September 11 at 5:30pm
September 18 at 2:30pm
September 25 at 2:30pm
2022 Fringe Festival
The MAAS Building Studio
You were a child, and that child is still in you. Without looking at the past and forgiving little you, there’s no way future you can get past the past.
After years of working as a teacher, organizer, and facilitator, Matthew Armstead is pushed inward to show themself the care and accept the support they show others. Through poetry, movement, and song, Matthew embodies a chorus of voices. Black people don’t have to be perfect. Queer fam don’t have to perform to be cool. We all just get to be. Yes and…you get to forgive yourself.
Song Bridge is a compassionate journey about learning to sing again. Travel across time together toward collective healing.
Song Bridge was developed in Café Darkness: A Writing Workshop for People of Color.
Audience reflections on Song Bridge:
“Joyful, vibrant, heart tugging, and spell binding. Matthew has the poet’s gift of making the personal universal, which they use to weave through memory, emotion, and song, drawing in the audience with a master crafter’s skill. Each listening or viewing is an emotional outpouring allowing an unfolding of shades of meaning and layers of emotional experience that echoes from your own heart. A cathartic, uplifting, performance experience.”
“You don’t want to miss what Matthew’s going to do. It would be a mistake. Bring a group or the church van.”
“An opportunity for soul retrieval, in that it’s an opportunity to see parts of our/yourself that you may have lost along the way. And the way in which Matthew presents gives audiences an open door to possibly relocate those parts for reintegration.”
Informal and formal discussions at Cannonball will follow most showings.
Appropriate for ages 13+
Interested in a not-necessarily-romantic way to connect over art? Select the Blind Date ticket at checkout and Cannonball will pair you with another audience member for a pre- and post-show experience. Blind Date is only available for this show on Sun, Sep 18, 2022 2:30 PM. Check out https://www.cannonballfestival.org/blinddate for more information.
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 cannonballfestival.org.
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.
This work includes references to homophobia, racism, trauma, survival, and transformation.
Matthew Armstead – Creator & Performer, Rhetta Morgan – Director & Container Holder, Cat Ramirez – Director & Producer, Danie Ocean – Space Holder, Ingrid Lakey – Space Holder, Karen Orrick – Space Holder, Robert Carter – Production Photography, Jess Rodrigues – Costumes
About the Artist
Matthew Armstead practices cultural organizing, which brings together arts and activism, just as they interweave blackness, queerness, faith, doubt, and curiosity. Matthew weaves together community organizing, popular education, and physical theatre techniques to create performances that engage audiences as active participants. Recent performance & creation credits include: Pirate Queen & Visions (Philly Fringe); Myth Seeds (self-produced); Boy Project (FringeArts Philadelphia); and Inspira: The Power of the Spiritual (Theatre for Transformation). Matthew has a M.F.A. with Pig Iron Theatre Company, and a B.A. in Theater and Women’s Studies from Swarthmore College.