Go Deeper

Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Tess Stumpf

Posted August 21st, 2012

Tess doing bad things to good people.

Infatuation Dance Company will show Tickle Me Gray at this year’s 2012 Philly Fringe. The company, made up of recent grads and current students, promises a performance that will elicit from the audience the emotions one experiences while being tickled–joy so physically pleasurable, and then pain and annoyance that must be stopped. My question is, will the dancers plan to tickle the audience so hard with their moves, that we beg them to quit? Artistic director Tess Stumpf didn’t answer this question, but she did go on a diatribe against processed food, after the jump.

Name: Tess Stumpf.

Age: 23.

Show Title: Tickle Me Gray.

Explain your performance in 2 sentences. To an 8-year-old. Wait until you’re 21. Then we can talk.

What was your favorite toy as a kid? My stuffed animals Goldie (a dog) and Bunny (a bunny, duh). I still have both. My puppy now humps them.

What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria? Doesn’t everyone know that processed bread is treated with a variety of chemicals from the ground to production in order to ‘bleach’ the flour and prevent it from sticking, such as insecticides, fungicides, benzyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide (known to cause cancer), methyl bromide, nitrogen trichloride, alum, ammonium carbonate, nitrogen peroxide? These ‘hidden ingredients’ can cause allergies that manifest as bloating, diarrhea, eczema, asthma, headache or general malaise or lack of energy, growth of unfriendly toxin-generating bacteria in the gut, and slowing of bowel transit time. Most importantly, it slows the body’s metabolism down. Philadelphia has the highest obesity rate of the nation’s 10 largest cities. Let’s be realistic: we don’t need another pizza shop.

Did you go to college or grad school? If so, where? Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Marvel Comics, or DC? DC hands down. It has Wonder Woman – whose body is just like mine and Superman who I would do on any given day. Plus Marvel Comics has Iron Man who is the bitch of all superheroes.

What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen on SEPTA? I don’t ride subways. I have a bike, a car, and a pair of nice legs.

A doctor puts a scope inside your ear. What does she see? A genius.

Do you have relatives more famous than you? My grandfather dated Shirley Temple, which I understand isn’t quite the same thing, but as close as I’ll get. He made a better choice with my grandma shortly after.

Tickle Me Gray runs September 22 at 8:00 pm, and September 23 at 6:00 pm, at Independence Black Box at the Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street. $20.

–Audrey McGlinchy