On, February 3rd, EgoPo Classic Theater and Drexel University’s Department of Performing Arts in the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design played host to an insightful panel on the future of American playwriting. We are happy to make the recording of this panel available to you now. Enjoy. www.drexel.edu/westphal
ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN PLAYWRITING
The symposium will feature John Guare (House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation), who is currently working with EgoPo on his Lydie Breeze Trilogy. Guare will be joined by Philadelphia playwrights Jacqueline Goldfinger, Bruce Graham, and James Ijames.
Moderated by Wendy Rosenfield, Editor in chief of the Broad Street Review.
On today’s podcast, we chat with Mike Durkin, Artistic Director of The Renegade Company about the Philly Theatre Week offering, “Kensington Fragments: Selections from The Olde Man and The Delaware River. Almost two years in the making, we talk about gaining trust, finding support in same and the voices of a community on the mend. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT KENSINGTON FRAGMENTS
Conceived and Directed by Mike Durkin
Created by The Renegade Company and residents of Kensington
February 13, 16, and 17
Pop-Up performances in Kensington and in Center City
Tuesday, Feb 13th, 1pm – Rittenhouse Square
Tuesday, Feb 13th, 2pm – Across From City Hall (Love Park)
Friday, Feb 16th, 12pm – Rosa’s Pizza (25 S 11th Street)
Friday, Feb 16th, 1pm – Jefferson Station (11th Street and Filbert Street)
Friday, Feb 16th, 2pm – Blue Line Train (Starting at Jefferson Station, Going West to 69th Street Station)
Friday, Feb 16th, 3pm – 30th Street Station
Saturday, Feb 17th, 12pm – Emerald Street Bridge (Emerald Street/Lehigh Avenue)
Saturday, Feb 17th, 1pm – Steak N Beer (2769 Kensington Ave)
Saturday, Feb 17th, 2pm – McPherson Square (Kensington Ave and F Street)
Saturday, Feb 17th, 3pm – Allegheny El Stop (Allegheny Avenue/Kensington Avenue)
Free, Donations Accepted
In Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel, ‘The Old Man and the Sea,’ the titular figure (named Santiago) says, “my big fish must be somewhere.” Fisherman Santiago dedicates his life towards finding the fish that will change the tide of his life and career for the better. Santiago’s story is one of fighting the odds, of maintaining perseverance in the face of extreme obstacles. The Renegade Company will use Hemingway’s novel as a starting point to ask what is the “big fish” for the community? What are the greatest individual goals of community members? What is the larger goal of Kensington? How do we work towards achieving these goals while also understanding the obstacles in the way? The project is entitled The Olde Man and the Delaware River to reflect the rich neighborhood history and referencing neighborhoods like Olde Kensington, and Olde Richmond.
Renegade will be working with residents of the Riverwards communities (Port Richmond, Somerset, Harrowgate, and Kensington) to understand their stories and perspectives on issues of their neighborhoods, particularly with substance abuse and its effects on the community. Currently the neighborhood is represented by a narrative associated with opioid addiction, open-air drug trading, prostitution, and disrepair. We aim to go beyond this narrative by working with the community towards de-stigmatization of the neighborhood. Renegade will be presenting a series of performance interactions in Center City and Kensington exploring issues and stigma of Kensington and encouraging participation and dialogue with audience members. Performers all have a relationship with addiction, homelessness, and Kensington. Hear their stories, ask them questions, engage in conversation, all as an attempt to build common ground.
On today’s podcast, I caught up with Kittson O’Neill, director of Lantern Theater Company’s extended production of “Copenhagen” by Michael Frayn. We talk about her first experience with the piece, directing the Artistic Director, the cast and their return to the work and the design. Stay Tuned!
A fascinating mystery: why did German physicist Werner Heisenberg visit his old mentor and Danish counterpart Niels Bohr in 1941 while their countries were at war? Was he looking for clues to atomic secrets, asking for absolution, or searching for something unknowable? As the characters wrestle with their memories and motives, what becomes clear is the ultimate uncertainty of why we do what we do. Perhaps the greatest play ever written about science, Michael Frayn’s riveting drama puts us in the heart of the greatest moral dilemma of the 20th century.
On today’s podcast, I caught up with playwright, MJ Kaufman via Skype to talk about Interact Theatre Company’s World Premiere production of “Sensitive Guys”. MJ’s work has received a lot of attention this season but, this interview focuses on the development of this piece in the time of “Times Up” and on the heels of the news of Drexel’s recent campus assault that was developing as we connected. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT SENSITIVE GUYS
Takes place on the campus of a small liberal arts college where a pair of extracurricular programs, the student-led Men’s Peer Education Group and women’s Survivor Support Group, work together on an ambitious plan to unlearn sexism and totally eradicate all sexual violence everywhere within just five years. Everything seems to be on track – until an incident throws all their ideals into question. Beginning as a satirical look at hyper-progressivism and modern gender tropes, the play casts a long shadow, asking what change might actually be possible when complicity is assured—intentionally or inadvertently—in the monolith of male-dominated society.
MJ Kaufman (Playwright) is a playwright and devised theater artist working in New York and Philadelphia. Their work has been seen at the Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the New Museum, Colt Coeur, National Asian American Theater Company, Huntington Theatre, and Yale School of Drama and performed in Russian in Moscow. In Philadelphia MJ has worked with InterAct, Bearded Ladies Cabaret and Headlong Dance Theater as an incubated artist. They taught at University of the Arts and served as a Teaching Artist in Residence at Philadelphia Young Playwrights. MJ also received a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant and a project grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. MJ is currently a member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers’ Group, WP Theater Lab, and a resident playwright at New Dramatists. Originally from Portland, Oregon, MJ attended Wesleyan University and received an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. MJ has co-curated the 2016 and 2017 Trans Theater Festivals at The Brick and will launch Trans Lab, a fellowship for trans theater artists, in January 2018.
On today’s podcast, I give the microphone to Founding and Managing Director, Gabriela Sanchez, Artistic Director, Erlina Ortiz and Resident Director, Asaki Kuruma. Meet Power Street Theatre Company. Coming up, #NewWorldMatriarchy, Womyn of Color Love Slam. This multi-cultural group is unapologetically fierce and brings the community together with themes that are all to familiar. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT POWER STREET THEATRE COMPANY
Power Street Theatre Company (PSTC) is home to a collective of fierce multicultural and multidisciplinary artists dedicated to the mission of empowering marginalized artists and communities of color throughout Philadelphia and beyond.
On today’s podcast, I caught up with Terrell Green whose remount of his one-man show, “Must Go On: A Rite of Passage” kicks off a new year. From, struggles with addiction to yoga sessions, the production takes a look back in an attempt to resonate, educate in a quest to find a safe space. Stay Tuned.
Local Artist Uses Theatre To Create Community Dialogue on the State of Mental Health in the Black LGBTQ Community
Local Artist Terrell M. Green is utilizing theatre in a new and innovative way; as a means to create community conversations about the Black Gay Male experience. Must Go On (#MGO) uses yoga, African-dance influenced movement, spoken word/monologue performance, video projection, and music to examine the health and wellness of Black Gay Men, while fighting for their identities to be accepted. Must Go On: A Rite of Passage, is a one man show, written and performed by Terrell Green. This is it’s third public performance.There will be a post show community conversation explore the direct link between identity inclusion and it’s impact on one’s mental/physical wellness.