10 Live Arts and Fringe Artists You Need to Know
What you’re doing this year: I am in two shows of the Fringe variety. Heavy Metal Dance Fag for Tribe of Fools. And I’m also in Water Bears In Space.
What they’re about: Well in Dance Fag, I just have a cameo and sing “Welcome to the Jungle”. Water Bears is like a house art kid thing about science, um. It’s super fringey. I play, among other characters, a giant thumb. There are lots of weird puppets. Oh, and I’m also the programming director for the Festival Bar at the Ruba. I have a show every night of the festival and then I’ll zip over to the Ruba for soundcheck. I’m busy. Oh, and then I’m also hosting the Late Nite Cabaret at the Wolf Building on September 4th. I’m the biggest somebody you’ve never heard of.
What you’re looking forward to seeing: My must-see show is The Devil and Mister Punch. I’m wicked excited about that. I’m only seeing 3. That, Lady M., and Twelfth Night. My husband did the fight direction on that, and I’m excited to see my man’s work on a big stage.
What you’re doing when not this: Sometimes I’m a waitress at Fergie’s. My other jobs are teaching theater to kids, and I’m the resident artist at Brat Productions. I also do face painting for kids’ birthday parties. By day, I am a married lady with a dog and husband. At night, I become a hipster art warrior.
[Photo: Clayton A. Sweeney, Jr. Photography]
What you’re doing this year: Whale Optics with Thaddeus Phillips. I’m a performer. I play a couple of different characters, but the main character I play is a guy named Reginald Maxwell. I guess he’s a narrator/cosmic power in the world of the play.
What it’s about: I don’t even know if I can completely describe it in a fair way. It’s dealing with human and animal communication, how we’re possibly missing valuable information from nature, from animals, from the Earth that could save us one day. There’s quite a bit of Carl Sagan in it.
What you’re looking forward to seeing: I’m really excited to see Method Gun at the Wilma. And Pig Iron’s Twelfth Night, to see what they do with that. And Kyle Abraham’s piece. He’s a choreographer. Philadelphia Arts Collective’s thing. I love those guys, and they do really interesting work. And Carthaginians. My roommate’s in that. Of course, when you’re performing, it’s so hard to get out and see what other people are doing.
What you’re doing when not this: I read a ton, mostly non-fiction. And I watch documentaries. I’ll watch a documentary before a feature film. And I love walking through the city, taking it all in.
What you’re doing this year: I’m directing Lady M. I’m the main conceiver, and my hand is in a little bit of everything. It has my staging, my movement coaching, my voice arranging, a lot of my writing.
What it’s about: It comes from the idea of a midrash. In the Jewish study of the Torah, they write midrash as a way to understand a character who’s not the main narrative. So in Abraham and Isaac, you might write a midrash about Isaac or Sara, from their perspective. And I started thinking about this as a midrash for Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play. In the second half of his story, she kind of disappears. What the heck happened to her?
What you’re looking forward to seeing: The Rude Mechanicals. I’ve never gotten to see them live. And Mister Punch. Obviously Pig Iron and Geoff Sobelle are people I’d like to see. But one of the things I like about the festival is seeing people from outside of Philly. And in the Fringe, Applied Mechanics is doing a show called Overseers, and my lighting designer is working on that. And I’m always a fan of Green Chair Dance.
What you’re doing when not this: What don’t I do? I have a lot of jobs. I teach voice at a couple of universities in the area. I do a lot of work with the standardized patient program at U Penn. And I work on my house.
[Photo: J.J. Tiziou]
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