International Fringe 2017: A welcome to theater from around the world coming to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival

With Philadelphia’s Fringe Arts now entering their third decade, their festival has grown to include not only local and regional artists, but performers and creators from around the world—an annual high point of the Philadelphia theater arts scene—based on the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. To show the worldwide scope of the 21st Philadelphia Fringe Festival, we included not only performers from abroad, but also productions by American artists that included a global perspective.

Phindie writer Henrik Eger bids everyone a hearty WELCOME to the City of Brotherly Love—this year in 19 different languages: Afrikaans, Arabic, English, Esperanto, Farsi, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Irish, Mandarin, Mossi, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Zulu.

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

Earth, 02 by Felix Broennimann

 

INTERNATIONAL CREATIVES

 

1. Bonvenon & welcome to the world as seen from the perspective of Bill Forchion and Billy Higgins, who recently returned from a feature performance with the Turkmen State Circus in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Between them, Bill and Billy have performed in Japan, Australia, Ireland, Indonesia, and Canada, as well as throughout the United States. They relate their experiences in Bill & Billy: How Did We Get Here?! At the Art Church of West Philadelphia. Sept. 15-23. For more information, click Fringe Arts Bill & Billy: How Did We Get Here?! Fringe Arts catalog p. 101.

 

2. Witamy & Willkommen & Bine ati venit.  Welcome to Stranger in a Strange Land, with songs by composers and poets whose careers took them away from their homeland, including Polish songs by

 

Frédéric Chopin, along with works by George Enescu (Romania), Kurt Weill (Germany), and others. Performed by Erin Brittain, Rachael Basescu and Grant Mech, accompanied by Dr. Akiko Hosaki. At Christ’s United Presbyterian Church. Sept. 23, 3:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Stranger in a Strange Land. Fringe Arts catalog p. 96.

 

3. Bonvenon & welcome to Radio Atlas, an English-language home for subtitled audio from around the world. A place to hear inventive documentaries, dramas, and works of sound art that have been made in languages you don’t necessarily speak. At WHYY. Sept. 16, 5:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Radio Atlas. Fringe Arts catalog p. 41.

 

ALGERIA

 

أهلابك (ahlaan bik) & bienvenu. Welcome to Compagnie Herve Koubi, the French-based, Algerian-rooted dance troupe, performing Ce que le jour doit a la nuit (What the day owes to the night). Produced by Next Move Dance at the Prince Theater. Oct 12-15. For more information, click here. Fringe Arts catalog p. 59.

 

AUSTRIA

 

1. Willkommen. Welcome to Vienna-born Mia Zabelka, with your experimental violin and vocal compositions, performed with Xiu Xiu, a California-based band. Sept. 17, 8:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Mia Zabelka. Fringe Arts catalog p. 41.

 

2. Willkommen. Welcome to pianist, singer, and vocal pedagogue Eva Kastner-Puschl, originally from Graz, Austria and now a conservatory teacher at Rider University. Along with Jessica Renfro and Lynda Saponara, she performs in Lost in the Woods, a new musical interpretation of Hansel and Gretel. At the German Society of Pennsylvania. Sept. 17, 3:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Lost in the Woods. Fringe Arts catalog p. 83.

 

BELGIUM

 

Welgekomen & bienvenu. Welcome to BaronessAnne Teresa De Keersmaeker, contemporary dance choreographer, in cooperation with Spain’s Salva Sanchez, in ALove Supreme.At FringeArts.Sept. 22-24. For more information, click Fringe Arts A Love Supreme. Fringe Arts catalog p. 53.

 

BURKINA FASO

 

Bienvenu & Ne y zabré. Welcome to Olivier Tarpaga, dancer, choreographer, musician, composer, songwriter, performing arts consultant, and storyteller, along with his all-male cast from Burkina Faso and a live band. They will be performing in Declassified Memory Fragment. At FringeArts. Oct. 12-14. For more information, click Fringe Arts Declassified Memory Fragment. Fringe Arts catalog p. 53.

 

CHINA

 

欢迎 (Huānyíng). Welcome to Beijing-educated Hua Hua Zhang, puppeteer and performance artist, in White Nights, at the Asian Arts Initiative, Dance Studio C. Sept. 19, 7:30 & 9:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts White Nights. Fringe Arts catalog p. 83.

 

COLOMBIA

 

Bienvenido. Welcome, Columbian composer Juan Gabriel Turbay, director Thaddeus Phillips, installation artist Steven Dufala, and the real-life father-son acting duo Michael and Winslow Fegley, performing A Billion Nights on Earth. At FringeArts. Sept. 14-17.  For more information, click Fringe Arts A Billion Nights on Earth. Fringe Arts catalog p. 39.

 

CUBA

 

Bienvenido. Welcome to Huberal Herrera from Havana, along with Spanish mezzo-soprano Doña Ana Maria Ruimonte and American jazz musician Alan Lewine, performing in Fiesta Owlsong at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. The show includes songs by Cuba’s Ernesto Lecuona. Sept. 15, 7:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Fiesta Owlsong. Fringe Arts catalog p. 68.

 

ENGLAND

 

1. Welcome to the Cambridge Footlights—the group that launched Monty Python and Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver—and the Philly Improv Theater, performing Dream Sequence at the Adrienne Theatre. Sept. 15, 8:30 & 10 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Dream Sequence. Fringe Arts catalog p. 66.

 

2. Welcome to Rosey Hay, British director of the REV Theatre Company, with the latest version of one of the most popular Fringe events, the Graveyard Cabaret, with Rudy Caporaso, Sandy D’Oria, and Hannah Wolff. Titled Death is a Cabaret, Ol’ Chum, this year’s performance includes British songs “Haunted,” “Drunken Sailor,” and “Sailor’s Wife.” At the Laurel Hill Cemetery. Sept. 14-16. 7:30 PM. Rain date Sept. 17. For more information, click Fringe Arts Graveyard Cabaret. Fringe Arts catalog p. 75.

 

3. Welcome to Airswimming, by Britain’s Charlotte Jones and performed by the Half Key Theater Company, about two women imprisoned in an Irish mental hospital for daring to challenge society’s definition of womanhood. At the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5. Sept. 17-24. For more information, click Fringe Arts Airswimming. Fringe Arts catalog p. 69.

 

4. Welcome to Samuel Pepys, the famous 17th century diarist who witnessed and recorded the events of the Great London Fire of 1666 before ending each entry “And so to bed.” Interpretations of his work, titled 17c, performed by the Big Dance Theater. At FringeArts. For more information, click Fringe Arts 17c. Fringe Arts catalog pp. 32-33.

 

5. Welcome to Shakespeare’sCymbeline, directed by James Ijames in the Revolution Shakespeare  production in Hawthorne Park. Sept. 20-21 (previews) & 22-24, 6:30 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Cymbeline. Fringe Arts catalog p. 96.

 

6. Welcome to Shakespeare’sPericles, with original music and movement. Directed by Brenna Geffers and designed by Thom Weaver for Philadelphia’s newest theater company, Die-Cast.  At the Rotunda. For more information, click Fringe Arts Pericles. Fringe Arts catalog p. 102.

 

7. Welcome to Shakespeare’sTempest, in an ensemble-crafted twist, using the original Elizabethan text and performed in a movement-based production, playing with minimalism and magic in nature. Performed by Indecorous Theatre Productions at the Spring Gardens Community Garden. For more information, click here. Fringe Arts catalog p. 76.

 

FRANCE

 

Bienvenu. Welcome to Compagnie Herve Koubi, the French-based, Algerian-rooted dance troupe, performing Ce que le jour doit a la nuit (What the day owes to the night). Produced by Next Move Dance at the Prince Theater. Oct 12-15. For more information, click here. Fringe Arts catalog p. 59.

 

GERMANY

 

1. Willkommen. Welcome to Dieter Rita Scholl, a prominent German actor, author and chanson artist, known for playing androgynous roles, and Philadelphia’s much-celebrated John Jarboe, as they perform at the monthly Get Pegged show in a special free performance for the Festival. At FringeArts. Sept. 15, 10:30 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Festival Gets Pegged. Fringe Arts catalog p. 01.

 

2. Willkommen. Welcome to Bertolt Brecht’sThe Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. DBAD Productions stages Brecht’s classic play of American-made Fascism as it takes on new meaning in the age of Donald Trump. At The Shambles.  Sept. 14, 17, & 21.For more information, click Fringe Arts The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Fringe Arts catalog p. 92.

 

GREECE

 

Καλωσόρισμα (kalosórisma). Welcome to Euripedes’Iphigenia at Aulis, directed by Dan Hodge for the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, the much talked-about Fringe Festival veterans.  Performed onboard the historic USS Olympia off Columbus Boulevard. Sept. 14-16 & 18-22, 8:00 PM.For more information, click Fringe Arts Iphigenia at Aulis. Fringe Arts catalog p. 92.

 

INDIA

 

स्वागतहे (svaagat he) & welcome to Krish Mohan, socially conscious Indian standup comedian and writer, and his new show, Approaching Happiness with Krish Mohan. At the Art Church of West Philadelphia. Sept. 15, 8:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Approaching Happiness with Krish Mohan. Fringe Arts catalog p. 100.

 

IRAN

 

خوشآمدی (khosh amadid). Welcome to Rouzbeh & Berryanna, the Iranian and American teen lovers, characters created by Terrell Green inBlack Berry, where a newly elected leader declares war on Iran and removes all Iranian immigrants. At the Arts Sanctuary. For more information, click Fringe Arts Black Berry. Fringe Arts catalog p. 95.

 

IRELAND

 

Fáilte & welcome to Christine Rich, whose show, Hope Street, brings to life family legends of her Irish ancestors, whose first address in America was on Philly’s Hope Street. At the Northeast Philly Comedy Cabaret. Sept. 16, 9:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Hope Street. Fringe Arts catalog p. 80.

 

NEW ZEALAND

 

Welcome to New Zealand-born Kate McIntosh, the Brussels-based artist who works across the boundaries of performance, theater, video, and installation. Guiding live art project Worktable for Children at the Boys’ Locker Room. Sept. 15-18. For more information, click Fringe Arts Worktable for Children. Fringe Arts catalog pp. 42-43.

 

NORWAY

 

Velkommen. Welcome to August Strindberg’s(miss) Julie in a physical, ensemble-driven adaptation by Svaha Theatre Collective. At Bainbridge Green. For more information, click Fringe Arts (miss) Julie. Fringe Arts catalog p. 97.

 

PHILIPPINES

 

Maligayang pagdating. Welcome to an indigenous Filipina who explores her pre-Colonial matrilineal bloodlines in Gavino’s HERstory, part of Mujeres, a compilation of work by choreographers Evalina Carbonell and Annielille Gavino. Also included is Milk, Carbonell’s meditation on motherhood. At the CHI Movements Art Center. Sept. 20-24. For more information, click Fringe Arts Mujeres. Fringe Arts catalog p. 95.

 

ROMANIA

 

Bine ati venit. Bienvenu. Welcome, Eugene Ionesco’sBald Soprano, in the IRC production under the direction of Tina Brock. Starring Brock, Tomas Dura, Arlen Hancock, Sonja Robson, Bob Schmidt, and John Zak. At the Bethany Mission Gallery, one of Philadelphia’s largest galleries. Sept. 14-16 & 19-24. For more information, click Fringe Arts Bald Soprano. Fringe Arts catalog p. 76.

 

SCOTLAND

 

Fàilte & welcome to Mary, Queen of Scots and her royal rival, Queen Elizabeth I, as their deadly struggle is seen from the perspective of one peasant and an audience of newly hired servants in Monarch. The show is written and produced by Christine Doidge, Amanda Holston, and James Miller. At the Fleisher Art Memorial. Sept. 15 & 17. For more information, click Fringe Arts Monarch. Fringe Arts catalog p. 97.

 

SOUTH AFRICA

 

Wamukelekile & welkom.Welcome to Athol Fugard’sStatements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act, a tale of interracial love and longing under the ugly restraints of apartheid South Africa. Produced and performed by Blue Mercury Theatre at the Independence Library. Sept. 14-17 & 21-24. For more information, click Fringe Arts Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act. Fringe Arts catalog p. 92.

 

SPAIN

 

1. Bienvenido. Welcome to Salva Sanchis, Spanish dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher, in cooperation with Belgium’s BaronessAnne Teresa De Keersmaeker, in ALove Supreme.  Sept. 22-24. For more information, click Fringe Arts A Love Supreme. Fringe Arts catalog p.  53

 

2. Bienvenido. Welcome to Spanish mezzo-soprano Doña Ana Maria Ruimonte and American jazz musician Alan Lewine, performing in Fiesta Owlsong at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. The show includes special guest Huberal Herrera from Havana, with songs by Cuba’s Ernesto Lecuona. Sept. 15, 7:00 PM. For more information, click Fringe Arts Fiesta Owlsong. Fringe Arts catalog p. 68.

 

TAIWAN

欢迎 (Huānyíng).Welcome to Taiwan-born Kun-Yang Lin, an artist-educator who dances in the spaces between East and West, and her Philadelphia-based Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers. Performing Mar. 22-24, 2018 at the Prince Theater. For more information, click here. Fringe Arts catalog p. 58.

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About the author

Henrik Eger

HENRIK EGER, editor of Drama Around the Globe. Bilingual playwright, author of Metronome Ticking. Born and raised in Germany. Ph.D. in English, University of Illinois, Chicago. German translator of Martin Luther King, Jr’s Nobel Peace Prize mail. Producer-director: Multilingual Shakespeare, London. Retired professor of English and Communication who taught in six countries on three continents, including four universities and one college in the U.S. Author of four college text books. Longtime Philadelphia theatre correspondent for AAJT, the world’s largest Jewish theatre website. Articles published in Classical Voice, Los Angeles; Kayhan International, Tehran, Iran; Indian Express, Mumbai, India; The Jewish Forward, New York; Philadelphia Jewish Voice, Phindie, and Broad Street Review, Philadelphia; The Mennonite, Tucson; and New Jersey Stage. Contact: HenrikEger@gmail.com