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International Fringe 2018: A Welcome to Artists from Around the World

Posted September 2nd, 2018

The United States government may be pursuing an isolationist policy but the Philadelphia Fringe is doing the opposite: opening its doors not only to the most creative American performers and performances but also to the best and most creative theater artists and their productions from around the world—overcoming the ancient fear of the symbolic Tower of Babel with people not understanding each other.

To show the worldwide scope of the 22nd Philadelphia Fringe Festival, we offer this spotlight on performers from abroad and productions by American artists that present a global perspective.

Theater writer Henrik Eger, editor of Drama Around the Globe and contributor to Phindie and Broad Street Review, among other publications, has lived in six countries on three continents and has visited Africa and Australia as well. He bids everyone a hearty WELCOME to the City of Brotherly Love—this year in 18 different languages: Arabic, Celtic, Chinese, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Latin, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish.

We start this year’s overview with a special welcome to two programs featuring a wide range of global creators:

INTERNATIONAL CREATIVES

  1. le super grandBienvenue & welcome to Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard and Le Super Grand ContinentalLe Grand Continental wowed audiences during its run at the 2012 Fringe Festival and has garnered enthusiastic response across the world. Fully realizing a blissful marriage between the pure delight of line dancing and the fluidity and expressiveness of contemporary dance, the celebratory event enlists hundreds of local people to perform its synchronized choreography in large-scale public performances. The world’s most infectious performance event returns to the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in an even larger spectacle of dance.

More info and tickets here

  1. Bonvenon, willkommen, bienvenido, witamy, bienvenue & welcome to Do You Want A Cookie? from The Bearded Ladies Cabaret—a world premiere with an international cast. Do You Want A Cookie? serves up a delicious romp through cabaret history, with an international cast of artists performing a live revue of cabaret from the Chat Noir to Weimar nightlife to 21st-century drag. The all-star cast comes draws from around the world, including Bridge Markland (Berlin), Malgorzata Kasprzycka (Paris/Warsaw), Dieter Rita Scholl (Berlin), and Tareke Ortiz (Mexico City).

More info and tickets here

REFUGEES and EXILES

  1. ear whispered

    As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Photo by

    وسهلا اهلا (ahlaan wasahlan) & bienvenu. Welcome to Tania El Khoury who lives in Lebanon and the UK with her multifaceted program ear-whispered. Little is known about Palestinian refugee camps and their communities. El Khoury presents her Fringe work in five parts through interactive performances and installations at Bryn Mawr College:

    1. Gardens Speak, an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.
    2. Camp Pause, a video installation that tells the stories of four residents of the Rashidieh Refugee Camp on the coast of Lebanon. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.
    3. As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, an encounter through a gallery wall between a single audience member and a refugee. (Old City & Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.  
    4. Stories of Refuge, an immersive video installation that invites audiences to lay down on metal bunk beds and watch videos shot by Syrian asylum seekers in Munich, Germany. (Old City.) Read more.
    5. Tell Me What I Can Do, a newly commissioned work featuring letters that audiences have written in response to Gardens Speak. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.

More info and tickets here

  1. Bienvenido & welcome to the bilingual (Spanish & English) cast of La Fábrica performing Gustave Ott’s Passport. Lost in a foreign country, Eugenia is detained and thrown into a vicious maelstrom of miscommunication. This poetic and immersive Kafkaesque thriller delves into the question of immigration—exposing the mechanics of language and power. Some performances will be presented in English, some in Spanish, and some will be decided at the toss of a coin.

More info and tickets here

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School Me Now: Student Dane Eissler talks Rowan and Spamalot

Posted May 28th, 2013

This September, Melanie Stewart’s 2009 dance theater parody of reality television dance wars, Kill Me Now, is revived with co-collaborator John Clancy and a cast of students from Rowan University’s dance department.

This is Dane's facebook image which he took of himself.

This is Dane’s facebook image which he took of himself.

Kill Me Now: Rowan Edition features cast member and Dane Eissler, an accomplished young actor and buoyant personality with credentials rare for a college junior. The New Jersey native found himself engrossed in many artistic interests throughout his childhood and teenage years before a Monty Python show inspired him to dive into theater. He generously shares his thoughts on his education and his passion for all things animating.

FringeArts: Were you always interested in acting? 

Dane Eissler: I actually had terrible stage fright when I was younger. The most acting I wanted to do was voice acting for cartoons, which was what my first passion was. I almost went to school for animation, but then I got “bit by the bug” when I saw Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. Then instead of pursuing acting, I actually started writing, but one thing led to another. Cartoons and animation still play a huge role in my work though–the aesthetic and the quality . . . a lot of the stuff that I write has a kind of fantastical air about it that definitely feels cartoonish.

FringeArts: Was acting school among your first thoughts after the show?

Dane Eissler: I don’t think I realized it at first, but subconsciously, I knew that I wanted to be doing what that cast was doing. It took me until high school to make the decision to go study theater at university.

FringeArts: How did your idea of Rowan, of acting school in general, compare to your actual experience of it?

Dane Eissler: I very much believed in the “hoity-toity beatniks with egos” stereotype that most people place on university thespians, but beyond that, I really had NO idea what I was getting myself into . . .  maybe it will be like Fame? When I came to Rowan, I knew I made the right choice. Rowan really focuses on the artistry of theater and performance, as well as a great sense of ensemble and teamwork, which really provides a loving and nurturing environment to create work. It’s kind of a great place to be.

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