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actor on stage and audience

White Rabbit Red Rabbit — Nassim Soleimanpour’s dark allegory at the Fringe Festival

[Alaina experiences a one-man show that crosses the fourth wall–and half the Earth–to reach Philadelphia audiences. — the artblog editors] Philly theatergoers and writers never get bossed around more than during the weeks of the freewheeling Fringe Festival, when they’ll often purchase a ticket before the artists will disclose the venue, and receive strict instructions on when and how to arrive and what to bring. Reviewers’ directions This year’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit, coming to us from Iran while playwright Nassim Soleimanpour cannot, offers its own “Urgent Note for Press” demanding that I not forget Soleimanpour lives in Iran, and ... More » »

Show poster

Till Birnam Wood… “watching” Shakespeare while blindfolded

[Alaina opens her mind and closes her eyes, reviewing a performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth during which the audience is blindfolded. — the artblog editors] Lunching with colleagues a few weeks ago, I said I’d be looking for a date for a new Fringe Festival adaptation of Macbeth that the audience would experience blindfolded, and there was a short but awkward silence up and down the table. “Well, I don’t want to see that,” someone exclaimed. An old boss of mine on the Philly theater scene, who shall here remain nameless, loves to call Shakespeare “cultural castor oil,” and I guess plenty ... More » »

Photograph of an astronaut

Experiment #39 with the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure

[Alaina takes us along on a performance piece adventure through Philly, where she encounters a doctor, an astronaut, a historical figure, and a clown, among other characters. — the artblog editors] OK, I’m early, but I was just trying to follow directions. The materials for Experiment #39, from the New York City-based Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure (IPA), which ran for two sold-out days on September 6 and 7 as part of this year’s Presented Philadelphia Fringe Festival, warned all comers to be 10 minutes early for their spot on this very unconventional outdoor walking performance, put on for just one ... More » »

A moment from "Pay Up," which featured over a dozen scenes, or "modules", happening simultaneously

Artists turn the tables at the 2013 Fringe Festival – An essay

–>Alaina’s essay talks about what a great thing it is when artists are in charge, as they often are at the Fringe Festival.  –the artblog editors—————> The average working artist or creative professional probably wishes she had a dime for every time a client told her “We’ll send your payment at the end of this week, or early next,” and another dime when the money still failed to materialize by Monday. As an artist, it’s easy to feel powerless. But every year, when I cover the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, I’m fascinated to see that dynamic turned on its head. Somehow, something ... More » »


Philadelphia Fringe Fest 2013 – Seniors talk with Mammalian Diving Reflex about All the Sex I’ve Ever Had

—>Alaina encounters a new performance hybrid in this visual fringe production, a community oral history panel discussion about sex, love and romance, created by Mammalian Diving Reflex. –the artblog editors———————-> I’m really not sure how much I can say about “All the Sex I’ve Ever Had.” When I caught the second and last Philadelphia performance of this curious theater-discussion hybrid at Plays and Players last weekend, I swore an oath to keep my mouth shut. Producer Eva Verity got up in front of the audience and made us stand and raise our right hands. “I pledge not to gossip,” we ... More » »


Philadelphia Fringe Fest 2013 – The Momentum, like 2 shows in one, by Collaboration Town

—>Alaina reviews the Fringefest show, The Momentum, which starts as a parody and takes a surprising turn. –the artblog editors——————-> In the warm, dingy, wood-paneled basement of Philadelphia’s First Unitarian Church on Chestnut Street, a wobbly ceiling fan went tink tink tink tink as it labored over the audience on Saturday afternoon. They sat in a few rows of folding chairs on a large square of ancient orange linoleum, facing the battered wooden proscenium. The setting heightened the comedy in the opening shots of “The Momentum,” written and performed by Goeffrey Decas, Boo Killebrew, and Jordan Seavey. The CTown (“C” for ... More » »


Philadelphia Fringe Fest 2013 – LEO by Y2D Productions

In a large blue and red box onstage, a man in a fedora hat and white button-down shirt, tie tucked neatly into his trim vest, waits alone. He sits on his suitcase and begins to nod off. The wall behind him is red. The floor is blue. No, wait. The wall is blue and the floor is red and he lies on the floor with his feet on the wall. He’s rooted to the ground. No, he’s sliding up the wall. It all depends on which side of the stage you watch. There’s the box itself at stage left, or ... More » »


Philadelphia Fringe Fest 2013 – “Gibberish French” and coffee in The Society

—>Alaina talks about a Fringe Fest presented play with no understandable words in it but with a very big understandable point about conformity and non-conformists. –the artblog editors—————————> As the audience streams in, three men inhabit a scene of perfect, insular order: one sits with his head sunk in his hands, one leans his elbows on a chest-high shelf of pristine white coffee cups, chewing gum and checking his watch, and a third sits polishing the cups one by one, his hands steeped in absent deliberation. From the show’s first moments, Philippe (John Fjelnseth Brungot), Jean-Claude (Bartek Kaminski) and Louis ... More » »


Philadelphia Fringe Fest 2013 – 4Play by Crack the Glass Theater Company

—>artblog contributor Alaina Mabaso begins her rapid-fire coverage of the now come-and-rapidly-going 2013 Philadelphia Fringe Fest.  Stay tuned for more coverage in the next days from Alaina, and get out there and see some Fringe! –>theartblog editors————————> Crack the Glass Theater Company‘s director Polly Rose Edelstein says her inspiration for mounting four short plays at this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival was over 100 years in the making. According to her, in the 1908-09 Broadway season, 12.8% of the shows produced were written by women. Fast forward to 2008-09, and make that 12.6%. Raising the profile of female theater artists is ... More » »


Fringe Festival – The agony and passion of The Artists’ Women

As any student of art history knows, many great male artists had more than one woman in their lives – and not just because of sexual extra-curriculars. “The Artists’ Women,” (last performances today, September 16th at the Philadelphia Art Alliance) brings alive the idea of woman as Muse (L’Egerie), exploring the lives of the women who were entangled, artistically and otherwise, with the likes of Fra Filippo Lippi, Duchamp, Picasso and Dali. The central character in this world-premiere script from University of the Arts theater grad and YeuxVeuxBelle Collective co-founder Annie Such is sculptor Camille Claudel (Shannon Remley). Claudel, entwined ... More » »

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