< BLOG

Archive for the ‘Tribe of Fools’ Category

Happy Hour on the Fringe: Un Poyo Rojo

Posted October 18th, 2019

In this episode of Happy Hour on the Fringe, Zach Blackwood, FringeArts’ Artistic Producer, talks to artists Luciano Rosso and Nicolás Poggi of Un Poyo Rojo, which ran Sept 19–21 at Christ Church Neighborhood House. They share the origins of their relationship to each other, the work, and how they prepared for this dynamic physical piece.

Featured photo: Luciano Rosso and Nicolás Poggi, Un Poyo Rojo

Listen to the episode and read the transcript below.

Conversation with Un Poyo Rojo Team

[Music Intro]

Zach: Hello, and welcome to Happy Hour on the Fringe. Happy Hour on the Fringe is FringeArts’ podcast. What is FringeArts? FringeArts is Philadelphia’s premier presenter of contemporary performing arts and the producers of the 2019 Fringe Festival. Like I said, I am Zach Blackwood. I’m an artistic producer at FringeArts, and I invite you to pour one up with us. The bar is not open yet. Spoiler alert to our listeners at home. But I invite you to have a cocktail and enjoy our conversations with some of the most imaginative people on this plane of existence. We used to say in Philadelphia, but it’s not where you’re from.

Luciano: No, we are from Argentina.

Zach: That’s great.

Luciano: Yeah, far away.

Zach: So before we jump into this conversation, I just want to take a moment to thank all of our Fringe Festival sponsors: the Durst Organization, the University of Pennsylvania, M&T Bank, Parx Casino and Getaround, the Airbnb of rental cars. I also want to thank our Fringe Festival bookstore partner, Head House books, for helping curate the selection of books you see all around you here at the Fringe Festival Bookstore. Today we’re excited to talk to the creators of Un Poyo Rojo, Luciano Rosso and Nicolás Poggi. Un Poyo Rojo is a dance performance in this year’s 2019 Fringe Festival happening tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 PM still, that’s over at Christchurch Neighborhood House over on American Street, so a little bit around the corner. I have so many things I’m supposed to start with, so let’s do that. As we stated, me and Katy – my Artistic Producer partner here at Fringe – first saw this piece as a part of a circus festival in Montreal. It’s interesting because here in this festival, the piece is being treated as a work of a physical theater, kind of a dance theater work. That’s how we’re describing it to people. But how would you describe the piece in formal genre?

Read More

Happy Hour on the Fringe: Fringe Festival Veterans and Virgins

Posted September 2nd, 2019

In this episode of Happy Hour on the Fringe, April Rose, FringeArts’ Fringe Festival Coordinator, talks to independent artists Tara Lake, Terry Brennan, Joseph Ahmed and the Executive Director of Da Vinci Art Alliance (and former Fringe Festival Coordinator) Jarrod Markman about their independent show offerings for this year’s Fringe Festival and their experiences as newbies and seasoned veterans of Fringe.

I Know It Was the Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman will play September 20-22 at The Whole Shebang.

Operation: Wawa Road Trip will play  at the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake on September 5–9, 12–16, and 19–21.

 Dissonance and Generations are visual art exhibitions that will be showing at Da Vinci Art Alliance during the Fringe Festival. Free / Gallery hours: Wednesdays–Sundays, 12–5pm. DVAA is also presenting Composition in Concert, displayed at International House Philadelphia daily from 8am–10pm during the Fringe Festival.

Featured photo: Tara Lake, I Know It Was the Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman

Listen to the episode and read the transcript below.

Conversation with Fringe Festival Veterans and Virgins

[Music Intro]

April: Hello. This is Happy Hour on the Fringe. I’m April Rose, the Fringe Festival coordinator, and I am here with Tara Lake, Terry Brennan, Jarrod Markman, and Joseph Ahmed. I’m going to let everybody go around, introduce themselves, and say who they are, and how they’re involved with the Fringe Festival.

Tara: Hi, everybody. My name is Tara Lake. I am super excited to be here. I’m here to talk about my show, I Know It Was the Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman, which will be part of Fringe Festival this year. I am a storyteller, and a soprano, and a performer, among other things. Yeah. That’s me.

Terry: My name is Terry Brennan. I am the artistic director of Tribe of Fools. This year Tribe of Fools is doing a show called Operation: Wawa Road Trip. I’m not directing it, but I’m totally in charge of stuff that has to do with that.

Jarrod: I am Jarrod Markman. For four years I was the April and coordinated the independent artist section of the Fringe Festival. This is my first year not doing that. Currently I’m the executive director of Da Vinci Art Alliance.

Joseph: My name is Joseph Ahmed. I am a company member of Tribe of Fools. I am directing Operation: Wawa Road Trip, which is happening this Fringe Festival, which I am very excited to be working on with Terry.

April: Great. Thank you all for being here. Today’s topic is Fringe Festival veterans and virgins. So Tara and I are both participating in the Fringe for the first time this year, at least the Philadelphia Fringe. I moved to the position of Fringe Festival Coordinator, and this is like I said, Tara’s first year presenting work in the Philly Fringe. We’re going to just get a little bit of background from our two veterans, well, technically three veterans, and have a little conversation about our experiences with the festival. Joseph and Terry, if you would like to do a little background on the piece that you’re presenting this year?

Read More

Operation: Wawa Road Trip: An Interview with Terry Brennan

Posted August 25th, 2019

Tribe of Fools is a Philadelphia theater company dedicated to creating new works that tackle difficult topics with a sense of levity, bringing compelling characters to the stage, and pushing performers’ physical limits by obscuring the lines between theatre, dance, and acrobatics. In 2018, they brought their independent show Fly Eagles Fly, a piece about fandom and community, to the Fringe Festival. This year, Tribe of Fools will be presenting a highly anticipated show titled Operation: Wawa Road Trip. To learn more about this year’s offering, we sat down for an interview with Terry Brennan, who shared with us the company’s history, what inspired Operation: Wawa Road Trip, and what he hopes audiences will walk away with from the performance.

FringeArts: What inspired Operation: Wawa Road Trip?

Terry: This kind of happened in two phases. We always have company meetings after Fringe to talk about what we want to do in the following year. Phase one was, at a company meeting we were all discussing what would make for a fun show. Joe (the director) suggested something Wawa themed just because of how ingrained Wawa is to the Philly identity. There were lots of ideas on the table that night. Phase two happened in a later meeting when Joe talked about how Wawa really feels like home to him even though it’s just a store. That really kicked off a longer talk about how all of us had different places that feel like home, or like they “know us” even though they’re just places of business. In fact, in most cases, the places were corporate chains like Wawa – they weren’t even mom and pop shops. That second conversation is what inspired us to make that idea into this year’s show. 

Read More

Happy Hour on the Fringe: Conversation with Ben Grinberg

Posted May 24th, 2019

On this episode of Happy Hour on the Fringe, we had drinks with Ben Grinberg, Artistic Director of Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, instructor at Circadium and Pig Iron, and the curator and host for Test Flights, a circus scratch night. Join our conversation about how Ben found his way into circus, the growth of contemporary circus in Philadelphia, Almanac’s 5 year anniversary celebration season, and a teaser for who you may see at this July’s Test Flights! Learn more about Hand to Hand Circus Festival, running June 28—July 1.

Also, this weekend (May 24th) check out the final performances of Communitas: Five Years Later by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre.

Listen to the episode and read the transcript below.

Feature Photo by Daniel Kontz

Conversation with Ben Grinberg

[Music Intro]

Katy: Hello, and welcome to Happy Hour on the Fringe. FringeArts is Philadelphia’s premier presenter of contemporary performing arts. I’m Katy Dammers, Artistic Producer here at FringeArts…

Raina: And I’m Raina Searles, Marketing Manager. We invite you to pour one up and enjoy our conversations with some of the most imaginative people on this plane of existence. Here at FringeArts, our new work series dedicated to local Philadelphia artists called High Pressure Fire Service, or HPFS, as we like to call it, is coming to a close. At the time this episode is coming out, we have just two shows left coming up in June: The Sincerity Project #3, in 2019, by Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, which runs June 4th through the 8th, and Circuit City by Moor Mother, June 20th to the 22nd.

Katy: But today, we’re looking ahead to some of the events happening just the weekend after HPFS closes. We are presenting the second annual Hand to Hand Circus Festival, with Circadium School of Contemporary Circus, and with a dynamic performance by the Circadium first-year students on the 25th, called Circadium: Springboard, and then an exciting lineup of events happening June 28th through July 1st. Today, we’re chatting with Ben Grinberg, curator and host for Hand to Hand Scratch Night, also called Test Flights, and he’s the Artistic Coordinator and Theater Instructor at Circadium, and the Artistic Director for Almanac Dance Circus Theatre. Welcome, Ben.

Ben: Thanks so much.

Raina: So, our first question, as is tradition, is what are we all drinking for Happy Hour on the Fringe? Ben?

Ben: Well, it’s 2:30 pm, so I have an iced coffee, which is delicious. Thank you.

Katy: I’m drinking tea.

Raina: And I’m having a nice glass of cold water.

Ben: That’s pretty lame, isn’t it?

Katy: We’re doing our best. Doing our best in the midst of a work day on this Friday. Happy Hour will come soon enough.

Raina: Well, we’re always happy, that’s… We’re just happy with what we’re drinking.

Katy: Ben, maybe you can start by telling our listeners, how did you get started in physical theater and in circus?

Ben: Wow, okay, sure. I was a member of the inaugural class of the Pig Iron School, which was sort of my introduction to physical theater. I had done a bunch of theater in my life previous to that, but I really had no idea that you could think about creating your own work, or think about making work that didn’t start from a script. Until Quinn Bauriedel actually came, I was in my senior year of college, and I was directing… I had a crazy idea to do a commedia dell’arte version of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap for the experimental theater company, because I was like “Oh, these characters are all such archetypes!” And it was very strange, but so, in order to get some commedia training, we reached out in the larger Philadelphia theater world and Quinn came in and taught a four-hour physical theater workshop on commedia for us, and I…

My mind was completely blown. I had never been exposed to anything with levels of tension or anything like that before, so I knew, Quinn and I knew that I wanted to go to the Pig Iron School and start getting really invested in physical theater, and then at Pig Iron, one of the classes you have to take is acrobatics, which at Pig Iron, which I don’t know if you know I teach at Pig Iron, and their acrobatics is definitely about coordination, getting strong and staying fit as a performer, but it’s also about acrobatics as a metaphor for all of the kinds of risk-taking you need to do in order to open yourself up to be an available performer.

Read More

E-A-G-L-E-S: Tribe of Fools Offers a Philly Special This Fringe

Posted July 27th, 2018

The WORLD CHAMPION (!!!) SUPER BOWLWINNING (!!!) Philadelphia Eagles began training camp this week for their TITLEDEFENDING (!!!) 2019 NFL season. Philadelphia theater company Tribe of Fools is also putting on the pads and dusting off their playbook preparing for their 2018 Fringe Festival offering Fly Eagles Fly.

Tribe of Fools’ highly physical, enchantingly visual brand of theater has ensured high scoring wins at recent Fringe Festivals, with Two Street  – A Tale of Star-Crossed Lovers (2014), Zombies … with Guns (2015), Antihero (2016), and Fishtown – A Hipster Play (2017), taking the proverbial football and driving it into the proverbial endzone. It’s football for real this year with new work about Eagle fandom as physically daring as it is poignantly relevant. Tribe of Fools artistic director Terry Brennan spoke to the FringeArts blog about the show, the company’s process, and the EAGLES WINNING THE SUPER BOWL. [Editor’s note: the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII]

FringeArts: A number of your shows have hit on Philly institutions: the Mummers, Fishtown hipsters. Where does your inspiration generally come from for your work?

Terry Brennan: I went to school in a place called the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. At Dell’Arte they had a philosophy called “theater of place.” It’s the idea that you should make art about or inspired by the place where you live because your audience will appreciate it more and because theater is a social art and therefore if it’s social it should reflect society. I love Philly — I didn’t grow up here but I love it. I see so much of the human condition in the specific people that you’ll only find in Philly and I want to share that. I want to share what’s great and terrible and funny and sad about the specific types of people that only Philadelphians know.

Read More

An Antihero Returns

Posted September 12th, 2016
1806-d9f65a451cc878fd653832e2d1833de3

Peter Smith and Kyle Yackoski (photo by Plate 3 Photography)

Pow! Blam! Zip! Bang! These are just a few of the terms found emblazoned on comic book panels, and sometimes, across our movie screens. They represent and highlight the violence that takes place in these fictional stories of heroes versus villains, but the Earth-shattering showdowns and the impending doom our heroes are trying to upend can be aggressively severe. Recent, mainstream silver screen adaptations have indulged fans with a chance to revel in the chaos of cities crumbling, bullets flying, and punches landing as our defenders in tights attempt to save the day. These films and colorful comics have arguably painted violence in an inconsequential light. Audiences have become all too unfazed and that’s a serious problem according to the Tribe of Fools, a Philly based physical theatre company, and the architects behind Antihero.

Antihero uses dynamic fight-movement comedy to explore the depths of society’s fascination with violence and vigilantes, and how it ties into violence as entertainment in superhero films and comic books. Tribe of Fools aims to shine a light on this polarizing topic once again by bringing Antihero back to Fringe, after 3 years. “This show looks at how easy violence can become and the permanence of its consequences,” explains Tyler Brennan, the show’s director.

Brennan’s interest in the subject arose from looking at his own personal life. “What really got me interested in the subject was how often I would find myself thinking of my daily struggles in life in similar terms as the entertainment I was consuming. I would always envision myself destroying whatever problem I encountered. When you’re dealing with an insurance company or some sort of technology problem, it’s really no big deal, in some ways it helps. When I was dealing with people though, it became a huge problem. Everything was an argument and I always needed to win. It never escalated to violence in my personal life, but I would find myself enraged all the time.”

Read More

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

Read More

Fringe at 20 Profile: Terry Brennan

Posted May 27th, 2016

Name: Terry BrennanTerry 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.IMG_1882

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.

Read More

More Press!

Posted September 1st, 2011

And the champagne bottle won’t smash on the bow of the 2011 Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe until tomorrow!

>>>For Philadelphia Magazine, Victor Fiorillo writes up ten of the most talented Live Arts and Philly Fringe artists, including Geoff Sobelle (Elephant Room), Sebastienne Mundheim (Paris Wheels and The Ready-Maids present . . . Not the Henri Rousseau that Some of You Know . . .), David Disbrow (Red Rovers), Jess Conda (Heavy Metal Dance Fag, Water Bears in Space, Festival bar!), James Ijames (WHaLE OPTICS), Adrienne Mackey (Lady M), Matt Pfeiffer (The Aliens), Sarah Sanford (Twelfth Night, or What You Will), J.J. Tiziou (photog extraordinaire), and Leah Stein (Rock Reed Tatami Stream).

>>>Today’s City Paper belongs to us: Holly Otterbein talks to the magicians of the Elephant Room, A.D. Amorosi talks to the Rude Mechs about Method Gun, Joshua Middleton writes up four of this year’s puppetry shows, Mark Cofta rounds up some of this year’s Shakespeare, and Shaun Brady writes a big piece on the more experimental edge of the festivals.

>>>The Metro says we’re playful. We agree.

>>>Steven Weisz writes up Red Rovers for The Dance Journal.

>>>I missed this somehow, but the Northeast Times wrote a big piece on the tap show Too Darn Hot!

>>>Christopher Munden rounds up some NoLibs/Fishtown/Kensington picks for The Spirit, including Red Rovers, My Dad is Now Ready for His Sponge Bath, Jericho Road Improvement Association, A Vegan Kids Dance for Adults with Nudity, Task, and Grab Bag. And of course, recommends the Festival Bar for your nightcaps.

>>>Montgomery Newspapers runs big stories on Iron Age’s Christie in Love and MM2’s One Word.

>>>The Chestnut Hill Local profiles Lauren Rile Smith, whose Tangle Movement Arts will present Ampersand at Philly Fringe. Do people in Chestnut Hill actually refer to themselves as “hillers?” Just curious.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Newspaper photo by Daniel R. Blume via Wikimedia Commons.

Red Rovers image by Chris Doyle.

Fringe Preview: “Heavy Metal Dance Fag”

Posted June 28th, 2011

The title alone makes you want to see it, right? Tribe of Fools returns to Philly Fringe for 2011 with Heavy Metal Dance Fag!

If, like me, you missed their happy hour at Quig’s last night, don’t worry—you can grind it out at Tabu after work on Wednesday. From the Tribe:

“Join us for a sneak peak of Tribe of Fools much anticipated 2011 Fringe show, Heavy Metal Dance Fag!
When: Wednesday, June 29, 7:00 pm
Where: Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 S. 12th Street

A five dollar cover will get you in the door and includes one free well drink. Once inside you will get to hang out with the cast and crew of Heavy Metal Dance Fag. You will also see TWO preview dances including a sizzling towel dance performed by our coverboy, Peter Smith.

Drink Specials Include:
$3 Well Drinks
$3 Jager Shots
$3 Blue Moon Drafts

Behind the bar guest bartender Jeff Antsen will be keeping it hot. You may recognize him from down the street at Icandy!”

Shots, shots, shots, shots shots shots!

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Drink Beer with Live Arts and Philly Fringe Artists

Posted June 2nd, 2010

It’s that time of the year again, Philly Beer Week! We talked to past and present Live Arts and Philly Fringe artists about their favorite local brews and bars, plus what they’re up to this summer (besides boozing).

Bonnie Quick
Favorite local beer: Philadelphia Brewing Company’s Joe Porter
Favorite place to drink: “My friend’s roof in South Philly. Gotta climb through a tiny window
onto the roof next door than scale a wall, but has the most unobstructed amazing views of the city.”
What’s on tap: Wawapalooza 4: Damaged Goods for the Philly Fringe.

Justin Jain of The Berserker Residents
Favorite local beer: Kenzinger
Favorite place to drink: “We love drinking at the parties we throw. The one in the picture is from our annual Halloween party, Halloweensplosion! At that party we had a keg of Kenzinger. We basically love to drink wherever the three of us are present. But mostly at our parties.”
What’s on tap: This is their first year not doing Fringe after three straight years, including last year’s The Annihilation Point. Why? They’re working on their first two commissions (!!!), one at Christmas with Theatre Horizon (working title The Don Rutherford Christmas Carol) and the other in 2011 at New York City’s Ars Nova (working title The Game Show). Look for workshop performances of these shows during the Fringe.

Want to know what happens when you get drunk and contact improvise in a fully furnished living room? Click more.

Read More