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Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Reuben Wade

Posted September 10th, 2012

Paint it, my friend, PAINT THE AMERICAN EAGLE! Reuben Wade talks Charles Darwin Dickens’ trip to America, and working it for the 2012 Philly Fringe, after the jump. Oh, did I mention that the show is free? Word is bond.


Name: Reuben Wade.

Age: Quantitative analysis is for nerds. So here is a qualitative analogy. There are three Ages of Dinosaurs: The Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods. Let’s say my age is Jurassic.

Where were you born? Chandler, Arizona, because my father was stationed at Williams Air Force Base until the ceasefire in the Korean War. See what I mean about Jurassic?

Show Title: Paint the American Eagle.

Explain your performance in two sentences. To an eight-year-old. This is a play I wrote about us, Americans, our inspiration and aspirations and the grand canyon that often separates the ideal from actual practice everywhere in the world. The story of Charles Dickens’ trip in 1842 to the new republic called the United States of America, and the story of his wife Catherine who accompanied him, sheds considerable light on such things and allows us to reflect on who we are.

What was your favorite toy as a kid? The thing that first comes to mind is a pogo stick when I was about 5 or 6. I was very good at it.

What do you love (or hate) most about Philadelphia audiences?
Philadelphia audiences are great! In Philadelphia, like everywhere else I’ve been in the United States, its hard to get busy people out to the theater. But in Philadelphia, when people get out, they are ready and open for anything and they will tell you what they really think. Philly and Fringe really go together.

Did you go to college or grad school? The University of Kansas. There is no place like Kansas, home to Dorothy and the infamous and fictitious Jayhawk. If you decide to visit Kansas call me first and I’ll tell you what to look for. There is more to see than you think. My wife Janice and I decided that the Kansas State welcome sign on I-70 should read, “Welcome to Kansas, It’s not so bad!”

Your refrigerator: condiments and beer, or real food? I cook because it’s the best way to get what I want, real food. I like beer too.

Marvel Comics, or DC? Neither! My mother wouldn’t let me have comic books and I never got the early habit. She somehow influenced me not to smoke as well.

What’s your favorite nickname for Philadelphia? I don’t have a name for it; I just find it amusing to point out that here in Philadelphia we practice anarchy.

What’s the worst piece of advice you ever received? Did you follow it? “You should buy that shop and go into business for yourself” and yes I did follow it.

What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen on SEPTA? What I have seen on SEPTA can’t compare to what I have seen during the fringe.

A doctor puts a scope inside your ear. What does she see?
A tiny man who whispers, so as not to break my eardrum. I used to think he was talking to me but it turns out he has been talking to the tiny woman in my other ear, who is talking to me. Is that too much information?

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” or Cookie Monster’s “Share It Maybe”? I had to look this stuff up. Youtube is the shit! Isn’t it? I think Cookie Monster is super cool but Carly Rae does a great job of spoofing his hit. Very funny!

Paint the American Eagle runs tonight and tomorrow at 7:00 pm, and September 12 at 2:00 pm at the Central Library, 1901 Vine Street, Logan Square. Free!

–Nicholas Gilewicz

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