The Sincerity Project #3
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About the Show
Team Sunshine Performance Corporation reunites The Sincerity Project cast for the third installment in an ambitious 24-year experiment that offers a new devised theater work every two years. A meditation on the passage of time that draws from the real lives of its creators, THE SINCERITY PROJECT #3 (2019) explores the implications and challenges of aging, shifting expectations and identities, and how we all—as individuals and a culture—change, respond, evolve, and fail.
Creative and Production Team
Director/Creator Alex Torra Assistant Director Rachel Camp Performer/Creators Aram Aghazarian, Benjamin Camp, Rachel Camp, Makoto Hirano, Mel Krodman, Mark McCloughan Stage Manager Emily Hayes Production Manager Melanie Leeds Technical Director Robert Edmondson, Jr. Production Designer Masha Tsimring Set Design Intern Angela Toich Set Design Intern Jack McManus Sound Designer Edward Smith Music Curator Mark McCloughan Costume Designer Emilie Krause TSPC Operations Manager Phoebe Schaub Audience Experience Designer, TSPC Intern Josephine Ross Video Producer Danielle Gatto
THE SINCERITY PROJECT didn’t used to be this way. Back in 2013, we started working on a piece that was going to be a one-off performance that explored the act of communicating truth and all the complicated things that come along with that. We were looking at speaking and physicalizing “authenticity,” and we looked towards our lives as a place to pull content. It was an experiment that was never supposed to be more than just a single performance.
As we moved toward the premiere of the piece in 2014, we were holding intermittent content development workshops, taking long breaks between development periods, and every time we returned to the piece, it kept feeling “out-of-date.” Even in short spans of time, we had changed. The truth had shifted. What we were making was contingent on where we were in that exact moment in time, and we began to joke and dream: what if we just kept updating the piece? Wouldn’t it be wild to see the same people two decades later recreating or reenacting the same things? To see them more wrinkled, more gravity-afflicted? Maybe we’d all make it, maybe we wouldn’t. These dreams and jokes vibrated, felt like a dare we couldn’t pass up. So we didn’t.
We started the clock in 2014. And now, every two years we come together to make a performance in which we perform ourselves and mine the material of our lives to form the content of the work. Every two years, we return to each other, to check in, to hold space, and to measure the distance we’ve traveled, the transformations we’ve undergone, the things we’ve gained and lost. We began to see how the creation of this piece is a practice, in a way. It’s the building of a public archive: each performance is a weigh station on a 24-year journey we’ve committed to undertaking together, with each other and with audiences. Some people may stick around, some may not. Each performance contains parts of us that may persist or pass away by the time the next iteration happens. As we continue, the project accumulates information, knowledge, and evidence. This evidence connects each of us to a specific moment in time, and that moment includes you. Thank you for joining us here at #3 of 13 installments. 10 to go. And, see you next time.
THE SINCERITY PROJECT #1 (2014)
Performer/Creators Aram Aghazarian, Benjamin Camp, Rachel Camp, Makoto Hirano, Jenna Horton, Mel Krodman, Mark McCloughan
Choir Arianna Gass, Dani Solomon, Amanda Damron, Bonnie Friel, Anissa Weinraub, Lesley Berkowitz, Brian Ratcliffe
Director Alex Torra Set Designer Colin McIlvane Costume Designer Katherine Fritz Lighting Designer Maria Shaplin Sound Designer Daniel Perelstein Production Manager Katie Pidgeon Technical Director Robert Edmondson, Jr. Stage Manager Rebekah Church Assistant Director Laurel Hostak
THE SINCERITY PROJECT #2 (2016)
Performer/Creators Aram Aghazarian, Benjamin Camp, Rachel Camp, Makoto Hirano, Jenna Horton, Mel Krodman, Mark McCloughan
Director Alex Torra Set Designer Kristen Robinson Costume Designer Natalia de la Torre Lighting Designer Anshuman Bhatia Sound Designer Patrick Lamborn Production Manager Lauren Tracy Stage Manager Noelle Johnson Assistant Director Emma Wells Audience Experience Manager Liz Green
Photo by Jen Cleary
About Team Sunshine Performance Corporation
Since its founding in 2010, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation has created an eclectic array of performance works and interactive community-gathering events. Ranging from theatrical duets to massive, outdoor spectacles, the company’s body of work blends the social with the artistic, creating opportunities for people to come together and revel in the pleasures and difficulties of our collective contemporary experience. Team Sunshine returns to FringeArts after last spring’s hit ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! or WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!.
Aram Aghazarian (Performer/Creator) is a performer, theater creator, and teacher. He is a founding member of Strange Attractor Theatre Company (Sans Everything, Enlightenment On E Floor North, A Terrific Fire). Theater work includes Pig Iron Theater Company (Swamp Is ON, 99 Breakups, PAY UP), Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (THE SINCERITY PROJECT, Punchkapow), Swim Pony Performing Arts (War of the Worlds), Lightning Rod Special (Let the Dog See the Rabbit), Perseverance Theatre (Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, Eurydice). Aram is on the faculty of the Pig Iron School Devised Performance Program and the Theater program at Community College of Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Temple University and the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA).
Benjamin Camp (Performer/Creator) is an actor/creator/producer working in Philadelphia, and a Co-Founder of Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. He was lead artist for Team Sunshine’s Punchkapow, Terrarium, and Zombie Defense Consultations, as well as a core collaborator on all Team Sunshine projects and events including JapanAmerica Wonderwave and ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! or WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!. Benjamin was awarded the 2014 Independence Foundation Fellowship, was a Haas Emerging Artist nominee, and has had the pleasure of working with Pig Iron Theatre Company, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Theater Horizon, and the Rosenbach Museum and Library, among others. Benjamin graduated with a BA Theater Major from Swarthmore College and completed the full program of Lecoq style training in physical theater and ensemble created theater at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA).
Rachel Camp (Performer/Creator) is a theater and teaching artist based in Philadelphia. Her recent performance credits include productions with Philadelphia Theatre Company, Opera Philadelphia, Act II Playhouse, Arden Theater Company, Theatre Horizon, 1812 Productions. She regularly teaches at the Arden Theatre Company, the Kimmel Center, and the University of the Arts. She has also held positions as an assistant director (Theatre Exile’s Sing the Body Electric), choreographer (Villanova University’s She Loves Me), concert soloist/producer, wizarding professor, and youth theater director. She was a 2017 finalist for the F. Otto Haas Emerging Philadelphia Theater Artist Award and has been nominated for 5 Barrymore Awards for performance, winning Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Theatre Horizon. She is currently the Chair of the Barrymore Oversight Committee and was recently invited to serve as a member of the Board of Theatre Philadelphia. BFA in Theater, Montclair State University.
Robert Edmondson, Jr. (Technical Director) is a full-time Technical Director at MC3 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Robert is currently finishing the build of the upcoming show, Fourteen, at the National Constitution Center. Other credits: BalletX, New Paradise Laboratories, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, FringeArts Festival 16’-18’. BFA 15’ -University of the Arts. www.robertedmondsonjr.com
Danielle Gatto (Video Producer) is a Philadelphia-based video and installation artist with a background in theater directing. She has created music videos for Grammy award-winning artists and has presented installation works at Asian Arts Initiative, FringeArts, National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military National Summit, and the Ringling Museum of Art.
Emily Hayes (Stage Manager) is a freelance production manager and stage manager based in Philadelphia. A New York native and recent graduate of Temple University, she has lent her talents to numerous companies throughout the city including: FringeArts, Juniper Agency, Almanac Dance Theater Co., Temple Theaters, Theatre Exile, and Shoebox Theatre Collective. Special thanks to mom and dad for letting me follow my crazy dream and to Nick for the constant love and support. For Pepere.
Makoto Hirano (Performer/Creator) is a Philadelphia-based dance and theatre artist. His award-winning ensemble and solo performance works have been presented nationally by venues and festivals across the nation, with generous funding and production support provided by Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Independence Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the Asian Arts Initiative. As a collaborating performer, Hirano has originated over 20 roles, with highlights that include projects with Bill Irwin, Pig Iron Theatre Company, and Thaddeus Phillips/Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental. Hirano is a co-founder of both Team Sunshine Performance Corporation and art-duo Gatto+Hirano. A former U.S. Marine, Hirano studied dance at Columbia College Chicago and earned his BFA in dance at Temple University.
Emilie Krause (Costume Designer) is a Philadelphian theater artist. Previous design work includes Lee Minora’s Cheeks, Mother Daughter Sisterwife (St Anne’s Warehouse Puppet Lab), Brainpeople (Shoebox Theatre Collective) and I’d Rather Choke Than Be A Quitter (Sam Tower & Ensemble). Emilie is a proud company member of New Paradise Laboratories and a recipient of the 2017 Independence Fellowship.
Mel Krodman (Performer/Creator) is a performing artist and ensemble-based theatre maker whose work has been presented in cities throughout the US and Europe. She works frequently with Pig Iron Theatre Company, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, No Face Performance Group, and others. She is a co-lead artist of A Hard Time along with Jenn Kidwell and Jess Conda, produced by Pig Iron and premiering in High Pressure Fire Service Festival 2019. Since 2010, Mel has worked in partnership with New Orleans-based choreographer Kelly Bond. Together they were 2014-2015 Artists in Residence at thefidget space in Philadelphia, The Lucky Penny’s Work Room in Atlanta (2015) and Theatre Emory’s Breaking Ground Series (2014). Mel is a 2016 TCG Global Connections grant recipient, a 2016 Independence Fellow, and a proud graduate of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training’s inaugural class.
Melanie Leeds (Production Manager) is a production manager, stage manager, and technician. She is currently the Production Stage Manager of the Lang Performing Arts Center at Swarthmore College.
Mark McCloughan (Performer/Creator) is a trans* artist and writer in New York City. Their practice spans text, performance, and image-making to explore the queer body, its physical and discursive constructions, and its expansive potential. Mark is one half of No Face Performance Group, a collaboration with Jaime Maseda. The group’s work has been presented in NYC (JACK, CATCH series, Ars Nova), Philadelphia (Institute of Contemporary Art, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Contemporary, FringeArts, Vox Populi), Chicago (Links Hall), Los Angeles (PURE O) and elsewhere. Mark’s visual work has been seen in NYC (EFA Project Space, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine), Philadelphia (Vox Populi, Little Berlin), Chicago (ACRE Projects), and Pensacola (Pensacola Museum of Art). Mark was the winner of the 2018 Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from the American Poetry Review. Their chapbook No Harbor was the winner of the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Chapbook Series, administered by L+ S Press. Their poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Juked, Lines + Stars, and decomP, among others. Since 2014 Mark has collaborated with Eiko Otake as dramaturg for her solo project A Body in Places, which received a special citation at the 2016 New York Dance and Performance Bessie awards. A 2017 iteration of the project was co-commissioned by PERFORMA 17 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Jack McManus (Set Design Intern) is a theater artist in training at Swarthmore College. An honors major in Theater, his focuses are in set design, acting, and directing. He designed the set for Swarthmore Theater Department’s The Bald Soprano in March, and plans to design for the department again in the fall.
Josephine Ross (Audience Experience Designer, TSPC Intern) is a current student at Swarthmore College. Originally from Minnesota, Ross has worked with the Guthrie Theatre, the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company, the Minnesota Opera, Mixed Blood Theatre, the Jungle Theatre, and Mixed Precipitation Picnic Operetta. ln Philadelphia, she has worked with Half Key Theatre Company and Swarthmore Theater Department.
Phoebe Schaub (TSPC Operations Manager) is a Philadelphia artist, teaching artist (Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Theatre Horizon, The Delphi Project for Pennsylvania Ballet), and Operations Manager of Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. She is a co-founder and former company member of Found Theater Company (where she co-created thirteen original works), a producer and curator of the Knight Foundation-funded Secret Show Series at Painted Bride Art Center, a producer of DG JAM for Directors Gathering, and a graduate of Temple University’s undergraduate directing program.
Edward Smith (Sound Designer) is a Philly native and recent graduate of UArts. Recent design credits include, God’s Ear (Uarts 2016), Ancient Future (UArts 2018), Retrograde (UArts 2018), Acedia (Uarts 2018), Monster in the Hall (Inis Nua 2019). This summer he will serve as technical director and head of sound at Long Lake Camp for the Arts helping produce nearly 30 productions over 9 weeks.
Angela Toich (Set Design Intern) is a senior Theater Design & Technology Student at the University of the Arts. She is a set intern for this production, and her previous credits include Set Coordinator for Marie in Tomorrowland and An Incomplete List… as part of the Polyphone Festival 2019.
Alex Torra (Director/Creator) is an actor, director, and producer whose primary focus is the creation and presentation of experimental, ensemble-devised performance works. In 2010 he co-founded the Philadelphia-based ensemble Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, where he has directed all of the company’s major works including the 24-year performance experiment THE SINCERITY PROJECT and the 2018 exploration of race and Cuban identity entitled ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! or WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!. Alex is also an Associate Artist with Pig Iron Theatre Company, where he co-created and/or produced the majority of the company’s works between 2007-2015. This past year, Alex received the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and he has also received fellowships from the Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Live Arts Brewery, the Princess Grace Foundation (the Grace Le Vine Theatre Award), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and NY’s Drama League. In 2013, he was named a finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist. Alex received his M.F.A. in Directing from Brown University and currently serves as a Visiting Assistant Professor with Swarthmore College’s Department of Theater where he directs frequently and teaches acting and solo performance.
Masha Tsimring (Production Designer) is a NYC based designer for performance. Recently: The Diary of John Rabe (NCPA, Beijing); Pride & Prejudice (Kansas City Rep); The Appointment (Lightning Rod Special); Kleptocracy (Arena Stage); Minor Character (Under the Radar/New Saloon); Noura (Playwrights Horizons); Intractable Woman (PlayCo); Romeo & Juliet/Our Town (Alabama Shakespeare); Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen); Sarabande (LA Dance Project); The Garden of Forking Paths (Nichole Canuso Dance Co); Frontieres Sans Frontieres (Bushwick Starr); Ultimate Beauty Bible (Page73); The Marriage of Figaro (Charlottesville Opera); The Wolves (Marin Theatre Co); Into the Breeches! (Chautauqua Theatre Co.); As You Like It (CalShakes); Constellations (Wilma); My Fair Lady (Playmakers Rep); MFA – Yale School of Drama.
Listen to Team Sunshine Performance Corporation artist Benjamin Camp discuss getting older with his four year old daughter Sydney on our podcast, Happy Hour on the Fringe. Featuring some dynamic costume changes, talk of birthday parties and a rendition of “Let It Go” from Frozen. Read the full transcript on the FringeArts Blog or listen on your favorite podcasting app.
Painted Bride Art Center
Laurie McCants and Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble
The McManus Family
This performance was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional funding provided by FringeArts, Swarthmore Faculty Research Support Grant, and the Wyncote Foundation.
Arthur M. Larrabee
FringeArts is Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, presenting progressive, world-class art that expands the imagination and boldly defies expectation. Our programming exposes audiences to genre-defying dance, theater, and music performances by accomplished and emerging innovators who push the boundaries of art-making and redefine the artistic landscape worldwide.
THE SINCERITY PROJECT #3 (2019) 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 series, and there is one more new work coming up later this month. We hope to see you there!
Auditions for Úumbal: Nomadic Choreography for Inhabitants
June 11, 13, 15 in Mifflin Square Park
Join a 100-person participatory dance piece that moves through the streets of Philadelphia. No experience necessary. Visit Uumbal.FringeArts.com
Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
June 30, 11am–3pm
Learn the basics of aerial acrobatics, juggling, plate spinning, and tight wire at this day of free outdoor workshops and performances.
Louis Bluver Outdoor Movie Series
Curated by Catherine Preston
Wednesdays at 8:30pm, June 12–August 21
A summer-long themed series of free film screenings in the Haas Biergarten. Coming up this summer:
June: Record Stores
6/12 High Fidelity
6/19 Pretty in Pink
6/26 Empire Records
July: ’90s Throwbacks
7/10 Space Jam
7/17 She’s All That
7/24 Cruel Intentions
7/31 Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
August: Unconventional Love Stories
8/7 Working Girl
8/14 Dumb and Dumber
8/21 Raising Arizona
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