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Who’s Who in High Pressure Fire Service, part one

Posted February 13th, 2019
by Raina Searles, Marketing Manager

Opening this March, High Pressure Fire Service (or more colloquially, HPFS, pronounced “hip-fizz”) brings an incredible lineup of Philadelphia artists to the FringeArts stage for a series dedicated to highlighting the creativity and innovation that runs rampant in our city. The artists include an exhilarating mix of familiar and new faces to the FringeArts stage, from longtime collaborator Pig Iron Theatre Company’s newest work to prolific poet and noise musician Moor Mother’s first play. Some performers even appear in multiple HPFS shows. To get you ready for this new series, we’re breaking down Who’s Who in High Pressure Fire Service…part one.

Kicking off High Pressure Fire Service, is A Fierce Kind of Love written by Suli Holum, directed by David Bradley, and produced by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University.

Wandering Alice, 2008

Many people may recognize the name Suli Holum as a staple in the Philadelphia arts community. Holum is one of the co-founders of Pig Iron Theatre Company, an award-winning director, performer, choreographer and playwright, and recently, Mrs. Capulet in the Wilma Theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet. She has been involved with numerous productions that have crossed Fringe’s stage, including Wandering Alice, written and co-directed with Nichole Canuso Dance Company and presented in the 2008 Curated Fringe Festival, and Cafeteria by Pig Iron Theatre Company in the 2003 Curated Fringe Festival, which earned her a Barrymore Award in choreography.

David Bradley is a director, producer and teaching artist who work has touched a variety of stages and collaborations across Philly. Bradley is the Founding Director of LiveConnections, in partnership with World Cafe Live, has performed in over 30 productions at People’s Light, is the Artistic Director of Living News at the National Constitution Center, has collaborated with Philadelphia Young Playwrights, and has traveled the world co-creating theater that addresses public health and social issues with Outside the Wire.

Bradley and Holum teamed up with Temple University College of Education’s Institute on Disabilities, which addresses disability as a valued aspect of diversity throughout civic life. In addition to producing the first iteration of this work in 2016 and its expanded remount here at FringeArts, the Institute is committed to innovation in pre-professional training, community training and technical assistance, research and information dissemination.

Other familiar faces in the A Fierce Kind of Love cast include Erin McNulty, most recently on the

FringeArts stage in Jerome Bel’s GALA in 2016 and 2018, as well as Cathy Simpson, a prolific and long-time Philly actress who has performed on a plethora of stages (InterAct, Wilma, and the Arden, to name a few) and was recently seen in the 2018 Independent Fringe Festival show, Day of Absence. Read bios for the full cast of A Fierce Kind of Love on the event page.

The second show in the HPFS lineup is The Appointment by Lightning Rod Special. No stranger to the FringeArts stage, Lightning Rod Special is an experimental performance company dedicated to exploring complex questions through an ensemble creation process and a lead artist for each show. Lightning Rod Special premiered their Obie Award-winning production Underground Railroad Game in Philadelphia at FringeArts in 2015, and they also performed their co-production with Strange Attractor Theatre Company Sans Everything here in 2017. They got their start, however, producing in the Independent Fringe Festival: Hackles in 2012 and Go Long Big Softie in 2013.

Sans Everything, 2017, Photo by Johanna Austin

For The Appointment (some may have seen the early draft performance titled Unformed Consent), Lightning Rod Special has assembled a stellar cast of Philly artists, and this new work is led by Alice Yorke. Yorke is a Co-Director of Lightning Rod Special, with whom she created and performed in Hackles, Let the Dog See the Rabbit, and Sans Everything. She has also collaborated on works with Pig Iron Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre, Theatre Exile, the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret, and the Fringe favorite band Red 40 and the Last Groovement. Yorke also graduated from the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training.

In April, we see the launch of the next HPFS show, Broccoli, Roosevelt and Mr. House! by The Berserker Residents. Founded in 2007, The Berserker Residents are an ensemble dedicated to creating original works of alternative comedy with a focus on parody, absurdism, and subverting theatrical conventions. The Berserker Residents were last seen on the FringeArts stage in their March 2017 production of It’s So Learning, and they collaborated with the University of the Arts to create These Terrible Things as a 2017 Independent Fringe Festival show.

It’s So Learning, 2017, Photo by Kate Raines

They have also produced the works The Jersey Devil, The Giant Squid, The Annihilation Point, and The Post Show as part of Independent Fringe Festivals past. The imaginative co-creators—Justin Jain, David Johnson, and Bradley K. Wrenn—have brought their work to a variety of other Philadelphia stages (The Annenberg Center, Theatre Horizon, White Pines Productions, and more) as well as national and international stages like Ars Nova NYC, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, and The Assembly in Edinburgh, Scotland as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.

Individually, you may recognize these performers from their work all over the city. Justin Jain is a member of the Wilma Theatre HotHouse, has been a part of the Shakespeare in Clark Park education team, and is a teaching artist for Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Arden Theatre Company, the University of the Arts, and People’s Light, in addition to performing at a number of regional theaters. David Johnson has performed with Theatre Exile, Enchantment Theatre, Mum Puppet Theatre, People’s Light, Commonwealth Classic Theatre, Theatre Horizon, and the Wilma Theatre, as well as the Baltimore Theatre Project and The Blue Ridge Theatre Festival. Bradley Wrenn has performed with Shakespeare in Clark Park, Lantern Theatre, Enchantment Theatre Company, BRAT Productions, and Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and is an accomplished puppeteer, “wiggling the dollies” for numerous Mum Puppet Theatre productions including the Barrymore nominated ensemble of Animal Farm. He also co-created the acclaimed 2013 Curated Fringe Festival work The Ballad of Joe Hill with Adrienne Mackey.

We’re excited for such a talented cohort of creators and performers to be joining us at FringeArts this March and April. Click below for more information on each show, and check out “Who’s Who in High Pressure Fire Service, part two” on the FringeArts Blog!

A Fierce Kind of Love
Suli Holum, David Bradley, Institute on Disabilities, Temple University
March 1–3, 2019

The Appointment
Lightning Rod Special
March 20–31

Broccoli, Roosevelt and Mr. House!
The Berserker Residents
April 12–14

HPFS Subscriptions:
$150 Six-Show Package / $120 for members
15% off tickets to 3-5 performances / 30% off for members

Single Tickets:
$31 general / $21.70 members
$15 students and 25-and-under
$2 FringeACCESS members

The Weekender: PA Ballet’s Forsythe and Kylian, Martha Graham Cracker, your dad, and other sources of inspiration

Posted June 13th, 2013
Dancers Ian Hussey & Amy Aldridge

Dancers Ian Hussey & Amy Aldridge in Artifact Suite

The Pennsylvania Ballet  premieres a set of absolutely stunning contemporary ballets, Forsythe & Kylián starting June 13th and running through the 16th at The Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street (at Locust), prices ranging from $20 to $125. One of the world’s foremost choreographers, William Forsythe creates precisely angular mechanics wrapped up in gripping physicality and arresting simplicity in Artifact Suite. Czech-born choreographer Jiří Kylián illustrates a somber kinetic masterpiece with Forgotten Land. Finally, Matthew Neenan, choreographer in residence, presents his intimate, youthful 14th commission, Forgotten Land.Try before you buy: check out this teaser! (TIX)

Martha Graham Cracker

Martha Graham Cracker

Come see the enormous, hairy-armed woman who gave me my first lap dance, Martha Graham Cracker, perform this Thursday night at L’etage at 8pm. For a fee of just $15, be enthralled by a riotous evening of post-illusionist drag cabaret complete with an accompanying live band, opening set by Philly Gayborhood comedian Alejandro Morales, and a guest appearance by Typhoon Sugarpants. Ages 21+ only!

Spend Saturday, June 15th, at the outdoor crafts market on the Porch at 30th Street Station, 2955 Market Street. Browse handmade jewelry, prints, clothing, candles, ceramics, woodwork, stationary, children’s gifts and more items inexplicably adorn with birds than you can imagine, all day from 11am to 4pm. That’s right 30th Street Station is getting in on that crafts fair thing. (VENDORS)

Alie & the Brigade (formerly known as Movement Brigade) will perform live interactive choral dance in celebration of the Schuykill, INVISIBLRIVER, at 8pm this Sunday, June 16th, and again on the 23rd.An ensemble of ten will perform Elliot Harvey’s compositions,while leading audience members on the Schuylkill River Trail as choreographed by Alie Vidich. Anyone interested should meet at the parking lot next to the St. Joseph’s University Boathouse, 2200 Kelly Drive in Fairmount Park. The event is completely free and age inclusive. PhiladelphiaDANCE Journal wrote about the sure to be dance spectacle here.

 

Paul DeLaurier, Dan Kern in Heroes

Paul DeLaurier, Dan Kern in Heroes

Lantern Theater Company  has extended its run until June 16th of Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of the French play Heroes showing at St. Stephen’s Theater, 10th & Ludlow Street. Winner of London’s Oliver Award for Best New Comedy, the play tails Mal Whyte, Dan Kern, and Peter DeLaurier as war heroes Gustave, Phillippe, and Henri as they plot their escape to Indochina or a picnic under a poplar tree (still undecided) from dictatorial captors, untrustworthy fellow prisoners, and far too many birthday parties. Bring someone’s dad on Sunday! He’ll get in for $10. (TIX)

–Maya Beale

ART

Posted June 10th, 2013

Art, all of it.

Art. All of it.

Photo: Said Johnson.

The Weekender: What You’re Doing and Why

Posted July 13th, 2012

Nick G’s daughter, Dr. Paddles, will adorable up the South Philly Summer Fest on Sunday. You cannot out-cute her.

OBEY US:

>>>Friday: David Lynch movie-themed art opening? Count us in. Philebrity comments upon the amusing and ongoing naming contest going on over the Eraserhood/Spring Garden/Callowhill/Loft District/Chinatown North/GilewiczTowne neighborhood, but we pretty much all agree that Eraserhood is the best. Eraserhood Forever opens tonight at PhilaMOCA, 521 North 12th Street, Eraserhood. $10.

>>>Friday: Are you in New York? Batz, a parody of Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz (this writer’s favorite play of ever, FYI), is up tonight and next Friday at Joe’s Pub, reading from old Batman comics. The run time is only 90 minutes, which makes me sad: wouldn’t a proper parody perform the entire Batman oeuvre? If you’re not in New York, you can find something comparable here in Philly from these folks, from time to time. And don’t forget: ERS comes back to Live Arts this year with Arguendo.

>>>Saturday: Germantown has crazy cool historic properties. This weekend kicks off the neighborhood’s Second Saturday series, where 15 different spots are open to visitors from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Our friends at First Person Arts are joining forces there, offering their second First Person Story Market, where you can buy personal stories from a variety of performers. FPA’s at Wyck House, 6026 Germantown Avenue, Germantown, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

>>>Saturday: R5 Productions and Morgan’s Pier are throwing some nice free shows this summer. Saturday sees the return of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who are pretty good. Morgan’s Pier, 221 N. Columbus Avenue, Old City(ish). Show at 6:30 pm, 21+, free!

>>>Sunday: The South Philly Summer Fest, hosted by Sweet Jane Vintage and Lucky 13 Pub, brightens up East Passyunk Avenue. Bands! Drinks! My baby in baby sunglasses! 1800 block of E. Passyunk Ave., 1:00 to 8:00 pm. Free!

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photo by Nicholas Gilewicz