Two Theater reviews! Also, The Colored Girls Museum, High School Student Art Show at Moore College of Art and Design and Opportunity

We are thrilled to showcase two Philadelphia theater reviews by theater afficionados Linnea deRoche and Ryan deRoche (Ryan is Artblog's Managing Editor). Linnea and Ryan come fully credentialed as producers, play writers, directors, costumers for the small company, School Free Players - . Enjoy these breezy and pithy reviews of two great-sounding productions, "Selling Kabul" at Interact Theatre and "Macbeth in Stride," at Philadelphia Theater Company. Both close Nov. 19, so read the reviews and run out and get tickets. Also today, news concerning The Colored Girls Museum and its tangle with the zoning board due to a 311 complaint! And a couple great opportunities, one for high school students! Enjoy.


colored girls museum installation
Image courtesy of The Colored Girls Museum

Colored Girls Museum in danger
The Colored Girls Museum got complained about on a 311 call and that resulted in the Zoning Board of Adjustment coming after them to close down what has become a beloved place in the hearts of artists, people of color and supporters in the city. The Museum, in the Germantown neighborhood, acts as a residence as well as a museum, and is seeking two variances from the Zoning Board. The Board meets today. Fingers Crossed they grant the variances. More at WHYY’S Nov. 13, 2023 story.

Artblog coverage of the Museum –
Jennifer Zarro’s 2016 Artblog Radio podcast interview with museum founder, Vashti Dubois
Janyce Denise Glasper’s 2016 appreciation of the Museum



A poster for the play, "Selling Kabul" shows an Afghani man looking worried with a sniper's target suggested on top of him. Words say "Selling Kabul" by Sylvia Khoury, Oct. 27-Nov. 19. Regional Premiere, Interact Theatre Company
Selling Kabul
By Linnea and Ryan deRoche

InterAct Theatre Company opens their season with Selling Kabul, a 2022 Pulitzer finalist written by Sylvia Khoury. This Barrymore-recommended play directed by Judy Sandy opens in a bright but simple apartment with curtains tightly drawn. Taroon (Raz Ayer) sits in his sister’s living room, trying to make the internet connect but his frustration is interrupted when someone comes to the door and Taroon must quickly hide in the coat closet.

So the story begins: a former interpreter for the U.S. shelters from the Taliban in his sister’s apartment anxiously waiting for the arrival of a promised visa, the chance to be reunited with his wife and for news of his son’s birth. Taroon is desperate to meet his newborn but this is eclipsed by the immediate danger that his family and friends face due to his involvement with the U.S. military.

The set (designed by Dirk Durossette) does not change but the apartment where Afiya, Jawid, and Taroon live feels increasingly smaller as the play progresses. Ultimately, there are few places to hide and decisions both urgent and impossible must be made. That sense of desperation looms large and the energy is carried expertly throughout the 90-minute show. I would not have minded an intermission to give a pause to this intensity, though the skillful actors maintain the cadence of the play and the audience cannot help but stay with the story.

The clear focus is on the lives of one family, I am struck by the loud absence of both the American and Taliban forces. We certainly see the results of their violence but their absence helps to center the human toll of the occupation of a country and unceasing war. Afiya (Awest Zarif) and Jawid (Ahsan Ali) navigate their own complicity as tailors who supply the Taliban with uniforms balanced by the dreams they have for their homeland. Their neighbor, Leyla (Lo Abdelmalek) rounds out the cast of four and we continue to see that there is no easy resolution for any of them.

Selling Kabul runs through November 19 at The Proscenium Theatre at The Drake. Tickets are available at or by calling 215-568-8079.


A poster for a play, "Macbeth in Stride," with words in black and white on a red background in the left half and a dramatic woman's hand and arm reaching for a mic and about to step into the spotlight.
Macbeth in Stride
By Linnea deRoche and Ryan deRoche

Whitney White, the Obie Award-winning artist, director, actor, and playwright, steps into the titular role in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s Macbeth in Stride, ensuring this Shakespearean production is anything but traditional. Prepare for a Shakespearean experience like never before.

This reimagined version of the Elizabethan play centers on Black female power, showing us what it could mean to reframe the story through the characters of Lady Macbeth and the three witches.

The show is sensationally entertaining with a caliber of stage design, lighting and musical depth that surpasses what is often seen at the Philadelphia regional theater level. The Three Witches (Stacey Sargeant, Ximone Rose, and Chelsea Williams) serve as back-up singers and dancers who are incredibly strong in their own rights.

While the part of “The Man” was played by understudy Keith Rubin at the show’s opening night, any weakness on the character’s part only goes to strengthen the stage presence and daring musical depth of the female performers.

The Philadelphia debut follows performances in Washington DC and New York with the co-producing companies — Shakespeare Theatre Company and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Co-directed by PTC’s new Co-Artistic Directors, Taibi Mager and Tyler Dobrowsky, this show opens their 49th season. “Whitney White is one of the most virtuosic theatre artists working today. We could not be more thrilled to bring her to Philadelphia for the first time! We love her and know Philly will, too,” says Mager.

Commissioned with the American Repertory Theater, Whitney White’s five-part musical exploration of Shakespeare’s Women and ambition, Reach for It, will be a future show not to miss. In the meantime, the Barrymore- recommended Macbeth in Stride is at the Suzanne Robert’s Theatre through November 19.



Poster advertising the Philly Student Art Winter Sale, Dec. 9, 2023
Philly Student Art
We got an inquiry from Jarrett Stein at UPenn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships. The Netter Center and some partners in the Philly schools started a nonprofit, Philly Student Art, “with a mission to provide safe spaces for Philadelphia students to sell their art.” and now they’re organizing a student art show and sale at Moore College on Dec. 9! What an excellent idea. They’re looking for more schools art students to participate and welcome art educators to apply on behalf of their students. We are happy to share!

Dear Art Educator,
We’re excited to invite you and your students to be a part of the Philly Student Art Winter Art Sale, an event dedicated to showcasing the incredible artistic talent of Philadelphia’s high school students. (Sign up here and below).

The mission of Philly Student Art is to further and develop student interest in the arts by creating opportunities for student artists to sell their work to the public. At this event, art educators will sign up to reserve a table for their school or organization to sell artwork directly to the public.

As someone deeply involved in nurturing young artists, we believe your participation would greatly enhance the event’s success!

Event Details:
Date: December 9, 2023
Set Up 1PM-2PM
Sale Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Clean Up: 4PM-5PM
Location: Moore College of Art, 1916 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

*Why You Should Participate!*
*Support Your Students: Give your talented student artists the opportunity to showcase and sell their work to a broader audience.
*Exposure: Your school’s art program will gain exposure and recognition and be featured on Philly Student Art’s platform.
*Community: Give your student artists the opportunity to be surrounded by fellow creatives.
*Feedback: Receive valuable feedback on your students’ artwork from experts in the field.

*How to Sign Up*
To reserve a table for your school, please complete the sign-up form by Friday, 11/10. Simply follow this link:

After confirmation of your table reservation, you will receive additional information on day-of logistics, set up/take down and event preparation. Thank you for your dedication to nurturing young artists in Philadelphia. Your involvement can make a significant impact on their artistic journey.
Warm regards,
Philly Student Art
IG @PhillyStudentArt


Open Call for juried exhibition at Blah Blah Gallery – submissions due November 30

Blah Blah Gallery announces a call for artworks for their 2024 Juried Exhibition, open to emerging and mid-career women and non-binary artists working in any medium. This group exhibition will be curated by Blah Blah Director Megan Galardi, and will take place in February 2024.

Jury Panelists:
Grace Harmer, PAFA Katie Lee, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Chelsey Luster, Magic Gardens, Vox Populi
Each artist must fill out the digital application. Artists may submit up to 5 artworks, and include up to 2 images per work. Apply here