2020 Curated Fringe Festival Booklet

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Hand to Hand

Curators’ Note: Circus Midway was originally scheduled to take place earlier this year during Hand to Hand, our annual circus festival. Adapting to health and safety guidelines, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts began offering virtual classes this summer to engage with students and community members. We’re pleased to be able to offer some of these classes and performances for free!

Circus Midway Philadelphia School of Circus Arts Sunday, Oct 4, 11am–3pm CIRCUS





Join the circus from the comfort of your home with free live classes and workshops hosted by teachers and performers from the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. Learn the art of juggling, clowning, dance, acrobatics, hula hoop, and circus games via Zoom using everyday items found around the house. Accessible for all ages and abilities, these virtual classes provide rich circus arts engagement and new social connections from the safety of home. Reimagine your living spaces and reconnect with family and new virtual friends through the inspiration of circus! At 3pm, tune in for a free circus performance streamed online, showcasing the school’s Youth & Teen Troupe and Circadium School of Contemporary Circus. Recommended for ages 3+. Circus Midway is part of the SPARK: Fringe for Young Audiences series of family-friendly programming. The SPARK Series is made possible by a leadership gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation. Originally slated to be included in the Hand to Hand Circus Festival, presented by PECO.

Festival Co-Producers: Mark & Beth Shorstein Photo by Sarson Photography

High Pressure Fire Service

Curators’ Note: We are thrilled to include artists originally slated to present new works in our High Pressure Fire Service Festival this spring within the Fringe Festival. These artists were all faced with the unexpected consequences of COVID-19 that hit in the midst of rehearsal processes and weeks away from premieres. All of these artists have crafted new experiences that are timely, relevant, and poignant in the continued space of the pandemic.

The Making of BOY PROJECT Nell Bang-Jensen Tuesday, Sept 15 at 7pm + Saturday, Sept 19 at 1pm ALWAYS ON INTERACTIVE





What does it mean to be a man in 2020? Over the past year acclaimed local director Nell Bang-Jensen has brought together Philadelphia teens aged 12–15 to imagine their futures in an era where gender is fluid and masculinity is being re-examined. Join Bang-Jensen and the creative team, including the teens, for a participatory discussion that considers how gender is manifesting in our behavior now. Excerpts from a work-inprogress presentation of BOY PROJECT will also be accessible on the FringeArts website throughout the Fringe Festival. BOY PROJECT is a 2019 MAP Fund grantee, and was developed through the Camp Fringe residency supported by Independence Foundation. This work is also presented through the SPARK Series made possible by a leadership gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation. BOY PROJECT is supported by The Philadelphia Foundation’s Aurora’s Fund and Associate Producer, Michael Coleman.

Festival Co-Producers: Nancy Lanham; Shelley Green & Michael Golden Festival Associate Producer: Nancy Lanham Photo by Jauhien Sasnou | Picturebox Creative




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Aquifer of the Ducts James Allister Sprang

The Wig Wag Workshop: Exploring Voice

Tuesday, Sept 29 + Thursday, Oct 1 at 7pm

Emily Bate




Join multidisciplinary artist James Allister Sprang in deep listening—what he describes as a radical action that allows us to slow down, turn inward, and heal. Deep listening consciously brings awareness to the present moment while welcoming our bodies, our ancestors, our traumas, our pain, our longings, visions, and dreams. A 40-minute soundscape of layered tape recordings and modulated synths, Aquifer of the Ducts is meant to be experienced with headphones in the comfort and safety of your home. This sonic quilt of looping vignettes culminates in a journey of accumulative departures and returns. Guided by Sprang, this live meditation offers a retreat.

Tuesday, Sept 22 + Thursday, Sept 24, 6:30–8:30pm TUNE IN




Led by composer, theater maker, and choral music conductor Emily Bate, this workshop offers participants new ways to engage with the anatomy of the voice, and dig into the physical sensations produced by singing. Designed for every voice—from the seasoned choir member to enthusiastic shower singers and those who’ve been told they “can’t sing”—the Wig Wag Workshop explores the literal and figurative impacts of “resonance,” seeking both palpable vibrations in our bodies, and more information about the complex ways we emotionally relate to our voices.

Aquifer of the Ducts

Produced in association with Lingua Franca Arts. James Allister Sprang developed material for Aquifer of the Ducts through the Camp Fringe residency supported by Independence Foundation and with support from The Painted Bride Art Center’s Building Bridges: Artists on the Rise residency program.

No singing experience required for this virtual workshop. Expect singing madlibs, vocal warm-ups, free improvisation, group discussion, and experiential anatomy lessons. Each workshop session lasts two hours and will focus on unique material.

James Allister Sprang

Festival Producer: Robert M. Dever Photo courtesy of the Artist

Emily Bate developed material for the Wig Wag Workshops through the Camp Fringe residency supported by Independence Foundation. Photo by Jauhien Sasnou | Picturebox Creative

Legal Tender Kyle Dacuyan + Antigravity Performance Project Sept 10–Oct 4 Digital Salons on Thursday, Sept 17 at 7pm + Sunday, Sept 20 at 3pm ALWAYS ON POETRY




Access a user-navigated digital art installation featuring poetry readings, movement, meditation, and sensory experiences as Antigravity Performance Project invites you to an orbital adventure through work and pleasure. Legal Tender is an assemblage of multimedia performance, video, and text material drawing across a yearlong collaborative devising practice, its marginalia, and postscript. Made in collaboration with artists Andalyn Young and Kate Liebman. Legal Tender was developed in part at Bethany Arts Community and through the Camp Fringe residency supported by Independence Foundation. An initial iteration of this work was presented at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest in June 2019. Production at FringeArts supported in part by the Charlotte Cushman Foundation and Georgetown University’s Competitive Grant-inAid Research Program. Photo by Danny Bristoll

Nothing to Show Alexandra Tatarsky Sept 10–Oct 4 OUT AND ABOUT INSTALLATIONS



“For a long time we were making a show. The show was almost finished but never got made. The show was about a small German boy making a show he couldn’t finish. It was a show about hell that took place in his head. And it was a show about doing nothing in the hell of the world. Every day he keeps trying to make the show.”—Alexandra Tatarsky Tatarsky was to premiere the latest episode of their ongoing SIGN FELT project this spring as part of High Pressure Fire Service, postponed due to COVID-19. In its place, they share collected and ongoing notes on nothing, collaging narratives of art-making and despair into a deranged meditation on derangement, situated in a public window display. Alexandra Tatarsky developed material for Nothing to Show through the Camp Fringe residency supported by Independence Foundation. Photo courtesy of the artist

Being/With: Home Nichole Canuso Dance Company Sept 10­–Oct 3 $5–50 pay what you wish TUNE IN



Embark on a poetic encounter with a stranger, accompanied by a tender and mysterious audio guide. A guided performance experience that connects two solo audience members via Zoom, Being/With: Home is an embodied exploration of separation, connection, and the power of listening. Embracing the objects and memories that populate your own space, you’ll create something new, with someone unexpected. Being/With: Home is created in connection with Being/With: Live, a dual site performance installation that will premiere as part of the 2021 Fringe Festival. Being/With: Live builds poetic bridges across neighborhoods and borders, making space for the intimacy and immediacy of collaborative exchange. The Being/With project as a whole builds on themes and technology explored in previous Nichole Canuso Dance Company works such as The Garden of Forking Paths (2017), Pandæmonium (2016) and TAKES (2010).

Being/With: Workshop Sept 13, 15, 20, 22 Audiences interested in exploring the themes of Being/With: Home in a group setting are invited to participate in one of four free interactive workshops connecting twelve participants at a time, each in their own home. Facilitated by NCDC artistic director Nichole Canuso and Spiral Q co-director Jennifer Turnbull.

Being/With: Home has been supported by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the FederalState Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and support from our presenting partner, FringeArts. Being/With: Live has been supported by The National Endowment of the Arts, a William Penn Foundation New Audiences / New Places grant, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Projects Award, and The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and our presenting partner, FringeArts. Development residencies include MacDowell Colony (NH), Bryn Mawr College (PA) and Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences (GA). Production residency funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Festival Producers: Ed & Anne Wagner Festival Co-Producer: Christie Hartwell Photos courtesy of the Artist

Elephant Room: Dust from the Stars Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle, Steve Cuiffo Sept 23–26 at 8pm $10 TUNE IN




Catch lost transmissions from the Elephant Room as magicians turned astro-nots Daryl Hannah, Dennis Diamond, and Louie Magic float on through bent time and collapsed space in an interactive sci-fi sequel to Fringe favorite Elephant Room (2011 Fringe Festival; FringeArts 2013). Set in the distant year 2020 against a dystopian backdrop of near total planetary collapse—a mysterious plague ravages the earth, temperatures are heating up, chaos rules the streets, democracy hangs by a thread as autocratic regimes seek to divide and conquer the planet’s empires.

Watch in disbelief as they travel through the vortex of our collective space conscious! Join them as they bring you along for a bumpy ride! And help them as they try to figure out how to use their spacecraft! Magic, adventure, dance numbers and mayhem ensue as the Elephant Room punches the Zoom button and blows the dust from the stars. Elephant Room: Dust from the Stars was commissioned by Center Theater Group, LA, and was developed with assistance and residencies from St. Ann’s Warehouse with additional support from the Orchard Project. Festival Producers: Larry & Ann Rosen Spector Festival Co-Producers: Bill & Joyce Kunkle; Cat, Annie, & Steven Bohnenberger Photo courtesy of the Artists

Late Night Snacks The Bearded Ladies Cabaret Saturday, Oct 17 TUNE IN



Hope you’re hungry because this fall, the Bearded Ladies are delivering queer cabaret hot and fresh to your computer. Hosted by John Jarboe with some nears and dears and far-flung friends, they’re serving up a digital reimagining of Fringe favorite Late Night Snacks as a 12 hour multi-course digital feast. Tune in for part or all. Featuring locally-sourced and internationally delicious performances from Old City to New Zealand, this year’s roster of artists is sure to leave you stuffed. They may not be able to sit in your lap, but the Bearded Ladies will still feed your soul with this socially-distant celebration. A lot can change these days, so we’re planning for all potential detours on this wild ride. For the latest Late Night Snacks updates, visit FringeArts.com/LNS2020.

Late Night Snacks is made possible by a grant from the Wyncote Foundation as a sponsored project of Painted Bride Art Center, Inc. Snacks is also funded by the Barra Foundation with additional project support provided by The Velocity Fund administered by Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University with generous funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Barbara Teichert.

Festival Star Producers: Mark & Tobey Dichter Festival Executive Producers: David & Linda Glickstein; Arthur M. Kaplan & R. Duane Perry Photo by Caio Bruno

American Chameleon: The Living Installments Jaamil Olawale Kosoko Sept 9–30 TUNE IN





Nigerian-American artist Jaamil Olawale Kosoko and collaborators lead audiences through a digital archive of video performance, conversation, and meditation in this hybrid multimedia living artwork that explores the everevolving ways in which digitality intersects with the fugitive realities and shapeshifting principles that Black queer people employ to survive and heal. Kosoko and a company of scholars, activists, and artists host a series of events, including a film screening, discussion, and healing session that aims to hold grief while also centering themes of liveness, beauty, humor, care, and joy.

The work operates as a flexible, digital commons. A pop-up community of organizers and practitioners center adaptive interactive learning as a means of creating sustainable, multi-tiered networks of care. Occurring on the audio, visual communications platform Discord and on Youtube, American Chameleon: The Living Installments is an experiment in creating a flexible space where Black voices are able to think and speak out loud.

A reading group and live talk will be offered to collectively discuss Kosoko’s development process and the thematics of the work as outlined in a syllabus developed by Kosoko.

Presented in partnership with Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival with thanks to the support of EMPAC / Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. American Chameleon: The Living Installments is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project cocommissioned by EMPAC / Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY; the New York Live Arts Live Feed Residency program; and the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University, in partnership with Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Tanz im August/HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Züricher Theaterspektakel, and NPN. Festival Co-Producers: Tom & Linda McCarthy Photo courtesy of the Artist/EMPAC

TrailOff Swim Pony, The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Toasterlab, and Michael Kiley Sept 10–Oct 4 and beyond OUT AND ABOUT THEATER




This immersive augmented reality audio performance presents ten original audio narratives, each connected to paths within the Philadelphia region’s expansive Circuit Trail network. Accessed via a mobile app, listeners will hear original dramas by local authors while walking each route. Featuring stories by afaq, ari, Jacob Camacho, Eppchez!, donia salem harhoor, Carmen Maria Machado, Erin T. McMillon, Li Sumpter, Denise Valentine, and Jacob Winterstein.

Audiences will experience these intimate journeys through the TrailOff app, developed by Toasterlab, which uses GPS triggering to link audio to specific geography as users walk the mapped routes. Phone sensors will also prompt subtle variations dependent on weather and time of day, tailoring each experience. The stories have been created uniquely for each trail site with scenes narrated by beloved local performers and underscored with music and atmospheric sound design crafted by Michael Kiley. After each walk, additional content is available in-app including podcast-style interviews with writers and points of environmental and historic interest on the trail.

FringeArts will host virtual launch events for all the stories and walks. Visit FringeArts.com/TrailOff for details.

TrailOff was created with support from The William Penn Foundation, The Philadelphia Cultural Foundation, The Barra Foundation, and The Network of Ensemble Theatres in addition to support in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Festival Star Producers: Mark & Tobey Dichter Festival Producer: Carol Beam Photo by John C Hawthorne

The Philadelphia Matter 1972/2020 David Gordon Premiere performance Thursday, Sept 10 at 7pm $5–50 pay what you wish Free stream available online Sep 11–Oct 4 TUNE IN DANCE



Celebrated choreographer/director/ writer David Gordon premieres his first new screen work in two decades with a “virtual” performance company of 30+ Philadelphia artists working remotely to record video material on everything from iPhones to professional cameras. Gordon then dissected, assembled, and collaged this movement with visual scores and archival works in collaboration with video artist Jorge Cousineau. The Philadelphia Matter - 1972/2020 cast includes Wally Cardona and Pick Up Performance Co(s) members Karen Graham and Valda Setterfield. The final composition premieres the first night of the 2020 Fringe Festival and will stream online for the duration of the fest.

The Philadelphia Matter - 1972/2020 is commissioned by Christ Church Neighborhood House, produced in collaboration with Pick Up Performance Co(s), and co-presented by the Neighborhood House. Major support for The Philadelphia Matter - 1972/2020 has been provided to Christ Church Preservation Trust by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Festival Co-Producers: Christopher & Lee van de Velde; Jane Pepper; Lynne & Bertram Strieb Photo courtesy of the Artist



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