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Posts Tagged ‘Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater’

INK

Posted September 6th, 2019

September 6, 13, 18, 20 + 21, 2019

T&G’s improvised show is inspired by stories and pics of your tattoos, and other personal symbols.
Whether you have a tattoo, want one, or would never get one, tell us the things that are so important to you that they’re forever etched in your heart…or on your skin.

“Hilarious and fearless” – Philadelphia Weekly.

“Dazzling” – Philadelphia Inquirer.

$18 / 65 minutes

($13 student tickets)


Here’s what will happen at INK: When you arrive at the theater, you’re invited to anonymously fill out a card with the answer to this prompt:

“Briefly tell us something about your tattoo—the meaning behind its words or symbols, or the story behind how you got it. If you don’t have a tattoo: what words or symbols are so important to you that you feel they are etched in your heart?”

Your responses are collected in a basket and randomly selected by the actors throughout the show, who use your stories to inspire an improvised one-hour montage of scenes and monologues.

In addition, when you enter the theater, you’ll be invited to have your tattoo photographed, if comfortable. Then, during a portion of the show, the photographed tattoos will be projected, and the ensemble will use the images to inspire their improvisation.

The content of the show will not focus on tattoos, but rather on what the tattoos represent—a person or place, a concept or feeling—the actors will use that information to create scenes of life experiences & relationships, both hilarious and touching.


Come Early to connect and share tattoo stories!

VENUE IS BYOB!

Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain for pre-show lobby event.

•Free mini Henna tattoos provided by ’Stay Groovy with Henna.’
•Free temporary tattoo station with a variety of tattoos to play with!
•Info and discounts from local tattoo artists
•and more!

•Free glass of wine or beer at the following performances only: Friday, Sept 13 at 10pm; Wednesday, Sept 18 at 7pm; and Friday, Sept 20 at 10pm.

Those attending opening night, Sept 6, can register to win a $50 gift certificate to use at Hunter Gatherer Tattoo & Piercing!


“The name Tongue & Groove means ‘seamlessly connected’,” says Bobbi Block, artistic director, “The goal of INK is to connect those within and outside the tattoo community through shared story-telling. Our pre-show lobby event encourages that connection—we want the lobby to buzz with a friendly vibe of meeting strangers & sharing stories. Everyone is welcome! We hope untattooed people will feel intrigued to learn about the tattooed community, and that those with tattoos will feel excited to share their tattoo stories with new friends,” says Block.

Learn More:
tonguegroove.com
Facebook
Vimeo 

2019 Fringe Festival Spotlight: Fringe After Dark

Posted August 29th, 2019

The Fringe Festival doesn’t stop when the sun sets! The following shows offer performances starting at 10pm or later. Leave the kids at home and Fringe the night away with these after-dark performances.

A Manayunk Mystery Tour
Manayunk Theatre Company
It was a dark and stormy night when a young woman from Manayunk mysteriously went missing … and was murdered!!! Follow Manayunk’s finest private investigator, a child genius turned conspiracy enthusiast, and a very serious podcast reporter as they try to solve the Murder of Manayunk’s Missing Millennial.
More info and tickets here

BASEMENT
Gunnar Montana
Gunnar Montana transports us once again, this time downward into the dark depths of terror. Follow one man’s frightening descent into deranged madness and witness his unrelenting, visceral nightmare unfold.
More info and tickets here

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How Are You FEELing?

Posted August 18th, 2018

The Fringe wouldn’t be the Fringe without Bobbi Block. The artist and producer has been in EVERY SINGLE Fringe Festival since its foundation in 1997. This year, Block adds two more shows to her impressive Fringe resume: she’s dancing in Sylvain Emard’s Le Super Grand Continental on the Art Museum steps and producing another sure-to-be-a-hit improv theater piece by Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater.  

In FEEL, T&G is asking audiences “How are you feeling” and really wanting to know: they will improvise a show based on the feelings of the audience. To put the audience at ease, they’re offering free massages before every show. Now that feels good!

FringeArts asked Block how she was feeling, and other questions about her upcoming Fringe shows.

FringeArts: How are you feeling today and why?

Bobbi Block: Today? Today I’m feeling joyful and optimistic about my current artistic endeavors. You?

FringeArts: Oh, FringeArts Blog is doing just fine. Why ask audiences that question?

Bobbi Block: Well, first I’ll explain why Tongue & Groove asks that question of each other. For eleven years now, T & G begins every rehearsal and performance with an “Emotional Check-in”—we report how we’re feeling. This accomplishes two goals: 1. It “stirs the pot” of emotional fodder so that real feelings are readily available for us to use as inspiration for our improvised characters and scenarios, and 2. Sharing feelings is vulnerable, and vulnerability and transparency builds trust.

So why ask the audience? We’ve asked the audience so many questions over the years: “What secret are you keeping?” “What do you want to do before you die?” “Who are you?” The answers are written anonymously on cards and used to inspire our improvised work. We figured it was time to ask the most basic question—and possibly most difficult to answer. Most people do not get a lot of practice exercising emotional literacy. We are socialized not to talk about our real feelings—and we assume no one really wants to know. Rarely does someone ask “How are you feeling?” (unless you’re ill); we ask “How are you?” or “How ya doin?” The typical answer is “Fine,” and then we quickly move on, thinking we’ve satisfied our social connection obligation. Even if we’re craving to connect with each other, many of us follow this social norm because we’re afraid to speak the truth.

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Making Art in 2017: Bobbi Block on Tongue and Groove

Posted August 26th, 2017

Name: Bobbi Block

Company: Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater

Show in 2017 Festival: Tongue & Groove (that’s what’s listed in the Guide, tho the name of our show this year is QUESTIONS)

Past Festival shows: We’ve produced shows in the Festival for 9 years! Last year: Before I Die…; the year before that, a collaboration with blues dancers called Groove, and many others!

FringeArtsTell us about your show.

Bobbi Block: Tongue & Groove is unscripted theater inspired by personal information anonymously submitted by the audience. Our mission is to create theater that combines the dramatic integrity of playwriting with the playful tension of improv. Through collaborative inspiration with the audience, we examine authentic relationships, and perform emotionally dynamic, physically intimate, serio-comic theater . . . that happens to be improvised!

The concept for creating T&G came from working with and teaching all different forms of improv: games, longform, Playback (communal storytelling). I was inspired by the work of world-class Chicago improvisers TJ & Dave who create beautiful one-act improvised plays that are both funny and dramatic. I wanted to create a hybrid of all those improv forms, and I wanted to explore regular realistic relationships. Ten years ago, when I founded T&G, I was tired of seeing improvisers avoid being vulnerable on stage—like they would be just about to kiss and then suddenly they make the whole thing surreal or into a wacky joke. There’s a place for that in the improv world—I love performing short-form games that are wacky—but I wanted to see if improvisers could explore human relationships more authentically.

After we honed our style (called Actors’ Improv), we realized that we wanted more interaction with the audience so we started asking them to anonymously reveal personal information (written on index cards and submitted pre-show). We found the collaboration and intimacy with the audience very fulfilling, and the audience loved seeing a piece of their real life turned into instant art. So now we combine our emotionally-grounded work with collaboration/intimacy with the audience.

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Fringe at 20 Profile: Bobbi Block

Posted September 2nd, 2016
bobbidorisperformance

Bobbi Block (photo by JJ Tiziou)

Name: Bobbi Block

Type of Artist: Theater Artist; Producer; Director; Dancer; Drummer

Companies: Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater; LunchLady Doris; ComedySportz; P3: People’s Percussion Project; Unidos da Filadelfia

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in: I have produced and performed in every single Fringe Festival since the first one, including many years when I produced and performed in multiple shows. There was only one year when I didn’t produce, though I did perform with my band one night that year, so I’m counting that as participating in every single Festival! My memory sucks, so thank god the Fringe Guide Archive is online or I would not have been able to make this list!

  • The Improv Marathon, 1997 – producer, performer, host [Got every improv group that existed at that time to perform back to back, I think it was a grand total of 5!]
  • Debut of LunchLady Doris at the Quarry Street outdoor stage, 1998 — artist, co-producer [LLD was a 5 member longform improv company (the first in the city) that ran for 12 years, with Dave Jadico, Karen Getz, Kelly Jennings, Kevin Dougherty.]
  • Bingo Bedlam, BbBb Productions, 1999 – director, producer, actor [A 10-minute play in which ALL of the words start with the letter B; featuring Jen Childs, Tony Lawton, Pete Pryor]
  • Birth-day!, P3: People Percussion Project, 2002 – co-producer, co-choreographer, dancer [The debut of P3 as part of the curated Fresh Moves series, co-founded with Judy Freed]
  • Late Night Cabaret, 2002 — MC
  • P3: People Percussion Project, 2003-2004 – co-producer, choreographer, dancer
  • LEAP! The Actors’ Improv Experiment, produced by LiveArts, 2007 – conceived and directed [w/ Megan Bellwoar, Catharine Slusar, Ben Lloyd, Tom Byrn, Joe Guzman]
  • In Bed, Tongue & Groove, 2007 – producer, director actor [Fringe Debut of Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater*]
  • LunchLady Doris, 1998-2008 – actor, co-producer
  • Secrets, Tongue & Groove, 2008-2009 – producer, director, actor
  • UnSpoken, Tongue & Groove, 2010 – producer, director, actor
  • Six, Tongue & Groove, 2011 – producer, director, actor
  • Le Grand Continental, LiveArts produced, 2012 – dancer
  • WHO, Tongue & Groove, 2012 – producer, director, actor
  • Secrets, Tongue & Groove, 2014 – producer, director, actor
  • Unidos da Filadelfia, 2012-2015 – drummer
  • Groove, Tongue & Groove, 2015 – producer, director, actor [A collaboration with blues dancers and musicians]
  • Before I Die, Tongue & Groove, 2016 – producer, director, actor

*Current and Past Tongue & Groove ensemble members: Fred Andersen, Megan Bellwoar, Beth Dougherty, Adam Gertler, Noah Herman, Matt LydonJennifer MacMillan, Carol Moog, Ed Miller, Eoin O’Shea, Seth Reichgott, Josh Rubinstein, Fred Siegel, Rebecca Sharp,Carrie Spaulding, Jordan Stalsworth

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Tongue & Groove (photo by Aaron Oster)

First Fringe I attended and highlight: I was there at the very start (go on, Grandma). The highlight was the exciting community vibe in Old City. The first several years, with everything taking place within several blocks, it was just so much fun to hop from show to show. You’d bump into people, ask what they were about to see or what they just saw, and just dash off to the next performance without planning. You felt you could take a chance on just about anything, cause everything was only 5 bucks. There was no on-line sales back then, so the ticket-buying process was in person and very communal – the box office was the place to see and be seen. I also loved the cabaret in the old days when you would see snippets of shows as teasers and then decide whether or not you wanted to see the full production. The cabaret was one big love-fest, kinda like a family — with Scott Johnston as a very weird ‘Dad’ of us all — plus you never know what might happen there. You wouldn’t think to miss a night of the Cabaret or you might miss something everyone would be talking about the next day!

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