Go Deeper

Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Melissa Dunphy

Posted August 25th, 2011

Melissa Dunphy Head ShotWe’re fans of Melissa Dunphy, whose composition The Gonzales Cantata caught our attention, along with everyone else’s, back in 2009. She’s back at the 2011 Fringe with the showcase of young Philly composers, Voice of This Generation: Love Lost. Today she answers our silly questions.

Name: Melissa Dunphy

Age: 31

Where do you live now? West Poplar – just west of Northern Liberties

Where were you born? Brisbane, Australia

Did you go to college or grad school? Dropped out of med school in Australia when I was 16. Began my academic career again eight years later at the illustrious Harrisburg Area Community College, then West Chester University. Now I’m getting my Ph.D. at Penn. HACC to Ivy League in 5 years – I’m living the American dream, baby.

What was the first thing you stole? Honestly, I can’t remember. I will say, however, that my mother, having grown up in abject poverty in Cultural Revolution China is the BEST. SHOPLIFTER. IN. THE. WORLD. Holy crap.

What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage? Antidepressants. Wait, do they count?

Flyer for Philly Fringe concert Voice of This Generation: Love LostWhat was the last performance you saw? I recently hosted the Nikola Tesla Science Foundation’s annual awards ceremony at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse, and afterwards saw the Divine Hand Ensemble – which is, as far as I know, the only ensemble made up of a Theremin and 8-piece strings – play a heady mix of originals and film music. The Thereminist, Mano Divina, will actually be playing Nikola Tesla in Voice of this Generation: Love Lost as a result. Strange world.

What’s your favorite Philly intersection? Right now, it’s where I live, 12th and Poplar. Did you know there used to be a gang right on this corner called one-two-P? They terrorized the neighborhood back when it was the Richard Allen Homes. Now it’s practically suburbia.

If you were a “Founding Father,” which one would you be and why? Ben Franklin, of course. He walked around naked in all his 300lb glory, and still all the women wanted to fuck him. Also, my fellowship at Penn is called the Ben Franklin Fellowship, so I would make sure to set that up so that I could reap the benefits as myself in the 21st Century.

Who’s your least favorite Founder? OK, I just wiki-ed “Founding Fathers” and realized I have no idea who John Jay is. Please don’t revoke my citizenship.

Do you care about the Civil War Sesquicentennial? Sesquicentennial, eh? That sounds like fun. The Civil War was fun, right?

Who’s your favorite Phillies player? Strike two against my citizenship: I have never been to a Phillies game. Oh, god, deportation looks ever more likely.

What’s your least favorite country, and why? New Zealand, because whenever I tell people I’m Australian, they ask me if I’ve been to New Zealand. Just kidding, New Zealand, I like you anyway.

If you weren’t an artist, what would your job be? I would be a Time Lord.

What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen on SEPTA? Teenagers holding the door open so the train can’t leave the station disgust me.

Voice of This Generation: Love Lost runs September 17 and 18 at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut Street, Rittenhouse Square. 7:00 pm both nights, and a 2:30 matinee on the 18th. $10 suggested donation.

–Nicholas Gilewicz