2017 Fringe Festival
The story of HOME is the lifecycle of a house. And the many dreams of home cast upon it. On stage, a house appears with the speed of time-lapse photography. Residents move in, move out, get evicted, burn it down, loot it, rent it, remodel it, get married and divorced in it, grow up in it, die in it, haunt it—and all the while, they leave and live among traces of residents present, past, and future.
Big Dance Theater
An ensemble work of dance, theater, and music that dismantles the historical figure of Samuel Pepys, a 17th century man who sang, strummed, shopped, strove, bullied, and groped—and recorded all of it in his diary. Using his diaries, Margaret Cavendish’s 17th century radical feminist play The Convent of Pleasure, three centuries of marginalia, and the ongoing annotations of web-based devotees, the performance reveals the making and unmaking of our subjective past.
A tale of friendship and the intricacies of family-making unfurls through a soaring pop song cycle with a mix of deadpan magical realism and feminist worldview. Structured and presented as a live concert, singers Erin Markey and Kristen Sieh—along with their not always trustworthy spirit animals—lead a rock group that’s like a family band of yesteryear.
A treasured stuffed whale goes missing and a portal to another dimension though the kitchen fridge sets a father and son off on a spectacular quest through space and time. Objects on stage appear to come alive and the father and son must rely on their creativity to survive wild landscapes that open like giant pop up books. A journey into an alternative universe for audiences ages 3 to 99.
We provide the hammer, you do the rest. Worktable is a live installation that takes place in a series of rooms, which visitors engage with one at a time. Sign up beforehand for a specific time slot, pick up the instructions, equipment, and safety goggles, and get to work. It’s up to you to decide how things come apart, and how they fall back together.
We Shall Not Be Moved
Opera Philadelphia / Daniel Bernard Roumain (composer)
Marc Bamuthi Joseph (libretto) Bill T. Jones (director)
Presented in partnership with Opera Philadelphia as part of the O17 festival
On the run after a series of tragic incidents, five North Philly teens find refuge in an abandoned, condemned house in West Philadelphia at the exact location that served as headquarters of the MOVE organization, where a 1985 standoff with police infamously ended with a neighborhood destroyed and eleven people dead. A fusion of disciplines and genres, the score blends funk, rock, hip-hop, and classical music into a vital, experiential sonic form.
Intimate, unfiltered voices become one. No microphones, no electronic meddling, only the resonant voices that come from the bodies of the performers are heard and felt. The audience is arranged about the entire floor of the theater. Singers move in geometric patterns throughout the audience, their movements become the sound design—like placing speakers about a room, only the speakers are mobile performers.
Four dancers surrender themselves to John Coltrane’s spiritual ode to divine love, his 1965 jazz masterpiece A Love Supreme. The album was revolutionary for its carefully balanced interplay between improvisation and structure, meticulous form and raw energy. This dynamic is transposed onto the dance: the choreographers bring improvised and composed materials, and each dancer takes on the specific style of one musician and his instrument.
Children, elders, and machines contemplate the future in a time of dire predictions and rapid technological change in this work of symphonic theater conceived by composer/filmmaker Troy Herion, scenic designer Mimi Lien, and director Dan Rothenberg. Pig Iron brings together three generations of choirs, a chamber orchestra, and physical actors in an epic synthesis of original music and theater, played out over five movements.
Family life before the Big Bang. A horror-farce with philosophical overtones, Hello Blackout! follows the eccentric Kissimmees—triplets, their mother, an elusive father—at the beginning of time. New Paradise Laboratories invents a fresh take on the creation myth, infusing it with playful nonsense in an impossible setting—before, during, and after the Big Bang—just as everything explodes into being.
A work of dance, live concert, and theater, created as an open letter on African society: its lifestyles, cultures, beauty, complexities, and politics. Led by an all-male cast from Burkina Faso, with an electrifying live band that at times supports and at other times takes center stage with the dancers, Declassified Memory Fragment caustically and humorously stages a two-tier society where craving for power simultaneously creates and unravels friendships, and yet a brotherhood prevails.
Major support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has been provided to the artists presenting A Billion Nights on Earth, A Period of Animate Existence, Hello Blackout!, and Close Music for Bodies.