Go Deeper

Jumpstart Rejects Live At Mascher

Posted May 6th, 2013

What’s better than black market performing arts?

Ben Grinberg and Mascher Space Co-op have put together their own performing arts showcase of performers and creators who were not chosen for the official Jumpstart here at FringeArts (Monday May 13 and Tuesday May 14 at 7pm at the Painted Bride).  What a fantastic idea! As FringeArts LAB director Craig Peterson, who heads the Jumpstart program, observed, “This is a great idea–having sat on the panel, I can tell you there was a lot of great work that was auditioned that didn’t make it into the showcase. Only in philly could “rejection” be reframed as a programming opportunity. Thanks for giving this work a home!”

Turning "reject" into a positive. Christina Gesualdi to perform at Jumpstart Rejects.

Turning “reject” into a positive. Christina Gesualdi to perform at Jumpstart Rejects.

They have aptly named their showcase Jumpstart Rejects and the current line-up includes Christina Gesualdi, Dan Stern and the If Man is 5 ensemble, Katie Gould, Alice Yorke, Sarah Mittledorf and Kaleid Theatre, Darcy Lyons, and Ben Grinberg and Nick Gillette. The event is free, and happens this Sunday May 12 at 7pm (a day before the FringeArts Jumpstart—enabling you to compare and contrast). Jumpstart Rejects will be at Mascher (155 Cecil B. Moore Avenue). There is a chance that some slots will open up—interested performers (and Jumpstart rejects) can email Ben Grinberg at bgringerg [at] gmail [dot] com

We caught up with Ben to get the skinny.

FringeArts: What is your role in this? And Mascher’s?

Ben: I’m co-producing this show with Mascher, specifically with a whole lot of help from Annie Wilson and Christina Gesauldi, who are both Mascher members. Mascher is generously providing space, marketing, and hopefully even hotdogs. I’m also going to be performing with Nick Gillette.

FringeArts: How did the idea come about?

Ben: I started having conversations about wanting to do something like “Jumpstart Rejects” with other members of the theater and dance community as soon as I applied for a Jumpstart audition. Jumpstart is incredibly competitive—not only do they audition 50 artists and chose 6, but there’s a waiting list at least 20 deep for those audition slots. Personally, I ended up losing out on the lottery and was 17th on the waiting list, though I was able to audition a different piece with my collaborator Nick Gillette. That means that there’s a lot of work worth seeing that can’t be presented as a part of Jumpstart. It would be such a shame for those short pieces to die without ever seeing an audience. So I got the idea to program a low-key night of art for art’s sake out of pieces that for whatever reason couldn’t make it into Jumpstart. When I spoke to Annie Wilson, she was thinking along the same lines—and deserves all the credit for the name “Jumpstart Rejects”—and it became an easy co-production with Mascher.

Kaleid Theater is ready to perform.

Samantha Schwab, Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez, and Nina Giacobbe of Kaleid Theater. Photo: Valerie Giacobbe

FringeArts: Can you tell us about some of the performers?

Ben: Absolutely, Dan Stern and the If Man is 5 ensemble are presenting an excerpt from a longer work. It’s an all-male acrobatic exploration of masculinity and what it means to be an acrobat. They’re all very gifted performers so this promises to be exciting.

Sarah Mittledorf has been working with her physical theater company, Kaleid Theater, since last Fall. Their work is at the intersection of dance and theater. In developing the piece, they are guided by these questions: “Things that bounce: rubber balls, plastic cups, lamplight, puppies, echos, opinions. What happens when people bounce? Or stories? Or bits of music? What else?”

Thanks Ben, sounds like a great show and a lot of fun.

For more info, check out the facebook event.

Jumpstart Rejects

Sunday May 12 at 7pm
Mascher Space Co-op
155 Cecil B. Moore Ave (2B), 19122
(bet. North Hancock and North Mascher Streets)
–Josh McIlvain