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Between

Posted September 19th, 2019

September 19–21, 2019

Each show features a new opera and a band. The first half: a binge-staging of The 2019 Serial Opera Project (shows II and III) or the world premiere of the sci-fi opera Ganymede 5 (I and IV) by Evan Kassof and Aleksandar Hut Kono. The second half: sets from Brother Martin (I), The Cheddar Boys (II), or Lee Mo (III and IV).

$20 / 150 minutes


ENAensemble is a music and theater ensemble focused on cultivating and performing new and important works of theatrical vocal music. Based in Philadelphia and founded by Evan Kassof, Nicole Renna, and Anaïs Naharro-Murphy, ENAensemble has presented a diverse range of productions over the last year. The first production, The Propaganda Machine Show ran for four sold-out nights at the 2018 FringeArts Festival. Following that success, ENAensemble presented a rare, fully-staged version of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with additional works by Ravel, Stravinsky, and Kassof. Since March, ENAensemble has been hard at work guiding new composer/librettist teams in the creation, production, and performance of their new opera episodes as part of the 2019 Serial Opera Project. A resident ensemble in the Music Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, ENAensemble is constantly developing new ways to present opera, musical theater, art song, and other forms of vocal-led musical story-telling. The 2019-2020 Season has at least four new productions in the works, including a new Serial Musical Project and the 2020 Serial Opera Project.

Directed by Rose Freeman Stage Manager Casey Berner The 2019 Serial Opera Project Music and Libretto by Evan Kassof & Aleksandar Hut Kono (March), Michael Shingo Crawford & Traci Troi Justice Williams (April), Abigail Kempson & Jerry Mathes III (May), Timothy Arliss O’Brien & Jennifer Williams (June), Roger A. Martinez & Alize Rozsnyai (July), and Cortlandt Matthews & Rick Beck (August) Ganymede 5 Music and Libretto by Evan Kassof & Aleksandar Hut Kono Serial Opera Project Sung by Katie Procell and Marcelle McGuirk Ganymede 5 Sung by Megnot Toggia, Caitlin Mead, Heather Gardner, and Wesley Morgan  Instrumentalists Chelsea Meynig, Elisa Muzzillo, Joseph Dvorak, Olivia Cleri, Michael Shingo Crawford, Jennifer Boorum, and Alyssa Resh


ENAensemble is eternally grateful to Ray Banas, Leigh Urbschat, Leanne Fallo, and all the staff of the Music Department of Free Library of Philadelphia for giving us the time, space, and loving atmosphere to present the 2019 Serial Opera Project. We can’t imagine a better environment to publicly create new opera!

Between is generously funded by a grant from the Presser Foundation, awarded through Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. Thank you to Dr. Cynthia Folio, Dean Flanagan, and Dean Stroker for believing in this project and advocating for it with the Presser Foundation.

Learn more:
www.enaensemble.org
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Brother Martin
The Cheddar Boys
Lee Mo

 

Manifest Destiny

Posted September 12th, 2019

September 12–15, 2019

A theatrical presentation of alternative-rock songs written by singer-songwriter Jesus G. Inspired by the juxtaposition of his Catholic upbringing, Native-American ancestry, and sexuality, this work seeks to challenge the abuse of power and honor the soul’s journey, from its trials to its triumphs.

$15 / 55 minutes


I’ve always believed that the medium of music; while essential for escape, entertainment, and emotional release; can also be used as a tool to free the soul through political, religious, and spiritual questioning.

The term manifest destiny was originally used in reference to the European settlers who invaded North America with the proclamation that their God had promised this land to his followers. Of course, the Native Americans asked, who is this God of yours who would set man against man in conquest of a land that cannot be bought nor sold? Surely, this cannot be the great man, Jesus, whom we have heard of.

In titling this evening “Manifest Destiny,” I seek to explore the idea that we are all in charge of manifesting the life that we desire. My Manifest Destiny seeks to challenge the bigoted views of the separatist, religious person who believes that he will show up at the gates of heaven and be rewarded with a place in the eternal pantheon. In my opinion, any idea of inequality in the name of God is erroneous and is the root of all war. For truly, in the end, if one’s truth has led to the oppression and death of others, then who is this God who has influenced these actions? Was it God at all? Or was it a man-made creation posing as God?

Salvation lies within our ability to manifest moral obligation and wisdom, regardless of threats or promises of the hereafter. If one needs rules, promises, or threats in order to be a good person, were they ever a good person to begin with? We are bigger than the rules that seek to bind us. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

– Jesus G

It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community,
Be good to each other.
Do not look outside yourself for a leader.
There is a river flowing now very fast,
It is so great and swift.
That there are those who will be afraid,
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being pulled apart,
And will suffer greatly.
Understand that the river knows its destination,
The elders say we must let go of the shore.
Push off into the middle of the river,
Keep our eyes open and our heads above water.
And I say; see who is in there with you,
Hold fast to them and celebrate!
At this time in history,
We are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves!
For the moment we do,
Our spiritual growth and journey comes to an end.
The time of the Lone Wolf is over!
Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done,
In a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are all about to go on a journey,
We are the ones we have been waiting for!

– Excerpt from a prophecy of the Hopi Nation, American Southwest

Learn More:
JesusG.com
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The Destination is the Downbeat

Posted September 12th, 2019

September 12, 13, 19 + 20, 2019

This new tap dance and jazz music work by Pamela Hetherington considers how to “keep time” in jazz music. For tap dancers, how they keep time in jazz music has everything to do with who they are as human beings. Time is a feeling; it is swing, groove, and rhythm—the essence of tap dancing itself. Rhythm is personal and music is the original DM (direct message).

$15 / 75 minutes


Pamela Hetherington’s choreography explores the theme of keeping time across different types of jazz music, including blues, hard bop, free and post-bop and features the music of Bobby Timmons, Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Mel Lewis, and original compositions by the band. Featuring Erica Corbo on piano, Paul Giess on trumpet, Nicholas Krolak on bass, and the company of three tap dancers. Along with the musicians, there are three tap dancers working in concert: Lauren Belasco, Alec Chupik, and Kristin Potocki.

Artistic direction and choreography by Pamela Hetherington

Pamela Hetherington brings her company Take It Away Dance to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival for four presentations of The Destination is the Downbeat, a new work that considers the notion of ‘keeping time’ in jazz music. Distinctly Philadelphian in its sound, approach and vibe, Take It Away Dance creates a thrilling combination of movement and music, improvised solos and group choreography. The show explores the theme of keeping time across different types of jazz music and leaps into compositions by Bobby Timmons, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis and Mel Lewis, along with original compositions by the band. The musical accompaniment is provided by Erica Corbo, (who is also the music director), trumpeter, Paul Giess; and bassist, Nicholas Krolak. Along with the musicians, there are four tap dancers working in concert: Lauren Belasco, Alec Chupik, Morgan O’Shea and Kristin Potocki.

This is the company’s fifth anniversary year. Music Director, Erica Corbo and Pamela Hetherington started working together in 2018, and their musical relationship has extended into other projects that claim a space for women in jazz. The jazz future is female.

Drummers is a former warehouse space renovated into a sophisticated jazz venue by internationally-renowned drummer, Sherrie Maricle. Doors will open at 7 pm, and the music will start at 7:30 each evening. The set will last approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.

About Take It Away Dance: Take It Away Dance maintains the connection of music and dance. Our work is inspired by diverse jazz music influences with a distinctive focus on the music and grooves that originated here in Philadelphia. Take It Away Dance has been presented by Jazz Bridge Neighborhood Concerts, The Philadelphia Jazz Project (7X7 Series), Creative Philadelphia (Culture in the Courtyard), Dixon Place Eight in Show), The Barnes Foundation (Free 1st Sunday), Allentown Art Museum (3rd Thursday), and Symphony Space (Stam-Pede/APAP). The company has presented five original evening-length original concerts since 2014. They have also presented the work of world-renowned women tap dance choreographers, such as Dorothy Wasserman and Heather Cornell, through the re-staging and performance of classic repertory. Take It Away Dance has been featured on the nationally-syndicated arts program, Articulate, and has been directed by Pamela Hetherington since 2014.

About Pamela Hetherington: Pamela Hetherington is a Philadelphia tap dancer. Her artistic work aims to expand the boundaries of jazz tap, both as a soloist, a choreographer, and a composer. She was a principle dancer with Tap Team Two & Company, under the direction of Robert F. Burden, Jr., from 1996-2011. In 2014, she created Take It Away Dance, a tap dance and live music company has been presented consistently in Philadelphia and New York for the last five years. For Take It Away Dance, she has choreographed and directed five evening-length tap dance and live music concerts since 2014. Her work moves fluidly into music writing and recording: she has an original jazz composition published in the Philadelphia Real Book and is a featured recording artist on “The Whitman Project” mixtape, published by The Philadelphia Jazz Project. Pam has been interviewed about her work on Articulate (WHYY) and The Arts Desk (WRTI), and she was recognized in The Philadelphia Inquirer and Dance Teacher Magazine for her work directing The Philadelphia Community Tap Project. She owns Philadelphia’s principal studio for percussive dance: Sound Space Performing Arts.

Learn more:
takeitawaydance.com
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Khan!!! The Musical!!!

Posted September 9th, 2019

September 9, 10 + 13–15, 2019

In this live reading of the unauthorized Star Trek parody, Captain Picard and Data present an uproarious comedy adaptation of the iconic film The Wrath of Khan. Written for Trekkies and Broadway fans alike, Khan!!! is equal parts snarky, slapstick, and heartfelt. Come for the Vulcan tap dancing, stay for the mutant space chickens! 110 minutes plus 10-minute intermission.

$10 / 120 minutes


Written by Brent Black Concept co-conceived by Dany Roth

Learn more:
brentblacktunes.com
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60s FOLK Revisited

Posted September 7th, 2019

September 7, 8, 14 + 15, 2019

Protests, prevaricating politicians, pandemonium. It feels like the ’60s again! Time to revisit songs by Woody Guthrie, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, Bob Gibson, Shel Silverstein, Chad Mitchell, Joni Mitchell, and more. Sung by BackStage Bistro Award winner Kate Loitz. Joyful, passionate music in a gorgeous rooftop setting.

$10 / 60 minutes


Join Kate Loitz and award-winning guitarist Lenny Ranallo on the beautiful roof deck of the Davison Building. Our venue is atop a private apartment building, so you must be escorted to the roof. Please arrive early so everyone can be seated by curtain. And be aware that there are no restrooms. The show is not for children, although teens should be fine. There are dark moments, and funny ones as well. Even a couple of sing-alongs.

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Billy the Baaadly Behaving Bully Goat: The Musical

Posted September 7th, 2019

September 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 2019

Billy the Bully Goat’s parents and teachers are at their wits’ end! They cannot get Billy to stop picking on the other kids in his class. Luckily, the Wise Old Goat has a plan. Will it work? Can Billy change his behavior? Ages 4-9.

$8 kids, $12 adults / 45 minutes


Written by Staci Schwartz (a physician, author, and educational consultant for children’s bullying prevention) Directed by Ben Smallen (actor, director, and board chair and founding member of Directors Gathering) Original music composed by Liz Filios (a Barrymore Award–winning actor, musician, and teaching artist) Music directed by Michael Borton (cowriter and composer of Berenstain Bear LIVE – Family Matters).

About Play Nice Productions
In today’s world, bullying is all around us—in books, in movies, on TV, in schools, on playgrounds, and in workplaces. Our children are watching as divisive behavior is normalized. Adults must teach kids to be kind and to make good choices. Why not make that learning fun through interactive children’s theater, a medium good for both auditory and visual learners? Play Nice Productions was created in May 2019 to offer young children interactive and exciting theater experiences that will help them learn to be kind, empathetic, and inclusive individuals. Our first show is a 45-minute play, Billy the Baaadly Behaving Bully Goat: The Musical, during which a young bully goat must learn how his mean behavior affects others. Kids aged 4–9 will laugh, sing, and interact with our talented cast—all while learning to be caring and compassionate up-standers.

This play will be performed six times during the 2019 Fringe Festival in September. We are so excited to be contributing one of the few Fringe programs geared specifically for kids and families! All performances will take place in a popular, ADA-accessible, neighborhood child and family enrichment center called Nest (located at 1301 Locust Street).

Learn more:
stacischwartz.com/billy-play
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Billy the Baaadly Behaving Bully Goat: The Musical is a recipient of the 2019 Independent Artist FestiFund

The Independent Artist FestiFund is a project of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia

 

 

 

Learn more and support this fund!

The Murder & Booze Cabaret

Posted September 6th, 2019

September 6–8 + 19–22, 2019

Florence and Texas have three things in common: liquor, death, and music. Real and real-crazy drunken tales of fame and violence from the 1920s fuse with jazzy riffs on modern pop songs for a night of high notes, low blows, and bespoke cocktails.

$15 / 70 minutes


Love Drunk Life is an arts production and creative lifestyle company working to cultivate theatre, film, books, music, and product for the artistic soul. We are thrilled to be coming back to Fringe.

Past Fringe productions include:

Herlock Sholmes and the Mysterious Case of the Jersey Devil or The Living Dragon (2018),
Public screenings of Happy Yummy Chicken (2016),
The Most Awkward Love Life of Peabody Magoo (2015).

The Murder & Booze Cabaret will also be presented as a part of this year’s NJ Fringe Festival. This will be the second year that Love Drunk Life has presented in NJ Fringe. Love Drunk Life has collaborated with the Princeton Public Library, EveryLibrary, the New Cannan Library, and the Burlington County Footlighters.

Check out Love Drunk Life’s line of products for artists of all types at etsy.com/shop/lovedrunklife

Learn more:
lovedrunklife.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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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

Since They Left: A Pied Piper Musical

Posted September 5th, 2019

September 5–8, 2019

A musically diverse adaptation of the Pied Piper exploring the oppression of women, people with disabilities, freelance artists, and children by their own society, featuring a cast of women and nonbinary performers. Mystery to myth, myth to story, story to poem, and all pain fades. Childcare for parents in audience and open captioning for all performances by request, contact patronservices@FringeArts.com.

$10 / 90 minutes


Creative Team Nick Hatcher, Sarah Hough, Jem Rubin, Colin Sass, Hannah Sattazhan, Becca Thomas Cast Courtney Bird, Anna Caccavaro, Paige Galdieri, Dana Grossman, Camryn Harrigan, Hannah Hobson, Sam Kaufman, Linc Millard, Miranda Pilato, Kashmir Reed, Mae Waldron

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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Shadow House Invites You to Its Kick-Off Party

Posted August 12th, 2016
tamworth cocktail

The evening’s signature cocktail: Tamworth Flora Gin + tonic + squeeze of lime (courtesy of Tamworth Distilling)

On Sunday, August 14th, the Philadelphia Opera Collective and PhilaLandmarks are throwing a kick-off party and fundraiser at the historic Powel House for their fourth original opera, Shadow House. Meet the show’s artistic team, enjoy live music from members of the Philadelphia Opera Collective, and take in the elegance of Powel House and its garden, all while sipping signature cocktails provided by Tamworth Distilling.

Shadow House is part-opera, part-immersive theatrical event staged in Powel House, the result of a partnership between POC and PhilaLandmarks. Conceived by PhilaLandmarks artist-in-residence and POC lead conceptual creator Brenna Geffers, Shadow House weaves together folk pieces, dance rhythms, accordion music, and opera to tell 11 stories spanning 200 years of time. Foregrounded in this work is the rich history of Powel House. “The stories that are humming around a place like the Powel House cry out to be told. So many people pass through the house, living their lives, and leaving little echoes of their existence behind,” says Geffers.  

Shadow House premieres in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival on September 9th. For more upcoming events, check out PhilaLandmarks’ event page.

Shadow House Kick-Off Party
Powel House Garden
244 S 3rd St
6pm-8pm
$20

It Wasn’t Me

Posted June 20th, 2016

FB headers DJ-03

Join us as we reminisce of the past and deny everything she ever caught you doing.
FEATURING:
00s HIPHOP/DANCE/POP
SHAGGY
TRL VIBES
BLEACHED HAIR
PRE-07 MELTDOWN BRITNEY
Our very own “IT WASN’T YOU” CONFESSION BOARD-All night we be accepting confessions and denials for anything you may or may not have been caught doing, JUST SAY IT WASN’TYOU!!!

The Queer Agenda

Posted June 11th, 2016

Queer-Agenda-Post-CardCelebrate Pride Month the best way you know how… by dancing all night long! Saturday, June 11th at 10:30pm FringeArts is hosting a FREE night full of music and dancing with beats from DJ Dame Luz. With his mix of pop, rap, and house featuring queer anthems and artists, you will be begging your friends to cancel the uber ride home!

FREE

Emmanuelle Delpeche Talks Immigrant Life and Spinning Records

Posted June 6th, 2016

“There is a poetry of the exiled that I want to share.” Emmanuelle Delpech

Emmanuelle Delpech is a native of France who has been a longtime performer, teacher, director and deviser of theater in the Philadelphia area. For her newest theatrical creation, Spinning Immigrant, Delpech brings audiences into the lives of immigrants in Philadelphia. Through audio interviews, and set up as DJ Babtoue, she reveals the secrets, regrets, and joys of those who are from somewhere else. We caught up with Delpech to find out more about Spinning Immigrant and her love of deejaying.DSC_1477-1

FringeArts: Why the title Spinning Immigrant?

Emmanuelle Delpeche: Well, I am an immigrant and when I thought about it, I was just starting to get interested in deejaying, aka spinning. Also spinning is a sensation, like my head is spinning, and I definitely have felt like a spinning immigrant in many situations. And I know others have too. So it’s a play on word. It’s kind of the essence of the show. I think as immigrants we always navigate different waters, worlds and it’s complicated. It’s like nausea, you actually might not throw up so will never get the relief. You just don’t feel good. You’re spinning on an endless dilemma.

FringeArts: Tell us about some of the steps from initial inspiration to production?

Emmanuelle Delpeche: I have always been an immigrant, and my identity is rooted in the fact that I am French but more specifically that I am a French woman in the United States and in Philadelphia. I meet easily with other immigrants, and I get along with them often quite quickly. We share an instant intimacy, even if we just met. That’s rarer with Americans. Somehow we are united by the fact that we are foreign, and we therefore feel similar things and have a similar eye on American society. We observe people and their habits. We notice differences because we are different. While I am interesting to Americans, I am French, an actor but other immigrants are invisible. They are unknown, and sometimes people don’t even know where one’s country is on the map. I am tired of that. I want people to have a voice, to be seen and to be understood. There is a poetry of the exiled that I want to share with the American audience. It might tap into their own feelings of exile.DSC_1502

FringeArts: How did you start deejaying?

Emmanuelle Delpeche: Deejaying is a thing I went to because I am an immigrant. I don’t think I would have gone there if I was in France. I am not sure why, but being here gives me the audacity to try new things and deejaying is part of one of these things. It’s also ok for a woman who is 42 to do that, nobody questions me, nobody is judging me, people are rather seduced and encouraging, which isn’t always the case in France.

I want to take a trip into people’s hearts and minds and joys and questions. I want to share that with the audience so they might become visible. I am a body for these voices. I want to be more and more intimate with my own struggle and by interviewing people and spending time with their story, I might understand mine better. I also want to make visible intimacy and how that is actually what matters. And when you are not “home,” it is quite hard to find. You seek it, you look for the familiar, the known. I have been here for a long time but it took me very very long to feel safe and at ease. To feel at home again.

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Big Voices: Suite n˚2, Saul Williams

Posted September 15th, 2015

encyclop--diedelaparolecbeaborgers_small-1024x683Since working here, one way I’ve come to think about the Fringe Festival is as an assembly of voices, juxtaposed and recombining in different ways to different ends for each of us who goes to the shows. And tonight, we have some strong voices coming through the Festival.

First, Suite n˚2 opens tonight at 7:00 pm at Christ Church Neighborhood House for shows tonight and tomorrow. Found words juxtaposed as choral, it’s among the more innovative compositions that FringeArts has brought through.

Then late night: freaking SAUL WILLIAMS with Nguyen Smith, and then King Britt spins until closing time. Starts at 9 pm. See you at both? Yes, I will.

Center City Fringe: Get into the GROOVE!

Posted August 17th, 2015

Philadelphia Fringe Festival favorite Tongue & Groove, Philly’s cutting-edge critically-acclaimed unscripted theater company, announces a first-time collaboration with blues dancers and musicians for a unique improvised performance based on personal information from the audience. Founded in 2006, Tongue & Groove has created nine unscripted show formats, including their popular SECRETS, in which the actors are inspired by the audience’s true secrets. Tongue & Groove has been invited to perform at the Kimmel Center for both Philadelphia International Festivals of the Arts. For PIFA 2013, Tongue & Groove collaborated with dance company RealLivePeople and developed THAT TIME. That collaboration was so successful that Tongue & Groove Artistic Director, Bobbi Block, was eager to find another project in which improvisational dance and music could share the stage with the actors. That desire is being realized with GROOVE

GROOVE_Tongue-Groove-Spontaneous-Theater-300x214

FringeArts: What can audiences expect when they come out for a performance of GROOVE?

Bobbi Block: When the audience arrives, they will be asked to anonymously write on a card their response to this prompt: “Describe a specific time when you were in the groove…with yourself, a partner, a group, or something you were doing.” The ensemble will draw random cards, read them aloud, and begin riffing off of the themes and characters submitted. Tongue & Groove is dedicated to exploring the collaboration between artist and patron, reflecting the spirit of each audience at every one-of-a-kind performance.

FringeArts: How do you use music and dance in the show?

Bobbi Block: GROOVE will follow Tongue & Groove’s signature format, creating a montage of scenes and monologues, both comic and dramatic. Interspersed in the montage will be blues dances that comment on and interpret the themes and characters created by the actors, inspired by the audience.

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Disabled like a titanium lollipop: Musician, Model, and Medical Experiment at the 2015 Fringe

Posted July 29th, 2015

1683-e37a8444bc2810407a1fd83fba3b1b8a“Anomie was born at age twenty on an operating table. Surgical experiments saved her life but left her disabled like a titanium lollipop.”

Anomie is a musician. Outside of creating music, she models for “Sick and Sexy,” her self-created group for alternative models with disabilities. Anomie has undergone several surgeries.  She is an artist who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a genetic defect in connective tissue, which impacts joints, skin, and muscles. After a series of medical issues in 2008, she was forced to discard her life as a biochemistry college student in exchange for a new identity. The physical complications that occurred as a result of EDS have not only left her physically disabled, but have also stranded her on the outskirts of society. “My bones are titanium from the neck up, and I’ve been an electric wheelchair user for almost three years now.  I refer to it as ‘my mecha-body,’ although I would prefer a robotic exoskeleton because sitting still for long periods of time really sucks,” Anomie says.

Anomie is taking her music and story to the 2015 Fringe Festival in a show, called Musician, Model & Medical Experiement. During her performance, which takes place at Agno Grill on September 6, 10, and 16, Anomie shares her story and reclaims her identity through song and burlesque. “The songs are about all sorts of things, evil doctors, bad boyfriends, bad girlfriends, vampires, and living in public housing in the projects. I will be doing at least one burlesque act per show. Because of my restricted mobility I cannot dance for burlesque, so I sing and use props instead,” she says. Her songs consist of guitar and digital back tracks. Some of her pieces are collaborative works, while others are solo creations. While Anomie’s music captures her own story, she references the larger disabled community. “I’d like to tell a story more than just singing and performing. The story is my personal experience, but the show is as much about me as it is about all of those who go through these challenges.”

Greatnecklogo-257x300Anomie refers to her community as “the underworld.” She uses this term because disabled people are locked out of society, prevented from participating in mainstream culture, by those in power who fail to include people with chronic medical conditions. Her songs make visible a group of people society tends to ignore. “I refer to ‘crip’ society as ‘the underworld’ a lot because of the way we have to live with chronic medical conditions. I am unable to work a standard job, live an average full life, get married, have a family, and feel like a part of regular society. This is not because of I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome really. This is mostly because the system we live in does not allow disabled people to do that,” she says. Our city is inaccessible. The larger structure of our society allows disabled people to be disregarded. When the disabled community is not swept underneath the societal rug, they are noticed specifically for their difference through events that highlight their disability, like Special Olympics and non-profit fundraisers. Anomie is either erased from society or put underneath a microscope like a unrecognizable object. “I’ve had done experimental treatments for the neurological problems associated with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Arnold Chiari Malformation and Tethered Spinal Cord.  My cranio-cervical fusion surgery was recorded and used for teaching purposes at the Harvey Cushing Institute of Neuroscience.

When asked if she had a fetish, Anomie responded “No, but there are fetishes for people like me.”  She explained one called ‘devotee’ in which a person sexualizes care-taking of a disabled person. The other she explained was called ‘Agalmatophilia’ which is the fetishization of a statue, or in her case a person who is fixed solid with fusion implants.

1683-ab13436c70b238738d5e76d763fbad1c“Disability is the ultimate counterculture.” After struggling to participate in society, Anomie realized that she would always be excluded. Instead of trying to return to college for the third time, she is developing an identity that works for her. As she sings, she claims agency and strength, despite living in a world that denies her power. “I picked the name Anomie for myself, because that’s exactly what the word means: disconnected, rebel. But I’m not disconnected really, there’s a whole community of people living in this ‘underworld’ finding ways to make what we’re given with work.”

Musician, Model & Medical Experiment
Agno Grill
2104 Chestnut Street
Sept 6 at 3pm
Sept 10 at 9pm
Sept 16 at 9pm
Click for tickets

–Courtney Lau

Tonight! Maya Beiser’s “Uncovered” at the FringeArts Stage

Posted September 7th, 2014

You’ve probably gotten wind of how awesome our late night programming is, but in case you haven’t, check it out for yourself tonight at 9:00 pm. Cellist Maya Beiser covers iconic rock songs, from “Lithium” to “Kashmir.” Preview below:

Maya Beiser’s “Uncovered
Tonight, 9:00 pm
FringeArts Stage
140 N. Columbus Blvd.
Free!

Sacred Spaces and the Arts: A Chat with Rich Kirk from the Calvary Center

Posted September 17th, 2012

Prarthana Jayaram is a Philly-based writer and regular Festival Blog contributor. She talked to Rich Kirk, the chairman of the board for the Cavalry United Methodist Church. The West Philly church, located at 48th Street and Baltimore Avenue, hosts the Cavalry Center for Culture and Community, which in turn hosts Curio Theatre Company and Crossroads Music. Crossroads produced two shows for this year’s Philly Fringe: The Legend of Nahia: A Healing Story, which closed Saturday, and a concert this Wednesday, September 19 with Sao Paolo Underground (which features killer trumpeter and Chicago-by-way-of-Sao Paolo scenester Rob Mazurek). After the jump: Rich Kirk on Cavalry, and video from Sao Paolo Underground.

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