Last week, West Philly audiences enjoyed Shakespeare in Clark Park’s circus-drenched production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. This month, the company uses the play as the launching point for two community-created interpretations in different Philadelphia parks.
The second in SCP’s summer trilogy, Peril’s Island, premieres in Harrowgate Park in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, August 13-15, 2021. Directed by Sam Tower, with lead writer Alexandra Espinoza, this dance-theater performance is filled with pirates, scooters, jokes, and more. The show begins at 6pm nightly, with timed entry and reservations available for free to the public.
This collaboration of Kensington artists, organizations, and community members adapted Pericles into a wholly new show focusing on themes of childhood friendships, neighborhoods we love but no longer visit, fond memories from moments in parks, and “corny jokes that really made us laugh.”
Its sister show, Pericles in Germantown, community creation spearheaded by director Seema Sueko and lead writer Angela Bey, runs in Vernon Park in Germantown August 28-29, 2021.
According to SCP’s press materials, the Park Plays’ mission is three-fold: to expand access to and engagement with Philadelphia theater and Shakespeare’s works; to foster connections between disparate members of local communities; and to contribute more robustly to the national theater conversation. By producing works inspired by Shakespeare, but centering the language, experiences and responses on our local creators, SCP hopes to create a deep and thoughtfully curated process for profound connections among members of a singular community as well as members of greater Philadelphia, and further the company’s goal of keeping Shakespeare accessible and relevant, creating theater by, for and with the people of Philadelphia.
[Harrowgate Park, Kensington Ave & Tioga St (by the Tioga el stop)] August 13-15, 2021; shakespeareinclarkpark.org.