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Plan Your PIFA: 5 Must-See Shows

Photos via PIFA

Photos via PIFA

PIFA is back, y’all! On April 6th, the biennial international arts festival will kick-off a 16-day celebration of creativity and community. Amongst its jam-packed calendar, the festival will feature over 60 events ranging from artful acrobatic performances to one-woman shows. And because that’s a lot of art — and we realize you only have so much time — we narrowed it down to five absolute must-sees. (But, let’s be honest, you’ll probably find yourself nabbing tickets to at least one of the other 55 events anyway.) 

  1. Knitting Peace: 8pm and 2pm, April 8 to 10, Merriam Theater; tickets from $19 // If your perception of knitting is that of an idle, solitary activity, leave it at the door. Cirkus Cirkör presents an intricate cirque-inspired performance and bold set installation that utilizes recycled yarn, five trapeze artists, live music and impressive acrobatics. // Psst: the Swedish circus troupe put out a call for white knitted pieces made by members of the community, so some of the contributions will be displayed in connection with the performances!
  2. Article 13: 9pm, April 8 to 10, Penn’s Landing; first access passes strongly recommended // The American premiere of Article 13, the performance is described as “equal parts installation, spectacle, and documentary.” The memorial details the lives of the immigrant and migrant populations that have vanished in pursuit of new lives. An inhabited installation, audience members are enmeshed with the “stage.” // Tip: Reserve a First Access Passes beforehand to receive first access to enter the performance.
  3. Paper Planet: 10 am, 11:30am, 2pm, 4pm, April 9 to 23, Hamilton Garden // Geared toward the younger set ages 3 to 8, Paper Planet is an engaging and playful realm of curiosity and whimsy created by Australia-based theater company Polyglot Theater. Children are invited to explore a forest of tall cardboard trees. // Psst: Ideal for classrooms, teachers and school groups can request tickets to the installation during matinee performances.
  4. Architecture in Motion: 8pm, April 14, Merriam Theater; tickets from $19 // An opportunity for audience members to pay witness to both striking art and unparalleled athleticism, Architecture in Motion is comprised of two works: Fluid Infinities and Cubicle. Ebbing between the abstract of metaphor and reality, the former performance explores life independent of space and time, while the latter performance grapples with individuality. // Tip: Make a night out of it! Monk’s Cafe (264 South 16th Street) serves up top-notch Belgian fare (think: mussels, burgers and sausage) alongside an impressive “beer bible.”
  5. Wong Street Journal: 8pm, April 14 to 16, SEI Innovation Studio; tickets from $20 // Directed by Emily Mendelsohn and performed by comedian Kristina Wong, Wong Street Journal is a humorous, personal and accessible take on the “complexities of global poverty, privilege and economic theory.” Recommended for audiences ages 18 and up. // Tip: If you have a penchant for performance art and anticipate seeing more than one or two shows, consider purchasing a PIFA pass — available in three levels — to save on ticket prices.

For more information about can’t-be-missed performances and complete programming at PIFA, click here.