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About the Show
The Berserker Residents (It’s So Learning) are asking the big questions: can broccoli make you giggle? How much dance is too much dance? And does your house have feelings?
The trio has whipped up a comedy for all ages that’s unpredictable, original, fun, and vibrant. The three wacky title characters serve up unique impishness, snazzy games, silly sounds, physical flights of fancy that encourage interaction and elicit pure joy.
Recommended for kids ages 5+ with their families.
Creators/Performers Bradley Wrenn, Justin Jain, David Johnson Director Emanuelle Delpeche Lighting Designer Maria Shaplin Sound Designer Tom Carman Stage Manager Randi Alexis Hickey Costume Designer Becca Austin Set Designer Peter Smith
About The Berserker Residents
The Berserker Residents create original comedic productions that spring from improvisation and curiosity. We are guided by a desire to up-end theatrical conventions and create event-driven theater. The Berserker Residents are made up of three Philadelphia-based wizards of imagination – Justin Jain, David Johnson, and Bradley Wrenn. As collaborative performer-writers, we aim to plow the depths of the ludicrous and downright silly with one hand, while making a firm connection to our audiences with the other. We have been hailed as “daft, ephemeral and joyous” by The Scotsman and have been praised for our “refusal to relinquish that unrefined creative spirit” by The New York Times. We are a Barrymore-nominated ensemble and have received commissions from Theater Horizon (PA), Ars Nova (NY), ASU Gammage (AZ) and The University of the Arts (PA). Our work has been published by Playscripts, Inc. and presented at the Abrons Art Center (NY), The San Francisco Mime Troupe (CA), The Annenberg Center (PA), The Assembly (Scotland) and FringeArts (PA).
Brad Wrenn is a producer, performer and writer based in Philadelphia. He is co-artistic director of The Berserker Residents a company dedicated original comedic productions that spring from improvisation and curiosity. His work has been hailed as “daft, ephemeral and joyous” by the Scotsman and he has been praised for his “refusal to relinquish that unrefined creative spirit” by the New York Times. With The Berserker Residents Bradley has created nine shows including two commissions: one from Philadelphia’s Theater Horizon and the other from New York-based Ars Nova. His work has been presented at the Abraham’s Art Center, The San Francisco Mime Troupe and The Annenberg Center. He has been artist in residence with FringeArts, Drew University and the University of the Arts.
David Johnson is a Theatre Artist from Philadelphia and a co-founder of The Berserker Residents. With The Berserker Residents he has spearheaded a theatrical style that blends sci-fi, horror, and comedy to create compelling and fantastic theatrical events. Outside Philadelphia we have opened a show off-Broadway at Ars Nova, toured the US, and had a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As a Philadelphia free-lance artist Dave is a writer, stand-up comedian, and theatre creator. His work focuses on clown, movement and improvisation. Recent stage credits include Hetty Feather (Delaware Theatre Co), Shipwrecked (Walnut St Theatre) and These Terrible Things, a new piece with his Barrymore nominated alt-comedy theatre company, The Berserker Residents in collaboration with the Brind School at the University of the Arts. Johnson has performed Off-Broadway and at many regional theatres including: The Walnut St Theatre, Arden Theatre, People’s Light, Theatre Horizon, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Theatre Exile, Lantern Theatre Co, Baltimore Theatre Project, Delaware Theatre Company, The Assembly in Edinburgh, and Ars Nova NYC. David received a BFA from the University of the Arts in 2003 and has taught Improvisation for Lantern Theatre School and for Delaware Theatre Co’s Stage 2, Stand-Up Comedy through Play Penn reading series, and BE FUNNY: Alternative Comedy for the stage at the University of the Arts.
Justin Jain is a HotHouse Company member at The Wilma, where he last appeared in Romeo & Juliet, as well as Blood Wedding and An Octoroon. Recent stage credits include WHITE (Theatre Horizon), You For Me For You (InterAct), This is The Week That is (1812 Productions), and These Terrible Things with his Barrymore nominated alt-comedy theatre company, The Berserker Residents. Additionally, Mr. Jain has performed Off-Broadway and with many regional theaters including: Arden Theatre Company, Lantern Theatre, Azuka, People’s Light, FringeArts, Shakespeare in Clark Park, McCarter Theatre, Passage Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, The Assembly in Edinburgh, ASU Gammage, and Ars Nova NYC, among others. For Emi.
Emanuelle Delpeche (Director) is a theater artist. A native of France, she works and lives in Philadelphia. She trained at the Ecole Superieur d’Art Dramatique de la Ville de Paris and then studied at l’Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq. She earned an MFA in Directing at Temple University. Emmanuelle was a member of Pig Iron for 8 years and was Barrymore nominated for best supporting actress in Hell meets Henry half way and won a Barrymore Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her work in James Joyce is Dead and So Is Paris. As an independent artist, Emmanuelle created Madame Douce-Amere. She directed Oedipus at FDR and created and performed in Spinning Immigrant. Other works include directing FRONTIN’ with James Ijames, Charlotte Ford’s BANG. As a director, Emmanuelle has been directing for the Arden Theater. Shows included are: LA BETE, THE LEGEND OF GORGIA MC BRIDE (2016 Barrymore nomination for best Director) and TOUCHTONES. Emmanuelle received a Best of Philly 2011 by the Philadelphia Magazine as Best Theater Artist. Emmanuelle was a 2012 LAB fellow.
Maria Shaplin (Lighting Designer) is a Philadelphia-based lighting designer who received her MFA from Temple University. She has a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Hampshire College. Maria designs for many Philadelphia-based companies including: Applied Mechanics, The Riot Group, Swim Pony Performing Arts, InterAct, The Arden, The Wilma, New Paradise Laboratories, 1812, Theater Horizon, Headlong Performance Institute, UArts, IRC and Quintessence. Maria is the co-founder of Applied Mechanics, a company who devises immersive, multi-narrative performance art. www.mariashaplin.com
Tom Carman (Sound Designer) is a Philadelphia-based actor, sound designer and composer hailing from Long Island, NY. He is a company member of the DC-based film/theatre company Longacre Lea and is acting and composing an original score for their upcoming feature film Something Past In Front Of The Light. Recent sound design credits include Awake and Sing! (Quintessence), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Boise Contemporary Theatre) and Dear Diary LOL (Antigravity Performance Project). Recent acting credits include Ben in Fishskin Trousers (Inis Nua), Gregers in The Wild Duck and Octavius/Calpurnia in Julius Caesar (Quintessence Theatre Group). He is thrilled to be working with the Berserkers again after running/associate designing the sound for It’s So Learning. www.tomcarman.me
Randi Alexis Hickey (Stage Manager) is a Philadelphia based director and theatre maker. With experience in and passion for new and ensemble driven work, she has found an artistic home producing/directing through Apartment 20. Randi’s work, managerial and artistic, has been seen in the Philadelphia area with companies such as Directors Gathering, ReVamp Collective, Orbiter 3, Philly Womens’ Theatre Fest, IRC, and Philly Fringe to name a few. For upcoming projects visit www.randialexishickey.com
Becca Austin (Costume Designer) is delighted to be collaborating with the Berserker Residents. She is a costume designer, technician, and artisan in Philadelphia. Some of the companies she has worked with include Azuka Theatre, Tribe of Fools, BalletX, Revolution Shakespeare, The Bearded Ladies, and Opera Philadelphia. She is the Head of the Costume Department at The Wilma Theater and a member of IATSE 799. Love and gratitude to Stephanie & Stilgar.
Peter Smith (Set Designer) This is Peter’s first show with the Berserkers. Last year he was honored with a Barrymore Nomination for Outstanding Scenic Design for Tribe of Fools’ Fishtown. Other projects with Tribe of Fools include Zombies… with Guns (Director), Antihero (Antihero/ Scenic Designer), Heavy Metal Dance Fag (Vinnie) and Fly, Eagles, Fly (Scenic Designer). Peter also teaches Cyr Wheel at Secret Circus Philadelphia. Much love to his friends, family and Niff for the endless love and support.
Bradley Wrenn, part of the The Berserker Residents and Christa Cywinski, Director of Trinity Playgroup, sat down to talk about the planning and playing behind Broccoli, Roosevelt and Mr. House! and the connection between learning, playing, and building a show for a family unit to enjoy on our podcast, Happy Hour on the Fringe. Read the full transcript on the FringeArts Blog or listen to the episode on your favorite podcasting platform.
Special Thanks: Jenna Horton, Cass Meehan, The Wilma Theatre and Kellie McCleary, Blanka Zizka, James Haskins, Dan Rothenberg, Adrienne Mackey, Genvieve Perrier, Adam Woods, Phillippe Gaulier, David O’Connor, Hugo Delpech-Ramey and all the folks who came to the workshop showings.
The SPARK Series: Fringe for Young Audiences is made possible by a leadership gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund.
This project is made possible, in part, through a grant from the Network of Ensemble Theaters’ Travel & Exchange Network (NET/TEN).
Support provided by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.
Support for High Pressure Fire Service has been provided by the Wyncote Foundation
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Broccoli, Roosevelt and Mr. House! is part of High Pressure Fire Service (HPFS), FringeArts’ presentation series of new works by Philadelphia’s most innovative performers. The series takes its name from FringeArts’ historic building, the first high pressure pump house in the country. Opened in 1903, the station pumped water from the Delaware River to fire hydrants across Philadelphia, connecting the city and helping it grow and thrive. This history of creativity and connectivity is at the very heart of the High Pressure Fire Service festival. There are three more new works coming up this April through June, and you can still purchase a 3-show HPFS subscription to save 15% on tickets. We hope to see you for our next HPFS show!
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