ID:3 (HYBRIDGE): The Name of the Beast

Article courtesy of Art Attack Philly, in association with Drexel University and the Knight Foundation. See the original article here. In a way, art is always about identity. The earliest art, cave paintings,…

HINCKLEY (New City Stage): Life, Death, Celebrity

“Anything’s possible in a world where media rules all.” In 1981, John W. Hinckley Jr. fired into president Ronald Reagan’s entourage, hitting four men, including the president. Reagan’s press secretary…

Nonhlanhla Kheswa, Ivanno Jeremiah

THE SUIT (Prince): Balancing cruelty and kindness in pre-apartheid South Africa

If Philadelphia is a tightly wound city wearing a permanent scowl, Sophiatown is tightly wound with a broad smile. Sophiatown was a cultural hub for black South Africans until 1954,…

Join the Battle: Team Sunshine & Immersive Arts Involvement

On their website, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation calls themselves “an unstoppable force for good.” Among other things, they love play fighting and projects that sound insane. In that vein is their current collaboration with Shakespeare in Clark Park, HENRY IV: YOUR PRINCE AND MINE.

Susan Giddings (Photo: Johanna Austin)

ONDINE (Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium): At sea with emotional hyperbole

Talented and celebrated director Aaron Cromie teams up with the idiosyncratic Idopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium to tackle French impressionist Jean Giraudoux at the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5. The play, ONDINE,…

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THE ROOM NOBODY KNOWS (FringeArts): Put your secret emotions, dangerous illusions here

Enter the world of Japanese Japanese theater company Niwa Gekidan Penino: claustrophobic, hallucinatory, voyeuristic, surreal. Niwa is the Japanese word for “garden.” For over a decade Kuro Tanino has been turning…

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You’re Probably Missing Out: A tour of Kensington’s performance spaces

The performance spaces which have made Kensington their home (Walking Fish Theatre, Hella Fresh, Mascher Space, and fidgetspace) are remote, both financially and physically, from the city, yet still close enough to converse artistically with downtown venues and even to attract funding.

GHOSTS (People’s Light): Just give in to the melodrama

At People’s Light and Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s GHOSTS, the program note written by dramaturg Gina Pisasale discusses Ibsen’s life and work. In his theater, Pisasale tells us, Ibsen created…

Photo: David Alarcón.

EL AÑO EN QUE NACÍ (FringeArts): Living mosaic

EL AÑO EN QUE NACÍ (THE YEAR I WAS BORN) is the January installment in FringeArts’ year-round programming at their Race Street Pier theater, and new proof of their commitment…

Marcia Saunders, David Ingram. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Wilma Theater’s CHEROKEE impresses, in a way

John, a baby boomer, patriarch, and oil exec who has spent his life gaining, has lost quite a lot in a short period of time: his job, his health, even…

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AMERICAN FAIRY TALES (Walking Fish): Riotous fairy tales at Walking Fish

AMERICAN FAIRY TALES is a kids’ show, adapted by co-artistic director Stan Heleva from L. Frank Baum’s short stories with a generous amount of modernization and localization. This is fast and messy theater making, thriving on audience involvement. The story doesn’t matter as much as the laughs, and the more we shouted along, and the more sassy little Benjamin in the front row jeered and challenged the actors, the more engaged they, and we, became.

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A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (Lantern): 60-second review

Dylan Thomas’s poem A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES runs the risk of becoming sticky-sweet with nostalgia, and it is director Sebastienne Mundheim’s idiosyncratic vision, and the spot-on instincts of her actors, which…

Photo by Johanna Austin

TWELFTH NIGHT (Pig Iron): Upends Expectations, Rights Shakespeare’s Play

David Patrick Stearns writes yet another petulant review, this time of Pig Iron’s TWELFTH NIGHT. If he whines enough that he isn’t entertained at theater and doesn’t get it, will…

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A MICROFESTIVAL OF STUBBORN OCCASIONS (Mascher Space Co-op): The moment doesn’t exist

This is in Kensington, on the closing night of Mascher Space Cooperative’s Microfestival of Stubborn Occasions: a set of performances described as “a space where choreography is given permission to exist in the in-betweens.” Two shows are on the docket for tonight, Foster’s #JANEGOODALLDRAMA and Christina Gesualdi’s MY NEBULOUS SOLO.

Joo Won Park

OPERATIC OR NOT, a review of THINGNY IS BACK, the third night of fidget’s 4th Annual Fall Experimental Music Festival

Adam Vidiksis’s legs are completely still like a concert violinist’s. He barely bends except to lean over the snare as he burrows the tip of a single drumstick into it. Using…

Photo by Yi Zhao

THE GARDEN (Nichole Canuso Dance Company): Offer your hand…

Six audience members isn’t an empty house; that’s the full load for Nichole Canuso Dance Company’s THE GARDEN. The basement below us is an expansive concrete stretch, a network of small rooms and squared pillars, and we’re sent down into a smallish room scattered with chairs. We’re invited to sit wherever we like.

Emily L. Gibson and Steve Lippe in MAKING the WORLD a BETTER PLACE through MURALS.

NICE AND FRESH November (SmokeyScout): Get punched in the face by art at SmokeyScout Productions’ NICE AND FRESH

SmokeyScout is named after artistic director Josh McIlvain’s cats: Smokey and Scout. The program of the November NICE AND FRESH thanks them, along with Moving Arts of Mount Airy (MAMA), the intimate,…

Josh Carpenter (as Marlow), Sonja Field (as Kate Hardcastle) in SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER. Photo by Alexander Burns.

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (Quintessence): A contemporary 18th-century comedy

SHE STOOPS is an 18th-century comedy of manners and mistaken identities by Oliver Goldsmith. It is considered by many to be the most enduring of 18th-century plays (name another you’ve…

Kevin Meehan.Photo credit: Kathryn Raines

WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT (InterAct): Are You Black Enough?

Drury’s funny, traumatic, inventive and timely play will stab at you, personally, at least once. She asks whether it is important that a story be told, or if it is more important that it be told in a certain way. She uses the events in Namibia to illustrate the cracks in our own culture, the divides caused by racial issues even among a group of people who would probably all vote for the same candidate..

Francesca Piccioni as Christina in HANNAH. Photo by @dopez.

HANNAH (Hella Fresh): The glories of the sober mind

In response to a story I wrote about LSD, a college creative writing professor told me that it’s never a good idea to give characters drugs, because if they’re high,…