FringeArts Announces 2014 Lineup

The London production of TK's "100 Percent." The Philadelphia version will run during the 2014 FringeArts festival, TK.

The London production of Rimini Protokoll’s “100 Percent.” The Philadelphia version will run during the 2014 FringeArts festival, Sept 19-21.

The Philadelphia Fringe Festival announced the lineup of the “Presented” shows being staged at this fall’s festival, taking place September 5-21.

Out of the 11 theater, interdisciplinary and dance shows falling under the “Presented” category, six are world premieres, including three from our very own Pig Iron Theatre Company, New Paradise Laboratories and the Pennsylvania Ballet. The centerpiece of the festival is German artist collective Rimini Protokoll‘s interactive performance work 100% Philadelphia. The “part-theater, part-data-analysis” piece was cast with 100 Philadelphian non-actors, all chosen according to the city’s 2010 U.S. census data.

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Curio to Produce Play About Defrocked PA Pastor Frank Schaefer

Schaefer stands in front of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in South Lebanon Township.

Schaefer stands in front of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in South Lebanon Township.

The United Methodist Church purports to being guided by a simple principle: “All means all.” That sounds absolutely lovely, huh? But where was that ideology last winter when it decided to defrock Lebanon, Pennsylvania Reverend Frank Schaefer for officiating the marriage of his gay son? Are they really practicing what they preach?

That’s the concept being explored in Curio Theatre Company‘s upcoming The Frank Schaefer Project. The three-act show will delve into Schaefer’s story, something that Managing Director Gay Carducci tells me she was embedded in from the beginning. The idea to write it, however, didn’t hit her until, coincidentally, a member from the Calvary United Methodist Church (CUMC)  approached her about it. “Our theater is housed in an abandoned sanctuary in CUMC, and one day one of the members approached us and said, ‘I think this would make a great play.’ So the show fell in our laps — not just as a great idea for the theater, but as a story that needs to be told.”

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June Theater Guide: Colin Quinn, Paula Deen Meets Rodney King and Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

Our guide to the best of what’s opening on Philly stages in June.



InterAct Debuts New Gay-Themed Play, Ritu Comes Home

Ritu Comes Home 3

David Bardeen and Jered McLeniga in “Ritu Comes Home.” Photos by Plate 3/Kathryn Raines.

Last night, InterAct Theatre Company world-premiered its latest show, Ritu Comes Home, at the Adrienne Theater. The story follows Brendan and David, an affluent gay couple who live happy, carefree lives in Bryn Mawr, well, until their Bangladeshi “adopt a day” daughter Ritu shows up.

I had a chance to sit down with Brooklyn-via-New Jersey playwright Peter Gil-Sheridan over the weekend to chat about the show, why he set in Philly, where the inspiration comes from, and then we make some funnies about Venture Inn.

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Jesus Christ Superstar Mysteriously Cancelled Before Debut

Destiny's Child songbird Michelle Williams was set to play Mary in the touring production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" before the show was abruptly canned. Can girlfriend catch a break? s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Destiny’s Child songbird Michelle Williams was set to play Mary in the touring production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” before the show was abruptly canned. Can girlfriend catch a break? Photo by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

The star-studded North American tour of Jesus Christ Superstar that had punk icon John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon playing King Harold and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child as Mary Magdalene was unexpectedly cancelled before debuting in New Orleans on June 9th. While details are scarce as to why the show was crucified, there have been some rumors that a rapidly expanding budget played a role. The tour was set to stop in 54 cities, including Philly, at the Wells Fargo Center on August 16th. All ticket holders are expected to receive a full refund.

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Barrymore-Winning Actor James Ijames Puts On A New Hat: Playwright

Barrymore-winning actor James Ijames.

Barrymore-winning actor James Ijames.

James Ijames wears a ton of hats: Barrymore-winning actor, director, and now playwright. His play, The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, has its world premiere staging at Flashpoint Theatre Company in June.  The always charming Philadelphia resident took some time to chat with us about his work as a writer, his definition of America’s “original sin,” and why he’s just scandalized by the television series Scandal.  Read more »

May Theater Guide: What’s Opening On Stages This Month in Philadelphia

Our guide to what’s happening on Philly stages in May.



Looking for something else? We’ve compiled a good list of local events happening now through June in our Philadelphia Event Listings. Check it out here.

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