On today’s podcast, my travel producer, Woodsie and I continue our Edinburgh Festival Fringe experience with Sarah Knittel and the gas lighting fever dream that is Nightmare Fuel. We talk about the origins of this piece and its layers and the overall festival experience. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT NIGHTMARE FUEL
A brutal clown show that asks the tough questions like ”Where were you last night?” and ”How come you‘re being such a cunt?” NIGHTMARE FUEL will slide into your DMs and leave you quivering and anxious. NIGHTMARE FUEL will look right into your eyes and tell you you‘re fucking crazy!
On today’s podcast, my travel producer, Woodsie and I, take a trip to a busy cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK to experience what it’s like to bring a production to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Patrick Romano and Ben Behrend join me in a bustling cafe in The Meadows near the University of Edinburgh to talk about their fringe experience. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT TWO-MAN, ONE-MAN
**** (TimeOut). In this hilarious spoof, fresh off a smash American premiere at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, a performance artist and a comedian must perform their one-man shows on the same stage at the same time! With another show at the top of the hour and a stage manager on their asses, they must compete for the spotlight or agree to share it. This riotous comedy spoofs millennials, privileged artists, and the phenomenon of the solo show. “Sublimely silly… a goofy, wonderful gem” (Broad Street Review).
On today’s podcast, Nicole Burgio talks about autobiographical piece that explores the trauma of domestic abuse in a troubled home. Using elements of circus arts, dance and music, Nicole revisits a tough time in her life that, through the creation of art, may present a way forward. Stay Tuned.
ABOUT XOXO MOONGIRL
“I come from a broken home, where chaos, domestic abuse, and fighting was a daily routine. I firmly believe that stories like this need to be told, and they need to happen now. Women’s stories of all kinds need to be heard now more than ever. This is how I’m choosing to use my voice in an era where sexism, bullying, and abuse is rampant. I believe art about tough topics doesn’t have to be grim. It can be uplifting. Bad things happen and they don’t have to define you. This is for the underdogs, the under-heard, and the improbable. “
Those are the words of Nicole Burgio, multidisciplinary artist and creator of Almanac Dance Circus Theatre’s new production, xoxo moongirl. The autobiographically-inspired circus fantasia, which runs June 26 through 28, 2018 at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American Street, Philadelphia, PA), incorporates breathtaking aerials and acrobatics to tell the story of a girl in a troubled home and her flight to the moon to escape and prevail.
On today’s podcast, Director Sam Tower and artist Torez Mosley sign on to talk about Simpatico Theatre Project’s production of “RED BIKE” by Caridad Svich. This production is a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. We discuss the process of bringing this piece to life, take a trip to childhood and reminisce about a time in our lives where we were more carefree. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT RED BIKE
So, it’s like this: you’re eleven years old, you live in a small town and the times are dark, as they say. But you have a bike, a bike you love, a bike that makes you dream about a world bigger than the one you live in. One day you take a ride through the outer edges of your town and something goes awry. Let’s call it an accident. Let’s say it causes you to see the world anew. Or maybe it just causes you to see the world for what it truly is.”
On today’s podcast, I caught up with clarinetist, Kinan Azmeh, a Syrian transplant, lives in Brooklyn, NY whose talents grant the opportunity to work with the likes of Silk Road Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma. Live Connections, her in Philadelphia, will play host to an intimate presentation with Kinan Azmeh and the Aizuri String Quartet On May 31st at World Cafe Live. We discuss Kinan’s artistic journey and a temporary derailment as he was caught up in the current administration’s travel ban. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT KINAN AZMEH
Hailed as a “Virtuoso” and “Intensely Soulful” by the New York Times and “Spellbinding” by the New Yorker, and “Incredibly Rich Sound” by the CBC. His utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres has gained him international recognition as clarinetist and composer. Kinan was recently named composer-in-residence with Classical Movements for the 2017-2018 season.
Kinan is a graduate of New York’s Juilliard school as a student of Charles Neidich, and of both the Damascus High institute of Music where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering in his native Syria. Kinan earned his doctorate degree in music from the City University of New York in 2013.
“LiveConnections turns 10 years old in May, and this concert kicks off a full year of 10th Anniversary programming,” says Executive Director Melinda Steffy. “It’s the first of our ‘10 Collaborations for 10 Years’ — a series of innovative, community-based projects that engage in important social conversations through music.”
The collaboration draws on the artists’ inventive and thought-provoking approaches to music-making, featuring works by Armenian priest Komitas Vartaped, Russian composer Yevgeniy Sharlat, and a world premiere of a work by Kinan Azmeh.
In addition, students from LiveConnections’ “Immigrant Songs” after-school program will open the show with their original stories and songs. LiveConnections’ program engages refugee teenagers who have been in the U.S. for less than 3 years in story-telling and song-writing aimed at boosting English language skills and helping students build connections in their new community. The program takes place at Northeast High School in collaboration with HIAS Pennsylvania.
On today’s podcast, I visit Wilma Theater’s HotHouse Company to talk about the World Premiere of Christopher Chen’s “PASSAGE”. I am joined by Krista Apple, Lindsay Smiling and Sarah Gliko to talk about a production stripped down for simplicity with many layers of complexity that make for a mindful night of theatre. Stay Tuned!
A World Premiere by Christopher Chen
Directed by Blanka Zizka
Imagine you’re in an exotic new country — occupied by your nation. Now you are a distinguished doctor, but a cab will not stop for you. Now you’re in a cave so dark, so quiet, you lose track of who you are. Suddenly, there’s a sound and —
Welcome to Passage, a fantasia inspired by E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India that uses the theater’s primal evocative powers to examine the most essential questions of our time.
Written by Obie Award-winning playwright Christopher Chen, this World Premiere is a perfect vehicle for the Wilma HotHouse Company’s passion and transformative prowess.
On today’s podcast, we travel to Northern Liberties to Pig Iron Theatre School to chat with two students, Jacinta Rasma Lee Yelland and Mark Kennedy-McClellen who traveled across the country via Amtrak in search of inspiration. Being the first time chatting about the Pig Iron Theatre School, what a great conversation to have.
ABOUT UARTS / PIG IRON DEVISED PERFORMANCE PROGRAM
Students from the University of the Arts/Pig Iron Devised Performance Program will travel across America by train in March 2018, journeying from Philadelphia to San Francisco on Amtrak. Led by Devised Performance Program Director and Pig Iron Co-Artistic Director Quinn Bauriedel, the students of the Class of the 2019 will seek inspiration for original performance creations, attempting to make a ‘snapshot’ of America as it is right now–its landscapes and cities, its people and their stories. Along the way the students will meet and collaborate with fellow artists in Chicago and Omaha, forging connections and fostering creative exchanges.
About Pig Iron
Founded in 1995 as an interdisciplinary ensemble, Pig Iron Theatre Company is dedicated to the creation of new and exuberant performance works that defy easy categorization. Over the course of its more than two-decade lifespan, Pig Iron has created over thirty original works, toured to festivals and theatres nationally and internationally, and received two OBIE awards. The New York Times named Pig Iron “one of the few groups successfully taking theatre in new directions.”
On today’s podcast, we return to GoKash OnStage to talk about the production “V to X”, a remount in residence at Arden Theatre Company. In this piece, Kash takes a hard look at the U.S. Prison System as a business and show how the inmates lives and value are always up for debate. This piece touches on so many elements of a vicious cycle that makes prisoners more than it aims to rehabilitate. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT V to X
GoKash OnSTAGE in residence at the Arden returns in Spring with a sobering look at privatized incarceration, “V to X”. In this look at the U.S. justice system, writer/director Kash Goins draws inspiration from the tragic experience of N.Y. teen Kalief Browder, whose diminished mental state after three years of abusive Rikers Island incarceration without having ever gone to trial, drove him to suicide upon release in 2015.
Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “A work that erupts with tragic power and vicious humor.”, “V to X” debuted in October, 2015 and encored in February of the following year, proving to be one of the hottest theatre tickets in town.
The interactive drama that Goins has coined theatre in 3-D takes Arden’s brand new Bob and Selma Studio Theatre stage on 3/28/18 – 4/15/18.
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.