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Shimmy your Fringe!

Posted September 22nd, 2019

September 22, 2019

Dance performance with a short workshop American Tribal Style® dancing made famous by FatChanceBellyDance®. We will show you some fun tribal belly dance steps, then invite you up on the dance floor to GET YOUR FRINGE MOVING! Come for the show and stay for the fun!

Free / 60 minutes


State Street Tribal is Philadelphia’s premier FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studio. This means American Tribal Style® Bellydance is here in Philly. Experience the dynamic and joyful art form in its “OG” finest. When it comes to tribal belly dance, American Tribal Style® is “often imitated –never duplicated.”

Learn More:
statestreetribal.com
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La Bolivianita

Posted September 19th, 2019

September 19–22, 2019

This autobiographical one-woman performance work by Pasión y Arte artistic director Elba Hevia y Vaca explores her story as a Bolivian immigrant and mother. La Bolivianita delves into her almost lifelong journey with Flamenco and how that has continued to evolve as she ages. The piece will culminate in an interactive dialogue with the audience. Directed by world-renowned Flamenco artist Belen Maya. World Premiere.

Photo: Aidan Un

$20 / 55 minutes


About Elba Hevia y Vaca

Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Elba Hevia y Vaca began her study of classical Spanish dance at the age of five. She studied with great masters in Spain for over 20 years, and later joined the Ana Martinez Flamenco Dance Company and Raquel Peña Spanish Dance Company in Washington D.C., where she was a soloist. In Philadelphia, she continued her study of modern dance, jazz, and contact improvisation from various Philadelphia artists. In 2000, Hevia y Vaca founded Pasión y Arte out of a strong and intensely personal conviction that highly-stylized traditional Spanish Flamenco dance is a perfect vessel to empower women. These values have been reflected in the eight original, critically acclaimed works she has created for PyA, and in the numerous grants, fellowships, and accolades awarded to Hevia y Vaca and PyA under her direction. In addition, she was nominated for a prestigious Pew Fellowship in 2018. She conducts master classes throughout the US, has taught at local Philadelphia universities, teaches various levels of Flamenco at at her Overbrook Studio in West Philadelphia, and has been teaching at Franklin & Marshall as a Senior Adjunct for the last 20 years.

About Pasión y Arte

For more than a decade, Pasión y Arte (PyA), Philadelphia’s premier all-female contemporary flamenco dance company under the direction of Elba Hevia y Vaca, has been embracing artistic excellence in performance, education and community engagement focused on modern feminist flamenco. Deemed a world classic by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pasión y Arte continues to strengthen flamenco’s legacy as a classical form while also expanding the trajectory of modern feminist flamenco through its conservatory classes, performances, and national tours. In eight original productions, and through its presentation of the 2012 and 2014 Philadelphia Flamenco Festivals, PyA empowers women through self-expression by embracing bold experimentation that challenges traditional flamenco gender stereotypes.

Learn More:
pasionyarteflamenco.org
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¡Que Ridículo!

Posted September 18th, 2019

September 18–21, 2019

Comedy that will make you say “How Ridiculous!” This cross-cultural comedy show was constructed through the lens of the immigrant experience. Featuring sketch and improv by ¿Qué?—an all-Spanish-speaking group (except for one white dude)—this show is meant to be enjoyed by English speakers as well as Spanish speakers.

$15 / 60 minutes


Since its opening in 2005, Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) has been the heart of Philadelphia’s nationally recognized comedy scene. PHIT produces over one thousand performances annually, with shows on multiple stages, seven nights a week, every week of the year. Beyond Philadelphia, Philly Improv Theater’s performers tour regularly, making appearances at the most prestigious comedy venues across North America.­

Dedicated to developing talent locally, the PHIT Training Center teaches over 1,000 adults, kids and teens how to improvise, write sketch comedy, and perform stand-up each year. Alumni and performers seen on PHIT’s stages have worked on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, 30 Rock, The Late Show, Two and Half Men, Raising Hope, Key & Peele, Kroll Show, The State, Girl Code, Guy Code, Orange is the New Black, and The Kids in the Hall.

Learn more:
phillyimprovtheater.com
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Medusa Volution

Posted September 17th, 2019

September 17–20, 2019

A true story of sex, power, and monsters.

“Feel of an ancient epic” (playstosee.com)

“Deliciously sticky … unexpected rapid fire of emotions“ (BKReader.com)

“Conceptually ambitious” (culturecatch.com)

Medusa Volution takes a darkly comedic look at what is really going on with Medusa and her sister archetypes, intertwining their stories with those of modern womanhood, ultimately with a hopeful urge toward transcendence.

$22 / 90 minutes

$5 tickets on September 17th only!


In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Medusa was a young maiden in service to the temple of Athena. When she caught Poseidon’s attention her fate was sealed—the god forced himself on her in the temple, yet Athena condemned Medusa for having lost her purity, and turned her into the hideous gorgon monster we know, with snakes for hair, so dangerous and hideous that her gaze will turn a man to stone.

Medusa Volution is inspired by her story—by the loss of her humanity, and her condemnation and isolation as a punishment for her sexuality meted out by both male and female gods. Medusa the monster is but one in a Pantheon of female archetypes whose stories are the morality plays of the patriarchy.

“Medusa Volution packs a millenia-spanning deconstruction of the Othering of women…”  (culturecatch.com)

” …unabashedly and successfully delves deeper into the histories of Medusa, Salome and Eve…” (BKReader.com).

“…the truth-seeking Chorus dance, chant and curse the unwritten inaccuracies of Medusa’s plight…” (stagebiz.com).

“… disturbingly familiar (…) play written by an artist and a lawyer” “…mastered all the perceptions of Woman presented in the story: docile, beautiful, scary, vengeful, life-giving, and anything in between.”  (playstosee.com).

Conceived and directed by Sophie Amieva Written by Sophie Amieva and Susu Bagert Stage manager Wednesday Derrico Set and costume by Katerina Marcelja Lighting by Sarah Lurie Sound Design by Liz Stanton Butoh Choreography by Vangeline Ensemble Chandler Eliah Eason, Kayla Juntilla, Liz Stanton*, Irina Varina

*AEA

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Honey

Posted September 13th, 2019

September 13–15, 2019

An evening of original dance created and conceived by Philly-based artists Evalina “Wally” Carbonell and Melissa Rector, Honey delves into the intoxicating search for sweetness, alternately stinging and smooth, viscous and flowing.

$20 / 60 minutes


Honey is an original dance co-production making its premier at this year’s Fringe Festival. It will be an immersive evening of movement that will both inspire and entertain. Featuring dance that is sweet and stinging, syrupy, and flowing, audiences can expect innovative and moving new choreography by Evalina “Wally” Carbonell and Melissa Rector, with expressive performances by them and their diverse and talented dancers.

About the Artists

Evalina “Wally” Carbonell is a Philadelphia-based dance artist. She received her early training at the National Ballet School in Maryland. She went on to earn her BFA in Dance from Florida State University, studying with such luminaries as Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Suzanne Farrell. Upon graduation, Evalina joined the Roxey Ballet Company, dancing as a principal artist from 2005-2011. As a free-lance artist, she has worked and choreographed extensively, and continues to be an active performer as a guest artist nationally and locally. Evalina teaches dance, GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® in addition to creating her own work. A passionate performer, creator, and teacher, Evalina joined Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers in 2012. In recent years, she has produced four consecutive shows for the Fringe Festival, was the recipient of the Ellen Forman Award for Choreography in 2017, and was honored to create a new choreographic work on the dancers of KYL/D for their fall 2018 home season.

Melissa Rector started dancing at a young age with Monica Folio. She graduated from the University of the Arts in 1993. Melissa has been dancing with Koresh Dance Company since its inception in 1991 and is the company’s assistant artistic director. She is also an instructor at the Koresh School of Dance, where she teaches her unique style that blends modern jazz and Luigi technique. Her work has been performed locally at the Fringe Festival, the Annenberg Center, Drexel University, the Grier School and Brandywine Ballet. She frequently travels around the country to perform, teach master classes and set choreography on students. In 2008, Melissa helped to establish the Koresh Youth Ensemble and serves as their artistic director, setting both original choreography and company repertory on the group.

Learn more:
evalinacarbonell.com/workshops
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Shirley Valentine

Posted September 12th, 2019

September 12, 14, 20–22, 2019

Shirley Valentine is a working-class Liverpool housewife. As she stands in her dingy kitchen making egg and chips, she dreams about life beyond the wall, and the possibility of “drinking wine in a country where the grape is grown.” Eat and drink British pub grub as you enjoy this award-winning comedy by Willy Russell.

$18 / 85 minutes


Claire Golden Drake and Michelle Pauls have been theatre artists in Philadelphia and the surrounding area for over 20 years. Throughout that time they have worked together on many different productions. With a mutual respect and admiration for each others work, and a love of the play, Shirley Valentine is their first independent collaboration. Both Claire and Michelle get excited thinking about the interactive possibilities this play presents. The audience will be a major player in the production, as will the venue. Shirley Valentine will be staged in the Victoria Freehouse, an authentic English pub in the original home of the Philly Fringe, Old City. Pub fare such as Bangers and Mash, and Chips and Curry will be available during all shows. Have a pint or a glass of wine as Shirley spins tales about her life in Working Class Liverpool and her dreams of adventure in the exotic Greek islands.

Learn More:
clairegoldendrake.com

 

How It Really Happens

Posted September 11th, 2019

September 11–14, 2019

How It Really Happens is an unromantic comedy that tackles the struggles of adulting as a 20-something in the 21st century (or any century). In a world where people speak as though they have self-knowledge but still simply have bad habits, what prods us to truly change?

$15 / 65 minutes


TSquared Productions was founded when Tess Ammerman waved a toothbrush at T. Michael Vest asking why people don’t just come out and say what they mean in romantic comedies. Since then, it has grown into a theater company that embraces the comedic within the tragic and the laughs that disrupt mundane life. How It Really Happens is its inaugural production.

Learn more:
tsquaredproductionco.weebly.com
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Operatic Addictions

Posted September 6th, 2019

September 6 + 7, 2019

A fully staged operatic double-bill about two of our most major addictions: coffee and smartphones, with a new adaptation of J.S. Bach’s The Coffee Cantata, and Phony, a premiere micro-opera by David Brown and Alize Rozsnyai. Accompanied by a reorchestrated chamber ensemble that includes electric guitar, bass guitar, and saxophone.

$25 / 80 minutes


Alter Ego Chamber Opera (AECO) is an emerging, Philadelphia-based opera collective that presents new works and reimagined works of history “without the ego.” Traditional barriers of language and antiquated themes are stripped away in favor of productions more relevant to today’s audiences, created right now. AECO is the brainchild of Alize Rozsnyai, Soprano/Librettist, David Matthew Brown, Composer/Violinist, Irene Moretto, Keyboardist/Collaborator, and Kaitlyn Waterson, Soprano/Creator.

Our first season, to begin this fall, will comprise three productions. The first, scheduled for Philadelphia’s Fringe Festival on the evenings of September 6th and 7th, is a double-bill: 1) J.S. Bach’s “Coffee Cantata” (BWV 211), performed to an original libretto by Alize Rozsnyai, and reorchestrated for three voices, soprano sax, violin, viola, electric guitar, electric bass, and harpsichord; and 2) Philadelphian composer, David Matthew Brown’s new opera, “Phony,” about cell phone addiction, also based on text by Rozsnyai, and scored for the same ensemble. The theme of the performance is addiction, as it pertains to seemingly innocuous habits, such as coffee and screen time. The second production, slated for February of 2020, will be TBA, but likely a brand new work or series of brand new works embracing our mission of promoting female-identifying creators and story-tellers. AECO’s final first season production, likely in the late spring of 2020, will be a reimagining of Handel’s “Alcina,” in English, reorchestrated, and staged in a modern idiom.

Learn More:

AlterEgoChamberOpera.com
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Dull Space and Dance

Posted September 6th, 2019

September  7, 8, 13–15 + 20–22 2019

This multidisciplinary theatrical (45 minutes, all of the above dates and times) and dance (45 minutes on Sept. 21 only) pairs the work of playwright Brian McCole with an exhibition featuring the internationally acclaimed dancers of The Rock School. See Dull Space all month long or both performances on Sept. 21; café dining (September 21 only) is also available.

$15 / 45 minutes (Dull Space OR Heart of Dance)
$25 / 90 minutes (Dull Space AND Heart of Dance)


The Rock School for Dance Education will provide a series of engaging performance events in conjunction with Light Street Pictures in September of 2019, under the umbrella of the 2019 FringeArts festival, at The Rock School’s Broad and Washington studio theater space. The series includes a small-venue staged theatrical performance of the Brian McCole screenplay Dull Space (throughout the month of September)–and a closing premiere dance concert in the expansive 5th-floor studio space (Saturday, September 21, 2019, 2:00pm only) The Heart of Dance featuring the Ramirez Castellano identical triplets from Cuba along with young artists of local, regional and international origins. Following ‘The Heart of Dance’ there will be a post-show Q&A discussion with our Directors, Bo and Stephanie Spassoff, and the student performers in the 2nd-floor Bistro with food and drinks available for purchase (ticket and dining package upgrades available).

Learn More:
TheRockSchool.org
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Immigrant Concierge Services

Posted September 5th, 2019

September 5, 11 + 15, 2019

What happened when a conservative billionaire had a freak accident in the Mexican desert and was rescued by a group of migrants? A mutually profitable business partnership, of course! In a tale told with live music, hear how they disrupted the current immigration system to offer a novel pathway toward the American dream.

NOTE: There has been a venue change for this event. the Sept 15th show will take place at Kismet Radio, located at 448 N and 10th street. 

$12 / 55 minutes


Written and Narrated by Brian Shapiro Directed by Seth Reichgott Live Music by Brian Shapiro, Nicholas Panasevich, and Michael Brenner

Learn More:
brianshapiropresents.com

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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Splash Zone: Water Puppets in Vietnam

Posted May 31st, 2012

Ellen Freeman is a freelance writer and former Festival Blog intern who is based in Oregon.

Here come the puppets. Photo by kkinjo.

On my list of must-sees for the week I spent in Vietnam last month (or, as the itinerary turned out, must-eats), temples, conical hats, and sidewalk noodle stands figured high. The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre did not. Puppets? I mistakenly thought. That’s kid stuff.

But after dark in Hanoi, Vietnam’s historic capital, my travel buddy and I found ourselves looking for something to do. We’d been playing rummy and drinking bia hoi, or glasses of fresh draft beer that local watering holes serve for pennies (literally, it’s about 20 cents a glass). But the amount of tourists that were as thrifty as they were thirsty meant that the kegs had run out almost as soon as they’d been tapped. (This happens every night. I don’t know why they don’t just make more beer.) With no desire to head back to our stifling fourth-floor walk-up, we thumbed through the Lonely Planet looking for something exciting to do.

Ranked #1 in the Hanoi entertainment section was the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, a show that the writers of our guidebook did not advise you to leave Vietnam without seeing. If we didn’t get lost in the Old Quarter trying to find the theater, we could still make it to the last show.

According to our map, the theater was right on Hoan Kiem, a small lake filled with giant turtles in the heart of Hanoi. Of course! I thought. It’s water puppetry so it must be performed in the lake. Puppets in a lake sounded slightly more appealing than plain old puppets, so we set off for the theater. Ignoring the many offers of rickshaw rides—getting there on time didn’t seem worth the public humiliation of being a tourist paraded on a rickshaw and then paying exorbitantly for the experience—we made our way on foot.

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