Gay Guide to the 2014 FringeArts Festival

Your guide to all the LGBT-centric offerings at the 2014 FringeArts Festival.


Two Street by Tribe of Fools: The newest brainchild of the Philadelphia-based Tribe of Fools, the physical theater company has won critics over with its previous Fringe festival hits Heavy Metal Dance Fag and Antihero. The troupe, which consists of Terry Brennan, Zachary Chiero, Tim Popp and Peter Smith, welcomes Peter Andrew Danzig, Isa St. Clair, and Karina Balfour to the group for the FringeArts Festival take on Shakespeare’s classic tale, updated for queer contemporary audiences. More here. September 4-13, The Church of the Crucifixion, 620 South 8th Street. —Bryan Buttler

Bent by Truth Be Told Productions: “This play centers around Max, a gay man living the good life in 1930s Berlin until he finds himself in Dachau. Through his relationship with another prisoner, Horst, he regains his self-respect. A harrowing, overpoweringly intense, and at times violent story about the treatment of homosexuals by their own countrymen before World War II unfolds, collapses and rebuilds around you. September 11-20, Power Plant Productions, 233 North Bread Street. 

In the Pony Palace/FOOTBALL by Half Straddle: “The girls of the Pony Palace know how to run the spread, cheerleaders still have all the power, and everyone wants to play forever. An all-female and genderqueer cast portrays players, coaches, and cheerleaders and recreates the frenzied intensity of the historically male high school football experience. As the games are played out on stage a live high school band blares out pop songs charging up the fans—and the audience. With humor and genuine feeling, In the In the Pony Palace/FOOTBALL immerses the audience in the relationships and power dynamics within a team—and explores how young athletes come to place belief and commitment in something bigger than themselves.” September 17-19, Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 North American Street. 

100% Philadelphia by Rimini Protokoll: “Developed in collaboration with FringeArts, German artist collective Rimini Protokoll’s 100% Philadelphia will bring 100 carefully selected Philadelphia citizens (non-actors) onstage to represent the city’s population of 1.5 million and our unique demographic imprint: More than 40 cast members will be African-American, half will be women, approximately 20 will be children — [and of course some will be LGBT]. At times funny, uplifting and strikingly dramatic, 100% Philadelphia is always enlightening, a mirror of ourselves that will forever change the way we see our friends, neighbors, and strangers on the street.” September 19-21, Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 North Broad Street. 


Suspended by Brian Sanders JUNK: The local dance company, known for provocative performances, high-flying trapeze acts, and, well nudity, is putting on Suspended at this year’s festival. The company’s website describes the show as “a fantastical titillating abyss, where dual states of being and consciousness cross both sides of the line at the same time.” It promises audacious physicality. amd strong adult content that is “raw, brash, erotic, extreme.” Upping the hotness factor a bit, each show will be preceded by a “Locker Room Preshow,” where, if you pay a little extra, you can “join the men of JUNK for an up-close and personal view. Find yourself … caught in the middle of a rat-tail towel war; wearing soap suds and, enjoying all male, nude-bathing by candlelight.” September 5-20, JUNK, 2040 Christian Street.

Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (L) by Trajal Harrell: “Greek drama meets 1960s postmodern New York dance meets the 1980s Harlem vogue scene in this inventive, humorous and entertaining dance performance choreographed by New York-based, African-American dancer/choreographer Trajal Harrell. Featuring an all-male cast, Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (L), is part five in Harrell’s seven-part series.” September 12th and 13th, FringeArts, 140 North Columbus Boulevard. 

Resurrection Room by Gunnar Montana: “Follow a young woman as she stumbles upon a world with no rules, no life, no death. A room riddled with resurrected characters from the mind of Gunnar Montana. Get lost with her as she encounters everything from hot pink hostels to demon geishas, igniting a world that’s dead set on eating her alive.” September 12-21, The Latvian Society, 531 North 7th Street. 


Martha Graham Cracker With Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra: Philly’s hairiest drag queen (and subject of a great profile in this month’s Philadelphia magazine) kicks off the FringeArts festival with a few songs backed by members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Let’s hope she sings some Judy! September 5th, FringeArts, 140 North Columbus Boulevard.

CHRISTEENE: The Christeene Machine: “Enter The Christeene Machine: A gender-blending booty-pounding perversion of punk dragged through a musical theatre gutter, commanded by CHRISTEENE: a human pissoir of foul hilarity and raw unabashed sexuality. In this furious ritual, CHRISTEENE is sacrifice, calling the world to bring their burning anger, their tawdry secrets, and their stained hopes to the front.” September 6th, FringeArts, 140 North Columbus Boulevard.

Through the Glass Ceiling by Factory Productions featuring Ann Artist: “A two-part exaggerated living spectacle exploring the limitations of gender and feminine identity. Featuring the talents of Ann Artist and friends.” September 10th and 17th, Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 Saint James Street. 


Loop by Tangle Movement Arts: “Pluck one strand of a web, and the whole net reverberates, transforming lives and reshaping connections. In this dynamic circus-theater show, Philly queer circus theater Tangle’s acrobats swing, climb, and weave through suspended loops and strands of rope to embrace—and sometimes to escape—the knots of human relationships.” September 18-20, Philadelphia Soundstages, 1600 North 5th Street. 

The 18th annual FringeArts festival runs Sept. 5-21. For more information and ticket links to these and other shows, go here.