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Archive for the ‘Brian Sanders’ Category

Cocktail Plays: Recipes for a Great Night of Theater

Posted September 17th, 2018

One morning, a few weeks ago, Sonya Aronowitz sat at a bar in Fishtown, double-fisting cocktails. The executive producer of indie theater company Juniper Productions had good reason: she was tasting cocktails for the company’s 2018 Fringe production, Cocktail Plays, which opens tonight.

Aronowitz sent the four short plays in the production over to Canyon Shayer, beverage manager at Philadelphia Distilling. The experienced bartender shook up four cocktails, one to represent the themes and characters of each play. Cocktail Plays runs September 17-26 in the spartan bar of distillery and each drink contains a spirit made in the copper stills which loom behind Shayer as he describes the cocktails.

For Date Night by Mark Costello, about a woman who’s uncomfortably dressed up for a meeting, Shayer created a sparkling pink drink made with lemon juice, raspberry simple syrup, Bluecoat gin, sparkling wine, and fresh raspberries. “I wanted a redness reminiscent of lipstick,” he says. “It’s about being too classy for a situation.”

For Out of Time by Bill D’Agostino, Shayer favored an “old man’s drink” to represent one of the characters onstage, so he used the distillery’s barrel aged gin, with birch bitters and maple syrup for a twist on the old fashioned.

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Take Two Plunges with Brian Sanders JUNK

Posted September 11th, 2018

Brian Sanders’ JUNK has sold out Philly Fringe shows every year for almost twenty years with innovative, ingenious, and boundary-defying choreography. This year, us “JUNKies” have double the chance to see the highly physical, energetic dance company: For the 2018 Fringe Festival, JUNK is presenting TWO shows: FIGMAGO (through September 23) and Plunge (through September 22).

Daytime

A multi-faceted artist, Sanders shows us his family-fun side with FIGMAGO, an ongoing collaboration with muralist Meg Saligman.

Meg Saligman’s Theatre of Life mural.

“Meg and I share a lot of the same aesthetics,” Sanders tells FringeArts. “Bold but not over-the-top, dynamic, intense and emotional.”

The artists connected at the dedication of Saligman’s Theatre of Life mural on Broad and Lombard streets. “I repelled down the face of this giant mural and danced among the painted figures,” he says. “We always knew we would work together but we just didn’t know when and how, but the right space and the right time brought about FIGMAGO.”

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Chuck Schultz Is That Guy Sketching the Fringe

Posted August 23rd, 2018

Who’s that guy sketching in the back of this Fringe show? It’s probably (though not necessarily) Chuck Schultz, a fine art-trained sketch artist. Schultz’s sketches of dance and theater provide a visual review of Philadelphia performing arts year-round and he brings his talents to bear on numerous Festival shows every year.

Schultz recently sketched FIGMAGO, an ongoing mesh of art and dance which runs as part of the 2018 Fringe Festival. He spoke to FringeArts about how his work intersects similarly with different art forms.

FIGMAGO

FringeArts: What’s your background?

Chuck Schultz: I grew up in New Jersey. I lived on a farm. When my parents divorced I lived on the Jersey Shore. I liked to draw people, or super heroes, and when I met another artist in Toms River, NJ, I decided that is what I am: an artist. I first attended Delaware College of Art and Design in Wilmington and I moved on to get a certificate of fine art painting at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.


When I graduated college I tried to weave myself into where artists could find work. I been fortunate to be able to work with author Thom Nickels, photographer Katherine Weber, Thomas Kerrigan at the Kimmel Center, hairstylist Julius Scissor, and writer Chris Munden. I worked with an exceptional couple in Conshohocken: Jim Victor and Marie Pelton, alumni of PAFA. They are making food sculptures that give you an appetite! It is that effect that I am trying to copy.

FringeArts: How did you get into sketching theater?

Chuck Schultz: I always wondered what was happening inside theaters. I would just walk by while getting from point A to point B and I felt there must be something special inside them. When my father died in 2011, I began spending a lot of my time painting in Ocean Grove, NJ, where I met David Bates, a retired actor from the 60s who worked in movies, theater, commercials, and helped start The Muppets with Jim Henson. It was only natural for me to draw what I saw when going to the theater. It made me feel connected to the artists.

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FEASTIVAL is almost here

Posted September 24th, 2016

The 2016 Fringe Festival is approaching its end, and while it’s tragic that our lives can’t always feature such a bevy of thrilling and thought-provoking performance, I’m sure everyone is ready to return to their normal routines that include things like sleep. But before you settle back into that same old, there’s still a bit of celebratory fun to be had here at FringeArts. The 2016 Audi FEASTIVAL, FringeArts’ annual fundraiser, is coming to the waterfront Thursday, September 29 and bringing some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants and performers in tow.

santos_72

(photo by Neal Santos)

For the first time in FEASTIVAL history, co-host Michael Solomonov (Zahav, Abe Fisher, Federal Donuts) will curate a live gastronomic performance, taking advantage of the event’s Fringe Fire Pit and PECO Ice Station to prepare some divine dishes that will be served directly to guests. Chefs Solomonov, Nick Macri (La Divisa Meats), and Brad Spence (representing Alla Spina and the Vetri Family of restaurants) will heat things up, manning two rotisseries and a grill, while Chefs Greg Vernick (Vernick Food + Drink) and Peter Serpico (Serpico) will keep it cool over at the ice station.

Food won’t be the only thing there to grab your attention though. After all, this is FringeArts. Circadium, the nation’s only school of contemporary circus, will astound you throughout the evening with stilt walkers, jugglers, contortionists, and aerialists providing quite the spectacle. Returning for their second FEASTIVAL, FringeArts favorites Red 40 & The Last Groovement will be bringing their raucous clown funk party back to their old stomping grounds with an LED video stage provided by Tait Towers. Inside FringeArts at the Audi Artist Lounge muralist Juan Dimida will live paint a 2017 Audi A4 over the course of the evening, utilizing a mix of traditional painting styles and cutting-edge digital art to achieve his innovative vision. Meanwhile in the lounge, Brian Sanders’ JUNK, a consistent Festival favorite, will be showcasing their wildly imaginative and daring brand of physical theater.

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Festival MVP Brett Mapp’s 2016 Schedule

Posted September 7th, 2016

Opening night of the Festival is tomorrow, can you believe it? It will no doubt be an incredible couple weeks of inspired performances, but if you’re like me you haven’t quite locked down your festival schedule yet. I mean, who has times for puzzles these days? It might seem overwhelming to fit all these amazing shows into just little more than two weeks, but thankfully there’s hope. Fringe Festival veteran, Old City District director of operations, general man about town, and self-described “hardcore Fringer” Brett Mapp has been kind enough to share his 2016 Fringe Festival schedule with us. If you’re looking for some guidance on what to see and how to fit it all together, it can’t hurt to start here.

the chairs

Tomas Dura, Bob Schmidt, and Tina Brock in Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs (photo by Johanna Austin @ AustinArt.org)

9/7
Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs @ 7:30pm

9/8
CITIZEN @ 7pm

9/9
Exile 2588 @ 7pm
Feed @ 8:30pm
Anithero @ 10pm

9/10
Raphstravaganza The Kinetic Experience @ 12pm
Levée des conflits @ 8pm

who would be king

Rebecca Lehrhoff, Rachel Wiese, Jesse Garlick, and Veronica Barron in Who Would Be King (photo by Chris McIntosh)

9/11
Who Would Be King @ 2pm
They’ll Be Callin Us Witches @ 4:30pm
Notes of a Native Song @ 8pm

9/12
The Sincerity Project @ 7pm

9/13
Gala @ 8pm

9/14
I Fucking Dare You @ 8:30pm

9/15
Animal Farm to Table @ 6pm
Wroughtland @ 9pm

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Fringe Festival 2016 Spotlight: Shows Exploring LGBTQ+ Identity

Posted August 23rd, 2016

Check out this eclectic mix of independent Fringe shows from the artists of the LGBTQ+ community!

an obviously foggot

(Image by Geoffrey Douglas)

An Obviously Foggot @ iCandy

Poison Apple Initiative

“So you’ve got a group of people who fetishize masculinity, who’re emasculated their whole lives, and you stick them in this place with all this booze and drugs and hierarchy. What’d you think was gonna happen?” A collision of found text, broken pop, and dance parties confronting internalized homophobia in gay bars. More info and tickets here.

 

 

Photo by Monique Baron

(Photo by Monique Baron)

BIG CRUNCH @ Vox Populi

TOLVA/Sam Congdon

The world has gone rigid. Gender roles are strictly enforced by a ruthless government. There is a queer rage bubbling up through one cyborg’s circuitry, but can a single robot bring it all down? A queer sci-fi odyssey of self-discovery and rebellion blending solo performance, experimental electronic music, and video. More info and tickets here.

 

 

Photo by Steve Belkowitz

(Photo by Steve Belkowitz)

Carried Away @ JUNK Studio

Brian Sanders’ JUNK

I end up here, shame under pride, head on locker, denim near denim, skin against satin, disco within punk, leather around wrists, fist off canvas, lips about nape, hand for hand, looking back in time. I was carried away. More info and tickets here.

 

 

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New York Times: Road Trip to FringeArts for Dance

Posted September 3rd, 2013

thesociety1Siobhan Burke tells New Yorkers that it’s time to head to Philadelphia for “New Fringe”–I suppose we are rechristened, after all.

Adding to the growing tradition of The New York Times sending its readers here for shows, Burke calls out four pieces in particular: Jo Stromgren’s “darkly funny physical theater production” The Society, Brian Sanders’ “different kind of mayhem” in Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak, Reggie Wilson’s premiere of Moses(es) and Colin Dunne’s “singular deconstruction of Irish dance” Out of Time. Story here.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photo by Knut Bry.

If You Don’t Know Now You Know: Mini Artist Profiles at Philly Post

Posted September 3rd, 2013

sobelle-the-object-lesson-2Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo runs down 10 notable FringeArts performers worth checking out this year.

It’s a pretty good quick guide to some awesome shows this year, actually: Martha Stuckey of Pay Up, Gunnar Montana of Basement, McKenzie Maula of A Doll’s House, James Michael Baker of Ballad of Joe Hill, Geoff Sobelle of The Object Lesson, Jess Conda of Eternal Glamnation and Pay Up, Scott Sheppard of Go Long Big Softie, Mary Tuomanen of St. Joan, Betrayed, Kevin Glaccum of Dutch Masters, and Brian Sanders of Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak.

If you’re looking for somebody to pick some especially adventurous shows for you, you couldn’t do much better than Victor’s list.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photo of Geoff Sobelle by Lars Jan.

“Dancing Dead” Previews and Pictures

Posted September 5th, 2011

Opening weekend is always a busy time ’round these parts, but I’m pleased I was able to catch the 2011 Philly Fringe production Dancing Dead from Brian Sanders/JUNK, which has gotten some pretty stellar early notices.

The show relies less on aerial work than, say, Urban Scuba, although they still take to the rigging, no doubt. But how the dancers are deployed is no less challenging: how long can you do what Brian makes his dancers do while pretending their limbs are disjointed? Unless you’re them, probably not at all.

From the Inquirer‘s Howie Shapiro (full review still to come from Merilyn Jackson, FYI): “Sanders’ piece was an apt early festival opening for two reasons: It’s bizarre, and it involves a subject that has been done now and again forcefully in the festival: the undead. It’s set in a fresh, green portion of a graveyard, and the dance troupe of ghouls and zombies plays out its scenarios to songs of love and loss that have become staples of easy-listening FM stations. . . . isn’t it just like the Fringe to have the undead bring out the first rush of the living?”

And from Stage: “The company’s latest foray into the Fringe, Dancing Dead, is at once breathtakingly dangerous and hauntingly beautiful.”

After the jump: awesome promo pics of the show by Bill Hebert!

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The Festival Is: Unusual Spaces

Posted August 15th, 2011

What makes something Fringe? For one thing, unsual spaces. Philly Fringe is by far the richest time of year to see performances in unexpected places. Past shows have happened under Interstate 95, in an abandoned pool, and in the old warhorses, warehouses.

After the jump, I got five Fringe shows that will take you to surprising performance venues spanning the entire city of Philadelphia.

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Brian Sanders Likes Fractions

Posted January 14th, 2011


Brian Sanders is no stranger. He also likes fractions.

He and his comrades at JUNK have been thrilling audiences with ingenious choreography that combines exhilarating athleticism, creativity, beauty, and wit since 1992.

April 20, 1992, that is.

At least that’s what our mathematicians here at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe have calculated. JUNK has announced anniversary performances in honor of 18 3/4 years of daring new dance theater.

What’s so special about 18 3/4 years? We’re not sure. But who cares? Why wait 3 more months for a 19-year anniversary (or 15 more months for a 20-year anniversary) just for a nice, round number? Don’t let the Gregorian calendar tell you what to do. Let Brian Sanders tell you what to do. He won’t let you down.

The program includes five performances to be held Thursday, January 20 – Sunday, January 23 at the University of the Arts (details below). You’ll see excerpts from Philadelphia Live Arts Festival favorites such as Urban Scuba, Adshock, and Patio Plastico. In addition, several of Sanders’ works made famous by the internationally renowned MOMIX will be staged.

Brian Sanders’ JUNK is known for their ingenious use of found objects and clever inventions that bridge the gap between dance and physical theater. Dance Magazine describes JUNK as “accessible, technically flawless and thrilling.” Philadelphia Weekly hails Sanders as “the city’s most exciting choreographer” and Philadelphia City Paper hails him as “a national treasure”.

Brian Sanders’ JUNK 18 3/4 Anniversary Performances

Thursday, January 20, 7:00 pm
Friday, January 21, 8:00 pm
Saturday, January 22, 2:00 pm
Saturday, January 22, 8:00 pm
Sunday, January 23, 2:00 pm

Arts Bank at the University of the Arts
601 South Broad Street (corner of South Street)

Tickets are $35/person for the Friday, January 21 8:00 pm and Saturday, January 22, 8:00 pm performances, and $25/person for all other performances. $10 student rush tickets will be available for all performances at The Arts Bank Box Office ten minutes prior to curtain and will be limited to one ticket per person.

All tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at ticketphiladelphia.org, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office, open daily from 10am to 6pm (additional fees apply.)

All proceeds benefit JUNK, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, who’s mission as a dance theater company is to inspire audiences with creativity and a ceaseless desire to try new things. Through original productions and community outreach JUNK seeks to serve as a catalyst for generating fresh ideas and to encourage audience members to see the world in a new and vital way. For more information on Brian Sanders’ JUNK or the Anniversary performances, visit briansandersjunk.com.

-Dan Comly

Live Arts Summer Reading List: Brian Sanders

Posted July 20th, 2010


Here at Live Arts, we’re pretty big nerds. Or at least the blogfolk are. So we got really excited about a project designed by our Community Outreach All-Stars: a Festival reading list! Yippee! This compilation, hopefully to hit a shelf near you soon, includes a) books that upcoming Live Arts shows are directly based on, b) books that influenced the shows’ creation in some way, and c) books that the artists just can’t put down. We’ll post some of our favorite artist suggestions here on the blog so you can get crackin’ on your arts-tastic summer reading spree.

Today’s literary pick: Sanctuary at the Live Arts Festival this fall.

The novel is an Italian murder mystery novel set in the year 1327 that, as the good old Merriam-Webster Anthology of Literature tells me, “stands on its own as a murder mystery . . . [but is] more accurately seen as a questioning of truth from theological, philosophical, scholarly, and historical perspectives.”

Ok, not a beach read.

But before you see Sanctuary, at least check out this book’s postscript. Brian says he was “as (if not more) inspired by the postscript then I was by the book.”

And if you’re someone who Sparknoted your way through literature class, there’s still hope–even Brian wasn’t really feeling this text the first time around. “I am glad I waited until recently to read it and not in college when I was supposed to,” he says. “I wouldn’t have been nearly as ready to play.”

Go grab a copy, it’s your turn to play.

–Mara Miller

Sanctuary. Brian Sanders’ JUNK. Theater East at The Hub, 626 North 5th Street. 9/3 – 9/18.