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Posts Tagged ‘Theatre Exile’

Fringe at 20 Profile: Brenna Geffers

Posted September 19th, 2016
Geffers with Actors

Geffers with Shadow House performers Anthony Crosby, Kayla Grasser, and Michael Linehard (photo by Mickey Herr)

Name: Brenna Geffers

Type of Artist: Theater-maker and Director

Companies: I am a freelance artist, but have been proud to call Theatre Exile, EgoPo Classic Theater, Thom Weaver’s Flashpoint, and Rebel Theater in NYC my artistic homes in the past. Currently I am an artist-in-residence at The Powel House with the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks (PhilaLandmarks). I am also a member of the Philadelphia Opera Collective, which just means that I hang out with some gorgeous artists and singers for a few months out of the year.

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:
Mother Courage and Her Children, Wandering Rom, 2006 – Director
Planetary Enzyme Blues, New Paradise Laboratories, 2007 – Assistant Director
Masque of the Red Death, Wandering Rom, 2007 – Creator/Director
Mud, Wandering Rom, 2008 –  Director
Woyzeck, EgoPo, 2009 – Director
Marat/Sade, EgoPo, 2010 – Director
The Oresteia Project, Philadelphia Artist Collective, 2011 – Creator/Director
The Consul, Philadelphia Opera Collective, 2012 – Director
Opera Macabre, POC, 2013 – Librettist/Director
A Doll’s House, EgoPo, 2013 – Creator/Director
By You That Made Me Frankenstein, POC, 2014 – Creator/Director
Jump the Moon, Philadelphia Opera Collective, 2015 – Creator/Director

Geffers - Mud

Joe Canuso, Megan Snell, and Robert Daponte in Mud (photo by John Margolus)

Fringe show I’m participating in for 2016Shadow House, an immersive opera and theater piece where 10 different storylines across 200 years are connected by a single location. Audience members follow characters and stories by moving around the historic Powel House, chasing what interests them to put the pieces together. There is music and movement and mystery happening in all the nooks and crannies of the house. I am the creator and director for the piece and was commissioned by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks.

First Fringe I attended and highlight: I started seeing Fringe shows before I moved to Philadelphia, so the shows that I saw, like the epic Black Party Pink Palace and the achingly delicate Hell Meets Henry Half Way loom large in my mind. They inspired me to move to Philadelphia and be part of the strange and beautiful scene here.

First Fringe I participated in: The first show that I was actually hired to be a part of – rather than using the money I saved up all summer from shady telemarketing jobs – was Planetary Enzyme Blues with New Paradise Laboratories. I was the AD for the show and cherished every moment I was in the room with those artists; you don’t spend hours watching Mary McCool create work and leave unchanged. I learned a lot that summer, about art and collaboration and risk. I cried at the final moments of that show every time I watched it.

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An Unlikely Playwright

Posted August 24th, 2012

Reuben Wade strikes one as an unlikely playwright. For years, he worked in building design and remodeling in Providence, R.I., before moving on to get an engineering degree at the University of Kansas. He moved to Philadelphia in 1998, and now works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, primarily on Superfund sites and ground water treatment.

“I refer to myself in my office at the Core of Engineers as an infiltrator. I hung out with artists most of my life. I employed RISD students, for example. I self-trained to the building trade from a creative point of view; we were designing most of our projects. I always had to have a project and didn’t know how to live without one. Writing is much cheaper as long as I don’t produce plays,” he jokes. Well, half-jokes. But more seriously:

“It seems completely natural to go from creating spatial environments to creating a story,” Reuben says. “I’ve never had more fun.”

That fun, for the 2012 Philly Fringe, takes the form of a staged reading of his play Paint the American Eagle, the story of Charles Dickens’ insights into life in the United States.

After the jump: learning fiction, investigating the Charles Dickens family, and moving on to Einstein.

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How Bad It Can Go: The Strange Pleasures Of Live Theater Gone Wrong

Posted July 24th, 2012

Sarah Jordan has written extensively for national and regional magazines and newspapers. She is also the author of four books and a regular contributor to the Festival Blog.

Left to right: Geoff Sobelle, Quinn Bauriedel and Trey Lyford in machines x7

Only five minutes from the end of the show. Only five minutes. That’s what Pig Iron Theatre’s Quinn Bauriedel remembers thinking about his 2009 show machines machines machines machines machines machines machines when he found himself backstage wearing a black plastic bag covered in cereal and unable to bring his Rube Goldberg-ian masterpiece across the finish line. Moments earlier Bauriedel had been shot into “outer space” on a conveyor belt on a plank of wood. Fellow performer Geoff Sobelle had kicked the board to shoot him through a cat door leading offstage, but things hadn’t gone right with the stunt and Bauriedel had cracked his head on a two-by-four as he went through. (Someone said later it looked like a puppet head thrown against a wall.)

With Sobelle on stage and the injured actor still needing to run a light cue, Bauriedel knew his tingling head and diminishing sensation in his fingers and toes wasn’t good. He remembers wondering if he would be paralyzed. “It had been one of the great performing moments of my life, and I was five minutes away from the end,” he recalls. “But I couldn’t continue. What’s funny is that Geoff made an announcement that one of the actors was injured and we had to wrap it up, but the audience thought it was just the next level of the show with an actor hurting himself . . .five minutes later the audience is still waiting for something to happen.” The next thing was the EMTs carting Bauriedel off to the hospital.

“We had trained the audience to believe anything was possible,” says the actor.

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