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Events BLAZE


Lillian McGonigle

September 9-12

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September 9 at 8:30pm

September 11 at 2:30pm

September 12 at 6:00pm

2022 Fringe Festival

45 min


The MAAS Building Studio

“I’m never going to know you now/ but I’m gonna love you anyhow” – Elliot Smith, Waltz #2.


In this semi-autobiographical solo, McGonigle dances herself into a world inhabited by the ghosts of familial anecdotes. Considering the stories she has heard, but never embodied, she amalgamates herself into a version of her once seminarian father. Exploring these repetitions of past and present, she fuses together fragments of alternate histories that interrogate the notion of family and considers how narrative gets passed from generation to generation.


Utilizing illustrative texts, recorded interviews and rigorous dancing, BLAZE paints an intimate portrait of a family that existed before, during, and perhaps even after McGonigle. Recalling both what existed, and grieving what almost was, BLAZE investigates the carnage of growing up, and sifts through what remains.

Appropriate for ages 13+

This show is presented as part of Cannonball Festival, Philly’s artist-centered performance hub, packing in 65+ full length shows and 300 performances in two nearby venues. Discover risk-taking theater, dance, circus, music, and comedy alongside a vibrant garden bar with a free nightly cabaret, pop-up events, workshops, artist talkbacks, and more. September 1–30 at the Maas Building (1320 N 5th St) and Icebox Project Space (1400 N American St). Learn more at

Content Considerations

This performance contains brief graphic language.

Health & Safety

Proof of vaccination is required to attend this event, and masks must be worn for the duration of the performance. Audience members will be asked to show proof of vaccination before entering the venue. Both digital and physical proof of vaccination are accepted. Please plan accordingly.



Director, Choreographer, Perfomer: Lillian McGonigle

Dramaturge: Kati Payne

Digital Consultant and Animator: Trevor McKeon


About the Artist

Lillian McGonigle (she/her) is a dance artist based in Philadelphia, PA. She holds a BFA in Dance from University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. With a strong background in modern, postmodern, and improvisational dance, her work comes alive through fiery improvisational scores, writing practices, and the occasional film. She considers all of her work duets. With this lens, Lillian believes performance becomes a conversation– an exhilarated space to synthesize people carried in the body. She investigates this while exploring themes of loss, entanglement, and archival lineage. As a performer, Lillian has performed in works by Bill T. Jones, Paul Matteson, Emily Wexler, and Jesse Zaritt, among others. She has choreographed work under the guidance of mentors Ishmael Houston-Jones and Meredith Glisson. Lillian is currently an Artist in Residence at MOtiVE Brooklyn through their 2022 For The Artists! residency program.