), Image by Lindsay Ladd

A Fringe show that influenced me as an artist: Oh man so many . . .  Yuba City, Pay Up, the Adults, Underground Railroad Game. The Object Lesson is still one of the most incredible theater experiences I’ve ever had. The environment that show existed in was just so welcoming and communal.

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Corinna Burns

Posted June 2nd, 2016

Name: Corinna Burns

Type of Artist: Theater MakerCorinnaBurns

Fringe shows I’ve participated in: Wow. A lot.
A series of short plays produced by the now-defunct Brick Playhouse performed at the now-defunct Old Original Bookbinders, 1996
Bartleby the Scrivener, the Madmen, 1998 – actor, creator
The Trial, 1999 – adaptor, director
Live at the Apollo Diner, Theatre Exile, 1999 – performer
Live Girls, 2000 – co-creator, performer
Brinksmanship!, Termite TV, Bad Penny Productions, 2001 – co-creator, performer
Little/Yma, Weak Chin Productions, 2004 – actor
Pay Up!, Pig Iron Theatre Company, 2005 – performer, creator
Isabella, Pig Iron Theatre Company, 2005 and 2013 – performer, creator
Oedipus, Emanuelle Delpeche at FDR, 2008 – actor
Purr Pull Reign, Johnny Showcase, 2009 – Lady Dancer
Raw Stitch, Jackie Goldfinger, 2012 – actor
The End of Hope, the End of Desire, [ad hoc theatre project], 2013 – actor
99 Breakups, Pig Iron Theatre Company, 2014 – performer, creator

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: I’m not signed up for anything (so far) this year! But that just means I can go see more stuff!

First Fringe I attended: I’ve been Fringe-ing since the beginning. I remember doing these little plays at Bookbinders while people ate their three-course lunches and thinking how exciting it was that Philadelphia now had this special time of the year when people could think about performance in new ways. Even though in that year, that particular project wasn’t super boundary-pushing, we were still performing new plays for an audience of people that would otherwise never have been exposed to them. And in the early years, the Fringe office was on Vine Street and the Fringe Bar was at what I think was a Turkish restaurant across the street, and everything was performed in Old City, so there was a closeness to everything. You’d run from show to show to show because you really could. And everyone would gather at the bar to dance and talk at the end of every night.20160526_135838

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: The first show I produced entirely on my own was an adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial, performed by three actors at the Museum of Jewish American History in their old space. What is most memorable to me about that experience: the number of people who are willing to help you for free! I think the museum gave me the space for free, and the actors basically donated their time, although we split the profits at the end. And that people who don’t know you will come to see your show!!! I’ve never not had audiences for any of my Fringe shows, even the ones that I thought were a disaster and I didn’t want anyone to see (Live Girls)!!

The Fringiest show, venue, action, or moment I ever experienced: I think I’ve been blessed to be in some of the Fringiest of the Fringe, but I’d have to say that the experience of performing Oedipus at FDR down at FDR Skate Park would top the list. Pure magic. Walking the edge of the bowl in a red satin dress with Pearce Bunting as the blind Oedipus holding on to my yards-long train, audience seated in the other end of the bowl, the chorus of skaters swooping through the space like bats, and the intimacy of all the sound happening through headphones because the atmospheric noise of being under I-95 made it otherwise impossible to hear anything—being so far from the audience but able to whisper in their ears. I feel so blessed to have been a part of that show.

Read More

Fringe at 20: Linda Dubin Garfield

Posted June 1st, 2016

Name: Linda Dubin Garfield

Linda Dubin Garfield (left) with Susan DiPronio (right), 2011

Linda Dubin Garfield (left) with Susan DiPronio (right), 2011

Type of Artist: Printmaker, mixed media artist

Fringe shows I’ve participated in: This is my 11th Fringe show at the Book Trader, 7 North 2 Street. I do mixed media memoir workshops on various topics: Invisible/Invincible Women: Portraits and stories of women of a certain age (2006), We Are What We Carry (2007), The Right Foot: Shoe Portraits (2008), Crowing Glories: Hair Portraits and Stories (2009), Let’s Face It: Self Portraits and Life Stories (2010), Home: A Place to be (2011), A Place to Be with Susan DiPronio (2011), What Nurtures Us (2012), My Body- My Self- My Story (2013), Best Friends (2014), Family: Portraits and Stories (2015).

With each topic, I have hooked up with a non-profit to collect money at a pre-Fringe birthday party in May as well as donations at the Fringe and sales of my images, the non-profit is related to the topic. So, for instance, when we did hair portraits, I donated to Locks of Love, Home to homeless agencies, Family to Family Support Services, My Body- My Self- My Story to breastcancer.org.

House on a Hill

House on a Hill

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: I am following the same format for this Fringe, doing it, however, with Susan DiPronio. Clothing: Stories from the Closet with proceeds and donations going to the New Day Drop In Center in Kensington for victims of human trafficking who often need clothing: socks, underwear, hoodies, etc.

First Fringe I attended: A friend took me to the Fringe in 2005 and I was astounded. We saw street art and performance, several great performances, and it was all in Old City. I knew I wanted to be part of it and went down to Old City looking for a venue with the window I wanted. Luckily, Peter Hiler from The Book Trader said okay I could do it there!!

First Fringe I participated in: 2006. Invisible/Invincible Women: Portraits and stories of women of a certain age. I loved the power of art to help create a comfortable space where people from all walks of life, who would normally never cross paths, came to the table and, while cutting, pasting and creating, shared their stories at a very deep level.

Read More

Fringe at 20: Gunnar Montana

Posted May 31st, 2016
Gunnar Montana, Credit: Neal Santos

Gunnar Montana, credit: Neal Santos

Name: Gunnar Montana

Type of Artist: Visual/Physical Artist

Company: Gunnar Montana Productions

Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Sanctuary, Brian Sanders’ JUNK, 2010: dancer, performer
Dancing Dead, Brian Sanders’ JUNK, 2011: dancer, performer
The Gate: Reopened, Brian Sanders’ JUNK, 2012: dancer, performer
RUB, Gunnar Montana Productions, 2012: director, producer, choreographer
BASEMENT, Gunnar Montana Productions, 2013: director, producer, choreographer, performer
RESURRECTION ROOM, Gunnar Montana Productions, 2014: director, producer, choreographer, performer
PURGATORY, Gunnar Montana Productions, 2015: director, producer, choreographer, performer

2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: WROUGHTLAND, Gunnar Montana Productions – director, producer, choreographer, performer

First Fringe I attended: My first experience of the Fringe Festival was Urban Scuba by Brian Sanders’ JUNK. Brian crafted a visually stunning performance in a deserted pool on the basement level of the Gershman Y. The entire performance was a huge inspiration and highlight.

First Fringe I participated in: The first show I ever performed in for the Fringe Festival was Sanctuary by Brian Sanders JUNK. Brian and I performed a duet together on stage that involved swinging about on spansets while artfully entangling our bodies together in the air. At one point I botched the sequence of the dance. Brian then took the liberty to completely break character and scream corrections at me in front of a sold out audience. I was traumatized, but in the nights that followed, I didn’t screw up.

Gunnar Montana, Credit: Garrett Mathews

Gunnar Montana, credit: Garrett Mathews

First show I produced/created at the Fringe: The first show I ever produced was RUB. I was working with a handful of strippers at the time. One night a performer of mine invited one of her clients to come see the show. It was a very intimate experience and as the night progressed this particular performer strutted up to her “friend,” straddled him, and slowly spit into his mouth. Everyone in the audience was somewhat disgusted as he swallowed and smiled. He seemed to really enjoy it.

Read More