25th Annual Philadelphia Fringe Arts Festival Announces Full Lineup

-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC
Feature photo: A scene from Beardmobile Fall Love Tour. Photo credit_ Plate 3

FringeArts, Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, is pleased to announce the full roster of programming for the 25th Annual Philadelphia Fringe Festival, a city-wide celebration of progressive, world-class art that expands the imagination and boldly defies expectations.  The festivities will highlight the festival’s silver anniversary, featuring 179 diverse productions and experiences throughout the city of Philadelphia.  Audience members will be able to enjoy all that the Philadelphia Fringe Festival will offer from September 9 through October 3, 2021.  Funding for this year’s festival is provided in part by  PNC Arts Alive.

Of note, this year’s festival includes a world premiere by acclaimed performance troupe Elevator Repair Service; the Philadelphia premiere of the award-winning visual opera production Sun & Sea; plus, the return of Pig Iron Theatre Company, New Paradise Laboratories, Nichole Casuso Dance Company, and The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, all longtime FringeArts collaborators and festival favorites.  Celebrated choreographers Mariana Valencia and Kyle Marshall will also make their curated Fringe Festival debuts, along with Mark Lord and Catharine Slusar’s newly-branded collaboration Joyous Eddies House of Theater.

“This year’s Festival is a special one for both our organization and Philadelphia,” notes President and Producing Director Nick Stuccio.  “For 25 years, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival has elevated our city as a primary nexus for cultural conversation, progressive ideas, and innovative art-making.  As we celebrate this milestone in our organization’s history, we are excited to welcome audience members to enjoy this year’s programming  and hope that the festival can act as a social space in which conversation can blossom between artists and audiences, artists and artists, and Philadelphia and the world.”

“We’ve long recognized just how vital the arts and cultural sector is to our community. The PNC team is once again excited to support the arts and cultural organizations in the Delaware Valley,” said Joe Meterchick, PNC regional president for Philadelphia, Delaware and Southern New Jersey.  “The arts and culture strengthen the local economy and have the power to bring people together. Now, as we look forward to resuming everyday activities, we invite our neighbors to join us and be a part of art.”

The 25th Annual Fringe Festival call for artists produced 199 submissions, a record for the organization.  Fringe audiences can expect an assortment of live theatrical and dance performances, art installations, circus arts, and genre-bending experiences that highlight the wide variety of local and national talent that the festival attracts.  The artistically daring performances include live and in-person national and international artists curated by FringeArts, and both live and digital works that are produced by independent artists from across Philadelphia and beyond and promoted by FringeArts.

The Philadelphia Fringe Festival has featured a Digital Fringe component since 2015, and the 2020 Fringe Festival was predominantly virtual. This year, digital shows make up a notable amount of the 2021 Independently Produced lineup. Some will be available to watch throughout the festival, while others will have specific viewing times and involve a degree of interactivity between performers and audiences. 

Curated Productions
FringeArts will present productions as part of this year’s curated slate, including works by The Bearded Ladies Cabaret​; ​Nichole Canuso Dance Company​; ​New Paradise Laboratories; Mariana Valencia; Elevator Repair Service; Pig Iron Theatre Company; Joyous Eddies House of Theater; Kyle Marshall Choreography; and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė, in collaboration with Arcadia Exhibitions at Arcadia University.

707 Hazardous Moves
New Paradise Laboratories, Sep 16-18, 2021
FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
Theater
A veteran experimentalist exposes his nine-year struggle to stage the poem that bedeviled the 20th-century.  Whit MacLaughlin has been obsessed with Stéphane Mallarmé’s “A Throw of Dice Will Never Abolish Chance” since he first read it in 2012. Subsequently, he traveled to France to sit at the feet of philosopher Quentin Meillassoux, invented a sport, mounted 4 related pieces with his company New Paradise Laboratories (one in Turkey), took a bullet, gave up theater, left the country for a third time, and finally, in quarantine with an OCD diagnosis, attempted 7 successive versions of the work. 707 Hazardous Moves details his complete defeat, and examines why he still hopes to unfail his failure. 

AIR
Mariana Valencia, Sep 17-18, 2021
Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, 302 S Hicks St, Philadelphia
Dance
A melding of movement and text, AIR pays homage to Mexican television and film figures like Don Ramon, El Chavo, Cantinflas, and Maria Felix. Like New York’s experimental dance history, these pop cultural icons have informed her work, and are evoked in a swirling atmosphere of influence. Valencia assumes the role of a news anchor, presenting references as origin stories and creation myths, layering and morphing in their intersection with the artist’s movement.

Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge
Conceived by Greig Sargeant with Elevator Repair Service, Sep 9-11, 2021
FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
Theater
A new world premiere production by Elevator Repair Service.  In 1965, James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr. were invited to The Cambridge University Union to debate the resolution “The American Dream is at the Expense of The American Negro.” The result was a provocative and profoundly insightful confrontation between Baldwin, one of the most powerful figures of the civil rights movement, and Buckley, often considered the father of 20th Century patrician conservatism. New York-based performance ensemble Elevator Repair Service, a company with a rich history of adapting unconventional texts (Gatz, Arguendo, The Sound and the Fury), stages the debate verbatim. With both 1965 and 2021 in mind, Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge presents the debate as real, immediate, and of this moment.

Beardmobile Fall Love Tour
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Sep 17 – Oct 17, 2021
Various locations
Cabaret
Philly’s premier big gay truck, the Beardmobile, hits the road again this September with the Fall Love Tour! Hosted by the Bearded Ladies Cabaret and a slew of amazing partners, the Fall Love Tour is a series of outdoor pop-up performances featuring Philly performers, community leaders, and residents in the communities where they live and work.

Being/With
Nichole Canuso Dance Company, Sep 10 – Oct 2, 2021
Evangelical Church of the Trinity, 2300 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19145
Pearlstein Gallery, 3401 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Dance
Being/With is an intimate and expansive work that brings together two solo audience/participants at a time in a tender exchange of both verbal and non-verbal listening. Separated by miles of physical distance, each in a separate venue, the two participants connect via live feed video and audio technology. Together they explore distance and proximity; absence and presence. 

Love Unpunished
Pig Iron Theatre Company, Sep 3 – 11, 2021
Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
Theater
Pig Iron Theatre Company presents Love Unpunished, a dance-theater work about evacuation and tenderness that first premiered during the 2006 Fringe Festival. Originally conceived as a response to the collapse of the Twin Towers, this performance imagines the evacuation of a skyscraper as a hypnotic cascade of descents and ascents. Set on 20 feet of escape stairs, the mostly-wordless piece asks audiences to contemplate the ordinariness and confusion of evacuees who wonder: Is this an emergency or is this a drill?  “When tragedy is all around us, we feel this impulse toward tenderness, and then the need to steel ourselves, and then we flip back to tenderness – and this piece is an invitation to stay with that tenderness,” explains Director Dan Rothenberg.  “Love Unpunished is an attempt to reconnect with the human impulses we felt watching the catastrophes that have become defining moments of our generation — both the anger and the empathy, as well as those strange feelings which have no name, feelings which rise unbidden and which can’t find a place in political discourse.”

Not
IJoyous Eddies House of Theater, Sep 29 – Oct 3, 2021
908 Christian St, Philadelphia
Theater
Director Mark Lord (Endgame, Across, The Ride Across Lake Constance) and Barrymore Award-winning actor Catharine Slusar join forces in a new collaboration.  What you will want to know: a handful of audience members gather in an intimate space. A mouth speaks; she utters a torrent of words: as searing and searching a text as Nobelist Samuel Beckett ever wrote. With scalding intensity, the play clamors to discover: who are we when we are our whole selves, when we speak and hear all of our voices in a moment — in their rages and echoes and mis-rememberings and deprecations and desires.   It lasts for fifteen minutes. And forever.

Stellar/Rise
Kyle Marshall Choreography, Sep 24 – 25
FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
Dance
Stellar is a dance film of speculative fiction inspired by afro-futures, the echoes of jazz and the bits of stars within us. Performers Bree Breeden, Kyle Marshall and Ariana Speight gathered for virtual improvisation sessions during the 2nd Spring of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online conversations led to in-studio embodiment developing scores of improvisation and theatricality informed by gravity, ritual and stars. Taking inspiration from the transcendent music of Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane, sounds were generated and performed live by Kwami Winfield. Rise, performed live, is inspired by the shout traditions of the Black church, the transcendence of club music, and holds the joy that dancing brings to our lives. This dance celebrates life in our flesh, makes space for the spirit, and honors the power of witnessing by reflecting on our time of pandemic isolation. 

Arcadia Exhibitions presents
Sun & Sea
An opera-performance by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė, Sept 30 – Oct 3
The Budd, 3431 Fox Street, Philadelphia
Opera/Visual Art
This contemporary Lithuanian opera-performance by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytė, and curated by Lucia Pietroiusti, set on an artificial “beach,” is viewed from a mezzanine above and directs our attention to a crowd of swimsuit-clad performers conveying anxieties that range from sunburn to environmental catastrophe. The 60-minute piece, which will loop for a duration of five hours, received the Golden Lion for best national presentation at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The Philadelphia presentation of the work will feature the original cast, including thirteen soloists joined by non-singing extras sourced from the community.

Independently Produced Productions
This year’s independently-produced slate includes a robust lineup of 170 shows across genres and platforms. The full list of independent artists, and subsequent press information, can be found at this website: FringeArts.com/press-room

CIRCUS

  • $7 Girl – Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
  • Couch Potatoes—The Leftovers
  • Happy Hour—Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
  • Only Bones v.1.6—Marina Cherry
  • RagTag: A Circus in Stitches—Cirque Us
  • tinycircus at West Craft Fest!—Tangle Movement Arts

COMEDY & IMPROV

  • Borrowed Time featuring Jake Mattera, Hoffman, and NYTEshift—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • Extree! Extree! Comedy Inspired By the News—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • Free Improv Jam—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • International Women’s Public Safety Clown Army—Stephanie Parker & Friends
  • Latinx 2044: A Hispanic Heritage Month Comedy Special—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • No Diggity: Improv Inspired By Old School Hip Hop and R&B—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • Not Yet Rated: An Improvised Movie—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • Offstage Fright—XY Players
  • Package Deal—Jennifer Blaine
  • Quarantined Ill At Ease: Covid-19 Allstars—Quarantined Ill At Ease
  • Sketch Buffet: A Sketch Comedy Showcase—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • Squat Squad—Squat Squad
  • Study Hall: Comedy Inspired By Lectures—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • Thank You, Places: An Improvised Musical—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • The Book of Snorin’ – Sleep Apnea the Musical—Stew Walker
  • The Great Philadelphia Comedy Magic Walk—Robert Malissa, Walking Magician
  • Walking with Charles: stand-up en-route—Charles Blyzniuk
  • yurodivy—Nick Gillette Improv

DANCE

  • 10 Recalling-20—Ashlea Sovetts & Alexandria Nunweiler
  • Dance of the Lanternfly—Dominique Ellis
  • Dance Voices—Dancefusion
  • Dawn States Dance Company—Dawn States Company
  • deprogram—Megan Mazarick
  • dwell—Lindsey Huster
  • Expansions Presents: Bridging the Distance—Expansions Contemporary Dance Ensemble
  • Galumpha—Galumpha
  • Harvest Moon—JCWK Dance Lab
  • Home in the Dark—Shannon Murphy
  • KCBC x KCBCII: Return to Müvment—Klassic Contemporary Ballet Company
  • L’Shana Tova! A Sweet Assembly—ARTIST HOUSE/Asya Zlatina + Dancers
  • Morning, Afternoon, Evening—Beth Jucovy/Dance Visions NY
  • Motel Montana—Gunnar Montana
  • Myzrie House—Myzrie House
  • Naked Dances from my Basement—Miryam Coppersmith
  • Nanay—Ani/ MalayaWorks Dance
  • On Buried Ground—Emily Bate, Shayla-Vie Jenkins
  • PADA PRESENTS The Greatest Showman—Pennsylvania Academy of Dance Arts
  • shared spaces / distant voices—OhOK Performance Group
  • Speakeasy Go-go—Thomas Choinacky
  • The Case for Invagination #3—Nicole Bindler
  • The Engine—Asimina Chremos
  • The Philadelphia Matter Screening at Neighborhood House—Christ Church Preservation Trust
  • Time Machine—Poético Dance Collective
  • we must already be dead—BREAKTIME
  • Wear Me Into Spring: a performance featuring taiko and dance—Casual Fifth Taiko and Dance
  • Why we dance—Vivid Ballroom and My Dance Film, co-produced by Lana Rossi and Renata Sheppard

FILM

  • An Artist Conversation—Brian Shapiro Band
  • Animation Nation III—The Women’s Film Festival
  • Fixed Gaps—Scot J. Wittman
  • Incredible Dreamz Presents: Friendship Movie Club II—Incredible Dreamz
  • Manifesto—Yellow Bicycle Collective
  • We Are More Than We Know—Justin Tyner

IMMERSIVE/INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

  • #txtshow (on the internet)—Brian Feldman Projects
  • 10 x 10 – Walk Around Philadelphia—JJ Tiziou
  • Art Room Outdoors: REAP What You Show—Leah Stein Dance Company
  • Child Support—Camden Rep
  • creativeWorks—creativeWorks.io
  • Cvlt of Jawn Occult Salon—Cvlt of Jawn
  • Dead Flowers Circus Sideshow—Dead Flowers
  • Dr Livingston Presents RUB HARDER—Brian Sanders’ JUNK
  • Found—It Gets Worse But Then…. Theatre Company
  • How Many Times—Leah Friedman, Roy Aizen, Jesse Antonoff, Jake Pettit
  • IF WE WIN—Yannick Trapman-O’Brien
  • Inter Terrestrial—Die-Cast
  • Into the Absurd: A Virtually Existential Dinner Conversation—The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium
  • Journey to the Kingdom of Hypnos—Spectacle & Mirth
  • Life Traveler—Jody Oberfelder Projects
  • Lovers and Madmen: Visions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream—Forgotten Lore Theatre w/ Lone Brick Theatre Company
  • Mixtape—Cirque du Nuit/Alterra
  • New World Rising!—Lupine Performance Cooperative
  • Nothing happens—Jeremyboss28
  • Nuptial Blitz—Gabrielle Revlock
  • Portrait in Blood—Dead Flowers Circus Sideshow
  • Saving Wonderland—Seize the Show
  • TFD Talks—Brian Feldman Projects
  • The Birth of Jawn: Exploring Philly with a King—Jawn Wooders
  • The Sculpture Gallery—Innovative Juggler
  • The Zoomousity—The Gorgeousity
  • Tree Confessions—This Is Not A Theatre Company
  • Unravel—Spektra Pulse
  • VFF—Brian Feldman Projects

MUSIC

  • Bon Appétit! By Julia Child and Lee Hoiby (During a Pandemic!)—Aurora Classical
  • Casual Fantastic: Good Things—Casual Fantastic
  • Ghost Town: The Musical – A Concept Album—milkmouth productions
  • Honky Tonkin’ – A Country Music Show—REV Theatre Company
  • How Gilbert and Sullivan got us through lockdown!—Aurora Classical
  • I Hope You Were Listening—The Philadelphia Jazz Tap Ensemble
  • Invitation to Play: A Cabaret for the Musical Mannequin—Jennifer Blaine and Guest Artists
  • Our American Experiences—Aurora Classical
  • Portrait of a Lady—Ravensong Concert Series presents SARAH CUNNINGHAM
  • Soundscape Visualz—Teyquil Skelton
  • THE FLOODS LIVE PERFORMANCE—Roderick Coover – Adam Vidiksis – Nick Montfort
  • The Perspective Collective—The Perspective Collective
  • The Stronger and Saturn’s Return—Gemini Voice’s Co.
  • Yellow Bicycle Collective Presents: Open Bike (an Open Mic Series)—Yellow Bicycle Collective

OTHER

  • A Patchwork of Stories for GrownUps—Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild
  • Irina learns guitar and songwriting—Irina Varina
  • Of A Feather—Philly PACK
  • OVERBOARD! at Cannonball—Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
  • ReVisioning the Arts Podcast—Julia Brandenberger, Rogue Theology
  • Water On The Pier—Roderick Coover – Adam Vidiksis – Nick Montfort

THEATER

  • Alice—EgoPo Classic Theater
  • 20 Years of 9-11: Memories of a Witness—Liz Zimmerman
  • About Ready at Cannonball—Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
  • Adjust The Procedure—Spin Cycle & JCS Theater Company
  • Alcina REVAMPED—Alter Ego Chamber Opera
  • Alexithymia—Madison Weinhoffer
  • Alternative Theatre Festival—iNtuitons Experimental Theatre
  • Artifacts of No Consequence—Jeff Evans
  • As You Like It—Shakespeare on Tap
  • Bind—Corinna Burns
  • Black Box—Yellow Bicycle Collective
  • Changing My Major to Joan—Boris Dansberry
  • Crossover: A New Pop Musical—Chelsea Cylinder and Danielle Moore
  • Dear Donald/Dear Hillary (Their Secret Correspondence)—Sally Vahle and Bob Hess
  • Do No Harm—The Highland Lakes Players
  • Egg Tooth—Antony Bolante / TOBO Productions
  • Gilligan Gigs Again—Connor Hogan
  • Healing+—Mike Lemme
  • I Know It Was The Blood: The Totally True Adventures of Newfangled Black Woman—Tara Lake
  • Intergalactic Barbei—Alzéi Barbéi
  • It Doesn’t Matter—The Berserker Residents
  • Mask Arts Symposium/ Open House—Mask Arts Symposium
  • Mask Arts Symposium/ArcheDream For Humankind/Blacklight Lecture and Demo.—Alan Bell
  • Montreal Honeymooners—THE HIGHLAND LAKES PLAYERS
  • MURDER MESIBA—Chutzpah! Theater Club
  • Norton I—Giacomo Fizzano
  • Publik Private—Alma’s Engine
  • QvK—The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective
  • Rhopalocera: a digital opera (New-work-in-progress)—L&P Productions
  • Rogues’ Gallery—The Stagecrafters Theater
  • S.E.L.F.—Bronwyn Sims/ Artist name
  • Say It Ain’t So—Revolution Shakespeare
  • Sewer Rats Sketch Night—Sewer Rats Productions
  • Shoop—Whisper Theatre Collective
  • Taft in the Tub—The Void Theatre Collective
  • The Choice—inFLUX Theatre Collective
  • The Consciousness—Nique Content
  • The Frog Prince & Other Favorite Stories—Denise McCormack
  • The Hazards of Love—The Hum’n’Bards Theater Troupe
  • The Holy Ground—Irish Heritage Theatre
  • The Secretaries—Allens Lane Theater
  • The Wasp’s Nest—Paper Doll Ensemble
  • Three Men In a Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog)—Tony Lawton
  • Three Sisters—Hank Curry
  • Tides—Olivia Berkson and Hallie Malina
  • Twelfth Night—Indecorous Theatre Productions
  • Unorthodox Methods of Cosmic Flight—Anastassia Vertjanova
  • Visions—Nick Jonczak &co
  • Wild Women Of Planet Wongo—Wild Women Of Planet Wongo
  • Wings Over Water- A Diasporic Bird Play—Three Birds Flying Collective
  • YOLO—Feel So Young

VISUAL ART/INSTALLATIONS

  • 11 Years at the Fringe—Linda Dubin Garfield
  • Elleecharms body painting gallery—Yellow Bicycle Collective
  • Plein Air Guitar—Derek Ayres
  • Temporary Moments—Temporary Moments
  • The Floods—Roderick Coover – Adam Vidiksis – Nick Montfort
  • the in-between—mark kennedy

WORKSHOPS & CLASSES

  • Mask Arts Symposium / Casts, Masks and Play!—Barbara Gegson
  • Mask Arts Symposium/ ArcheDream for Humankind /Blacklight Mask and Movement—Patricia Dominguez
  • Mask Arts Symposium/Create a Neoprene (Industrial Latex) Clown Mask—Craig Jacobrown
  • Mask Arts Symposium/Intro. to the Brahe Mask Method—Benjamin Bass
  • Returning to Normal Through Improv—Crossroads Comedy Theater
  • WORKSHOPS at Cannonball—Almanac Dance Circus Theatre

Ticketing Information
Tickets go on sale to FringeArts Members on Monday, August 9 at 10am, and to the general public on Friday, August 13 at 10am unless otherwise indicated. Tickets can be purchased online at FringeArts.com, by phone at 215.413.1318, or by visiting the Fringe Festival Box Office at FringeArts (140 N Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia) Aug 30—Oct 3.  ​​

Health and Safety
The 2021 Fringe Festival will take place predominantly in-person. To help protect the health and safety of audiences, artists, staff, and the greater community, audiences are required to wear masks at all indoor performances. Masks are not required at outdoor performances. If patrons are feeling unwell or come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 up to 14 days before a performance, they are strongly encouraged not to attend the event. These guidelines may evolve with changing local health and safety recommendations. Consult FringeArts.com/COVID-19 for the latest Fringe Festival Health & Safety Guidelines.

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