Features

Photo courtesy of National Water Dance

The National Water Dance

A typical concert dance performance does not usually conjure up thoughts of social justice and governmental reform. At first glance, dance and politics might not seem to go together. That is not to say that the art form is entirely apolitical – different genres of art can certainly serve as a persuasive medium for declaring political statements. From a historical perspective, analysis of the arts can be used to study social change and political reform, and dance is no exception to this.

Photo by John Donges

John Donges Photographs THREE DAYS OF RAIN (Quince): A Double Assignment

In shooting Richard Greenberg’s THREE DAYS OF RAIN, my first photographic challenge was to capture the unique structure of the play: the first act is set in 1995 and involves a brother/sister and their old friend – the son of their father’s architecture partner and oldest friend. In Act II, the three actors play the parents of their Act I characters. So it was a dual challenge to photograph basically two casts instead of one, and to try and paint a visual portrait of what is both similar and different between each character and his/her parent, and to portray the look of two very different decades.

Incubator artist R. Eric Thomas.

NOTES from the INCUBATOR (Simpatico): Entry Two: Getting So Frustrated

My mother tells a story about a time when I was young—3-years-old or 4—and I was trying desperately to get the swing I was seated on moving. My little legs kicked and kicked but I stayed motionless. After a minute or two, an adult came over and gave me a push and that’s all it took. I caught the momentum and I was swinging! As she tells it, I turned to the little boy on the swing next to mine and exclaimed in a giddy, high-pitched voice “I was getting so frustrated! Were you getting frustrated, too, Brooksie? I was getting so frustrated!”

Lena Barnard and Meredith Sonnen rehearse Behind Bergman

NOTES from the INCUBATOR (SIMPATICO): Entry One: The Collective Spirit

Writing this play has been hard. It feels like squinting into the distance at an object that I think I should be identifiable but is just too blurry. Luckily, I have a cohort on this trek. If you met Lena (Barnard) and I, it would feel a lot like an episode of Gilmore Girls or the West Wing. We talk over each other and make obscure references and laugh at inside jokes that no one else gets. Being around Lena makes me feel entirely secure. I can be myself with her. I like to think the feeling is mutual. Who else will get all her Julie Andrews references?

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,…

Promotional image for Ed Swidey’s THE MEEP PROJECT (Photo credit: Design by Sam Henderson)

Update on White Pines: A New Home and a Full Slate

On March 1, White Pines Productions, which had been without a headquarters since its displacement from historic Elstowe Manor in 2013 (read about the displacement here), happily relocated back to…

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The fault, dear Brutus, is Super Racism: Makoto Hirano Criticizes Lantern’s Julius Caesar

“Will it be in yellow face,” my friend asked when I told him about Lantern Theater Company’s decision to stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in feudal Japan, when what the meant was “in kimonos with some Japanese screens and music” seemed somehow culturally tone deaf.

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.

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Photo Essay: Kyle Cassidy captures DANCING AT LUGHNASA (Curio Theatre)

Photographer Kyle Cassidy is a Philadelphia treasure. He has been documenting American culture since the 1990s, photographing goths, punks, cutters, politicians, metalheads, dominatrices, scholars, and alternative fashion, in addition to…

Joe Guzmán and Forrest McClendon in THE TRAGEDY OF JULIUS CAESAR at the Lantern, with set design by Meghan Jones (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

On the Universality of Shakespeare: Roman History through a Shoji Screen in the Lantern’s THE TRAGEDY OF JULIUS CAESAR

Director Charles McMahon, founding artistic director of the Lantern Theater Company, asserts that all of Shakespeare’s plays, whenever or wherever they’re set, are in fact observations about contemporary England. By shifting the locales to places outside of his homeland.

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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.

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Care to Dance? The Philadelphia dance scene is alive and well in 2014, catering to classical palates and avant-garde tastes alike

The Philadelphia dance scene is alive and well in 2014, bringing forth a series of diverse performances catering to classical palates and avant-garde tastes alike

Celebrating Shakespeare at 450: An Interview with The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s Carmen Khan

Carmen Khan has devoted much of her life and professional career to Shakespeare. She is well known to the Philadelphia theater community as the founding artistic director and long-time executive…

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BalletX’s Matthew Neenan downshifts for THERE I WAS

Earlier this month BalletX dancers had their pointe shoes ready for a rehearsal for Matthew Neenan’s ballet There I Was. The piece showcases how inventive, within and out of specific pointe shoe classicism, Neenan can be. Even though it is weeks before the opening There I Was looks ready, Neenan only moved around to cue a specific music change, apologizing to the dancers for the pause.

Rendering of the initial design for the FringeArts outdoor plaza (Photo credit: WRT Planning & Design)

FringeArts Progress Report: The latest on the High Pressure Fire Service Building of 1903

Since my initial tour of the new FringeArts headquarters in August 2012, the projected opening (originally set for the Spring of 2013, then for the 2013 Festival in September) has…

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Trilogy: Philadelphia audiences get a great look at an acclaimed new playwright

Allen Radway, James Ijames, and Daniel Student discuss Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister trilogy. All three plays in the series hit Philadelphia stages this fall.

Roy Keiser

Roy Kaiser looks forward and back as Pennsylvania Ballet turns 50

Published by The Dance Journal. Reprinted with kind permission. Pennsylvania Ballet launches its 50th season this month with the celebrations, reunions and gala performances, but the company has already been…

Francesca Piccioni and Laura Sukonick rehearsing Rosenberg's HANNAH. Photo by Said Johnson.

A Philadelphia playwright you probably don’t know, but should

A hilarious and affecting world premiere by one of the best writers in Philadelphia is opening tomorrow, and you probably don’t know about it.

Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

How universal is Romeo and Juliet? Challenging hetronormative assumptions.

Shakespeare is timeless. Romeo and Juliet is a universal love story. You have probably heard those sentiments expressed before, but are they true? Well, it’s complicated. Shakespeare profoundly understood the…

Angela Smith as Harriet Smith, Trevor William Fayle as Mr. Elton, and Lauren Sowa as Emma Woodhouse in Lantern Theater Company's production of Jane Austen's EMMA (2013). Photo by Mark Garvin.

The Perfect Company in the Perfect City: REGENCY AND REVELRY at Lantern Theater Company

It’s now two hundred years ago that the famous line was published: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be…