Fringe at 20 Profile: Terry Brennan
Type of Artist: Devised Theater Actor/Director
Company: Tribe of Fools
Fringe shows I’ve participated in: Echo (2007), Armageddon at the Mushroom Village (2009), Dracula (2010), Heavy Metal Dance Fag (2011), Antihero (2013), Two Street (2014), Zombies . . . with Guns (2015).
2016 Fringe show I’m participating in: Antihero (remount), director
First Fringe I attended: 2004. The highlight was Pig Iron’s Hell Meets Henry Halfway.
First Fringe I participated in: 2007. The Metro didn’t review our show (Echo) because we only ran one week, but they later called us one of the “best surprises of 2007.” That was a really big deal for us at the time.
A Fringe show that influenced me as an artist: Berserker Residents—The Jersey Devil. Before I saw The Jersey Devil I was always trying to “make art” or “do what a good artist would do,” and these guys made a show that had all the kind of stuff that I loved—AND IT WAS ART. It made me realize that I was my own artist and I had the ability and permission to make the type of work that—at the time—wasn’t being made as much and that’s not only okay, that is art.
Artists I have met or was exposed to in the Fringe who I went on to collaborate with: The Berserker Residents. After seeing The Jersey Devil I was up in their face as often as possible about possibly helping them, working together, whatever. They needed someone to play a small role that originally was supposed to only be a mentioned character. As the process went on they realized this character was going to need to make a cameo appearance at the end of the play. Because of my intense love of The Jersey Devil and my less than subtle offers to work with them, they asked me to play the role.
Craziest idea for a Fringe show I wish to one day do or to have done: I really want to do an immersive espionage show that uses multiple locations in Philadelphia and sends viewers on a theatrical scavenger hunt—and I totally want to black bag an audience member as part of the story.
Fringe notes: I wouldn’t be the artist I am without the Fringe. I’ve built my shows and artistic career around it. And one time, I surprised my entire cast (Berserker Residents) by performing my role without pants or underwear.