10 Live Arts and Fringe Artists You Need to Know
On Friday, the 15th annual Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe begins, bringing with it nearly 200 different shows and countless performers. Earlier this week, we caught up with 10 of the city’s most brilliant festival talents in between their rehearsals to see what to expect. For more on Philadelphia’s vibrant arts scene, be sure to check out our comprehensive Fall Arts Guide in the September issue, on newsstands now.
What you’re doing this year: I’m working on a show called Elephant Room.
What it’s about: It’s not about anything. It’s a magic show. It’s about magic. It’s about 70 minutes long. It’s about blowing your mind. It’s about to be the biggest thing ever to hit Philadelphia since Hurricane Irene.
What you’re looking forward to seeing: I’ve heard a lot of great things about the John Jasperse. And Twelfth Night and Mister Punch, or whatever that’s called. I also want to see some Fringe stuff like The Speed of Surprise, from the people who did About a Bear last year. And the Found Theater Company piece. They’re out of Temple. I’m interested in who’s the young blood. I want to see something that will just rock my socks off.
What you’re doing when not this: I like to take long walks along the beach and read Philadelphia magazine.
[Photo: Lantern Theatre Company]
What you’re doing this year: I’m remounting Paris Wheels and The Ready-Maids present…Not the Henri Rousseau that Some of You Know…, which I originally created for PIFA.
What it’s about: Well, it’s puppetry, dance, and storytelling inspired by Paris, 1810. It explores the power and responsibility of the imagination. I designed the installation and props, directed the movement, wrote the story, mopped the floor, I tell the story as a performer, I designed the postcard and built the bleachers. With a lot of help, of course.
What you’re looking forward to seeing: I haven’t even looked yet. It’s been 16 hour days. I know that I really want to see Whale Optics and hopefully the thing that Ali Hoban did with Found Theater Company. She was one of my volunteers.
What you’re doing when not this: Vacuuming the cat. He’s deaf. Deaf cats don’t mind being vacuumed.
What you’re doing this year: Performing with Christina Zani in Headlong’s Red Rovers.
What it’s about: It’s a dance-theater piece set up as a conference of the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, or JPL. It deals with the ways in which we create disconnect with each other both knowingly and unknowingly. All of the audience members are asked to choose a name when they enter, they’re given a name tag, and they’re part of the conference.
What you’re looking forward to seeing: Thaddeus Phillips’ piece, Pig Iron, and New Paradise. Those are at the top of my list.
What you’re doing when not this: I work for a non-profit that tests medical students on their interpersonal skills. I’m also finishing my masters degree in academic medicine, set to graduate in December.