Go Deeper Explore Macbeth, Third World Bunfight, and Congolese history with these events

Explore Macbeth, Third World Bunfight, and Congolese history with these events

Posted September 19th, 2016

This weekend FringeArts and Opera Philadelphia will present Macbeth as part of the 2016 Fringe Festival. A reimagining of Verdi’s nineteenth century opera from South African theater company Third World Bunfight, this production brings the classic tale of greed, tyranny, and corruption to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where a brutal warlord, General Macbeth, and his ambitious wife murder the king and unleash atrocities on the crumbling province that they seize. For more info and to purchase tickets click here. Be sure to check out our timeline of Congolese history as well.

In anticipation of this tour de force opera gracing our city as part of its American premiere tour, FringeArts is hosting several ancillary events leading up to and in tandem with its Saturday and Sunday performances, each tackling different contextual aspects of the show with an overall focus on representation. Below you’ll find a rundown of these events. RSVP here. They’re all free, but those that precede performances are only open to ticket holders.



(photo by Nicky Newman)

9/20 @ 6pm:
Panel discussion with members of Macbeth cast
Hosted by WURD’s Stephanie Renée

Join 900AM WURD’s Stephanie Renée at the African American Museum in Philadelphia in meeting the virtuosic cast of Third World Bunfight’s Macbeth. The cast will speak to their own experiences working with classical material, approaching the form of opera, and working with controversial theater maker Brett Bailey.

Stephanie Renée is the host of 900AM’s The MOJO, emphasizing issues of arts and entertainment, cultural identity, education and economics. Renée guides her audience through a daily exercise of finding beauty in the midst of ugliness, hope in the face of strife, and inspiration in moments great and mundane.

At the African American Museum of Philadelphia
701 Arch Street



(photo by Nicky Newman)

9/23 @ 6pm:
Performance Provocations: 20 Years of Brett Bailey and Third World Bunfight
Lecture by Dr. Megan Lewis

Third World Bunfight strives to create innovative, multi-layered, deeply considered performance and installation works that reveal the beauty, the wonder, the darkness and the tragedy of our world, with a main focus on the post-colonial situation in Africa, and historical and contemporary relations between Africa and the West. This lecture from Dr. Megan Lewis will engage the history and work of this stalwart and controversial company and its director Brett Bailey.

Dr. Megan Lewis is a South African-American theater historian and performance scholar concerned with the staging of national identity, gender, and race. She is an assistant professor of theater history and criticism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

At FringeArts
140 N. Columbus Boulevard


(photo by Brett Bailey and Morne Van Zyl)

9/23 @ 8pm:
Film Screening: Mabele na biso
Directed by Petna Ndaliko

A thirty-minute documentary about community autonomy in Congo. Mabele Na Biso (which translates to ‘our land’), “takes us on a journey through time and space to explore the commitment to autonomy and self-determination of the Isangi District of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” The film will be introduced by Faustin Linyekula, creator and performer of Le Cargo, part of the 2016 Fringe Festival, and followed by a Q&A with director Petna Ndaliko.

Petna Ndaliko is the founder and director of Alkebu Film Productions, the cultural center Yole!Africa, and the Salaam Kivu International Film Festival. He is also often consulted by the international media as an expert on the question of image and representation in East Africa.

At FringeArts
140 N. Columbus Boulevard



(photo by Nicky Newman)

9/24 @ 6pm (Pre-Show Talk):
The Congo: From Leopold to Kabila

A pre-show talk with Dr. Kasongo Kapanga in conversation with WURD’s Stephanie Renée on the expression of identity in Congolese art, literature, and film. Featuring an introduction from Faustin Linyekula.

Dr. Kasongo Kapanga is a professor of French and Francophone literature at the University of Richmond. He has his PhD in comparative literature from Vanderbilt, and currently teaches at the University of Richmond.

At the Prince Theater
1412 Chestnut Street



(photo by Nicky Newman)

9/25 @ 6pm:
Opera Overtures Pre-show talk

A pre-show talk with Opera Philadelphia’s Michael Bolton. Opera Overtures aims to provide insights into the opera’s themes, music, and production.

Michael Bolton is Opera Philadelphia’s vice president of community programming. He oversees the Opera’s acclaimed student opera appreciation program Sounds of Learning as well as Hip H’opera, a collaboration with Art Sanctuary. He is the first ever recipient of OPERA America’s Diversity Award. He has lectured and curated opera programming for numerous institutions throughout the city.

At the Prince Theater
1412 Chestnut Street