2021 Fringe Season Round-up
The 2021 Philadelphia Fringe Festival is here, and Pig Iron School is proud to see how many students, alums, faculty, and friends are involved this year, making and creating and sharing with us all of their hard work.
Three Sisters - Hank Curry
Alums Bellisant Corcoran-Mathe ('21) and Leslie Miller ('18) are involved in this adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play.
One year after their father's death, Irina, Masha, and Olga Prozorov each find themselves at a personal crossroads that will determine both their own fates and their family's future. This stripped-down adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s timeless play omits all but the title characters for a tragicomic look at family dynamics, sibling rivalry, and sisterly love that employs mime, commedia dell’arte, Stanislavskian drama, and gender-bent casting to boldly reinterpret a classic of world theatre.
Soundscape Visualz - Teyquil Skelton
Teyquil Skelton ('20) created and performs in this musical piece.
Come join me and immerse into a world of sound where emotion is evoked, pushed and pulled in so many different directions. Stories told but through music in which it translates, bodies in motion curating moves and rhythms connecting to what’s in the room around them allowing sound to take hold, take space, create change and build a sense of understanding of one’s self and those around them.
Gilligan Gigs Again - Connor Hogan
Connor Hogan ('19) performs in this one-man show.
Do you suck at trivia? Tired of being a loser? Then you’d fit right in at Gilligan Gigs Again, a trivia cabaret on radical self-acceptance. With your host, out-of-work rock star, Gilligan Gideon, you can rest assured you won’t be the dumbest person in the room. Join Gilligan and you’ll learn the answers to questions like: When was D-Day? What’s that song I’m thinking of? And why are we so mean to ourselves? But hey! Don’t worry! At this gig, everyone can find the answer to something!
The Choice - inFLUX Theatre Collective
Pig Iron MFA Alums Jacqueline Libby ('19), Jacinta Yellard ('19), and Christine Shaw ('19) formed their own company called inFLUX Theatre Collective. This interactive theatre piece features several Pig Iron faculty and alum, including Sarah Sanford, Lisi Stoessel, and Carlton Ward ('21).
Welcome to the womb where it happens. Three women race against their biological clocks, asking the existential question: should we be having children? Comical, controversial, and uninhibited, The Choice puts a woman’s womb in your hands, asking you to decide – should she or shouldn’t she?
The Choice is the first chapter of The Motherhood Project, a decade-long series of performances by the members of inFLUX - Jacqueline Libby, Christine Octavia Shaw, and Jacinta Yelland. Facing down the decade where their reproductive choices become more important, more scrutinized, and more impactful, they came together to create The Motherhood Project to examine their evolving relationship to motherhood in five new works of theatre over the next ten years.
Time Machine - Poético Dance Collective
As part of the Poético Dance Collective, Sarah Owens ('23) performs in this interactive dance.
Join us for an immersive experience of time and chance! Time Machine invites viewers into an interactive space where past, present, and future merge. Dancers will generate personalized movement according to the capricious temperament of Time itself, and audiences will be invited to shape the piece in a game of chance!
Egg Tooth - Antony Bolante
Alum Antony Bolante ('17) is directing Egg Tooth.
Ideas don’t hatch. They break free. They push, struggle, and slash their way into the light of day. They use a guitar, a camera, a pen—an egg tooth. Egg Tooth is a feisty hybrid of live music, video, and theatrical storytelling. It’s a celebration of short stories—and therefore, our lives. Some are shorter than others. Egg Tooth’s premiere at the Orlando Fringe Festival earned a “Patrons’ Pick” encore performance, and The Orlando Sentinel listed Egg Tooth among the “Best of Fringe,” calling it, “A smart, funny tribute to short stories,” whose “masterful performers find laughter in deep material and then deliver a powerful jolt of emotion as well.” The 2021 Philadelphia production features a homegrown cast and live music by Philly-based musician/composer Elizabeth de Lise.
Egg Tooth is presented as part of Cannonball Festival, a satellite festival produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and the Maas Building featuring over 150 events and performances of 24 original shows across 2 performance spaces and 21 days. Learn more at cannonballfestival.org.
The In-Between - Mark Kennedy
Alum Mark Kennedy ('19) is the creator and performer in this dance piece.
A durational dance art installation that explores naming the present, imaginary, and real in all its complexity. A ritual for right now, as we re-learn to congregate in spaces together. What is going on within and in-between us? All is allowed in the performer’s improvisational score: grief, joy, curiosity, shyness, confusion, lostness, peace, stillness, escape. You are allowed to think and feel all you need to, too. You can stay as long as you’d like in the in-between.
The installation reflects a central spiral structure, a storm, and sounds of the ocean and bells fill the gallery space, tucking you away from the world of Old City and FringeArts nearby to someplace deep in the chest, in the belly. Mark Kennedy, the performer, channels the present moment and names what he feels, sees, and imagines, in-between you.
The Case for Invagination #3 - Nicole Bindler
Mark Kennedy ('19) directs this one-woman show.
The Case for Invagination #3 is an interdisciplinary solo with improvised dance, puppets, and clowning. This third version of the piece includes monologues performed by Bindler’s belly button and scars who ask big questions about consent, trauma, and existential loneliness, to comedic effect.
Happy Hour - Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
Alums Nathan Alford-Tate ('18) and Ben Grinberg ('13) are involved in this blend of circus, dance, and physical theatre.
Come as you are. Drink it in. Dance. Happy Hour is an improvised, immersive performance piece from Almanac Dance Circus Theatre. Sensing, feeling, listening, queering, climbing, balancing, and weaving, an ensemble of acrobats, dancers, and fools combine childlike curiosity, playfulness, and wonder to challenge an adult world too full of unspoken rules and stubborn habits.
This is our hour to be happy — whatever that means. Or at least try. Can we do it? What will happen if we fail? In a future where the only certainty is uncertainty, Almanac converts its improvisational creation process — honed through past performances such as Exile 2588, Leaps of Faith and Communitas, 5 Years Later — into a shifting ephemeral performance that melds itself to every space and circumstance. Featuring both Almanac veterans and newcomers, Happy Hour blends the edges of circus, dance, and physical theatre, creating authentic emotions and absurdity in equal measure.
Happy Hour is presented as part of Cannonball Festival, a satellite festival produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and the Maas Building featuring over 150 events and performances of 24 original shows across 2 performance spaces and 21 days. Learn more at cannonballfestival.org.
Permission to Monster - Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
Nathan Alford-Tate ('18) helped create this kid-friendly participatory show.
In this fun-filled and participatory show, geared toward audiences from grades K-5, young audience members transform from Donors, who share ideas, to Researchers, who ask questions, to Advocates, who help others.
Almanac’s signature blend of physical theatre and acrobatics transformers performers into monsters, locked in cages because they are considered dangerous.
Will you play your part, and help them find their freedom?
Permission to Monster is presented as part of Cannonball Festival, a satellite festival produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and the Maas Building featuring over 150 events and performances of 24 original shows across 2 performance spaces and 21 days. Learn more at cannonballfestival.org.
$7 Girl - Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
Ben Grinberg ('13) and Nathan Alford-Tate ('18) are collaborators on this autobiographical piece.
What is a “radical permissionist?” Mae West, a queer, trans sex worker, wants you to be one.
In the lineage of Almanac’s ensemble-devised, autobiographical circus theatre pieces xoxo moongirl and The Edge, $7 Girl uses virtuosity, storytelling, aerial work, and expressive movement to bring audiences into social issues that are often underheard. This quirky and audacious piece explores sex in personal, political, and industrial contexts as Mae questions the possibility of a world in which their worth is no longer attached to dildos and dollar signs.
$7 Girl is presented as part of Cannonball Festival, a satellite festival produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and the Maas Building featuring over 150 events and performances of 24 original shows across 2 performance spaces and 21 days. Learn more at cannonballfestival.org.
As You Like It in a Bar - Shakespeare on Tap
Another alum-stacked piece with Katie Butler ('20), John Miller Giltner ('20), Curt Himmelberger ('20), Sasha Kostyrko ('21), Devin Preston ('17), Jonathan Harper Schlieman ('20), Iris Athena Seaman ('17), Nina Sharp ('21), and Gabey Walburn ('20).
You’re probably used to thinking of Shakespeare as a boring, old, dead guy who wrote boring, old, dead plays. But Shakespeare’s theatre was a f*cking madhouse: the audience was an unruly bunch who came for the bear-baiting and stayed to check out the comedy. They got drunk, bought snacks, and yelled back at the actors all the way to the bloody end. Actors rehearsed only the fights and dances. They got their lines and their cues, they talked directly to the audience, and they tried to tell the truth. When they failed, they probably really bit it. That sounds way more fun to us than sitting in a dark room staring at a stage 50 feet away, so we want to try it. And maybe we’ll f*ck it all up.
Join best friends Rosalind and Celia as they escape to the forest of Arden in search of freedom, love, and the right to read a lot of silly shepherds. The actors talk to you, you can talk back, and drinking is encouraged. Shakespeare On Tap: Serious actors. No director. One rehearsal. At a bar.
Artifacts of No Consequence - Jeff Evans
Jeff Evans ('18) stars in this interactive, solo show.
Every act of remembering changes the memory. How do we see ourselves, when the most often-remembered stories become the most changed?
Artifacts of No Consequence is an interactive exploration and solo show. It takes place in the Cottage at the Maas building, placed in a real, live bedroom, with a bed and everything. You’ll have to walk behind the kitchen to get to it.
In this show, the audience is invited to take part in an effort of self-construction, archivism, and preservation. We examine old photos, diary entries, and artifacts, all from 2011 or earlier.
Artifacts of No Consequence is presented as part of Cannonball Festival, a satellite festival produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and the Maas Building featuring over 150 events and performances of 24 original shows across 2 performance spaces and 21 days. Learn more at cannonballfestival.org.
S.E.L.F. - Bronwyn Sims
Alum Bronwyn Sims ('17) performs in this interactive solo documentary.
S.E.L.F. A virtual, interactive, autobiographical, roust about S.E.L.F… MY-S.E.L.F.
How does who we are and how we think about S.E.L.F and how others perceive us affect who we are and how we function in the world? This virtual roust of S.E.L.F will take you on a wild ride of reflection and meditation on who you think you are inside and out.
Reflection. Assumption. Perception. REALITY…THE REALITY OF ONES S.E.L.F.
This virtual roust is an interactive solo documentary. Audiences should be prepared to participate both physically, mentally and emotionally. There will be specific prompts given throughout the video/film for audiences to participate virtually but in REAL TIME with the actor.
Being/With - Nichole Canuso Dance Company
Nichole Canuso is an integral part of this multi-location performance.
Two solo audience members connect in virtual space from opposite sides of the city. Through the use of live-feed technology, participants are guided through a movement duet and conversation with a stranger in another room, known only in this fleeting digital space. Being/With is a meditation on separation and connection, loss and embodiment, and the power of listening.
Part solo journey and part virtual encounter, Being/With builds poetic bridges across neighborhoods, honoring the intimacy and immediacy of collaborative exchange. People with divergent life experiences move together, share stories, experience being seen and heard, and together find the tender spaces to learn about each other.
Being/With takes place in two neighborhoods simultaneously: The Pearlstein Gallery in West Philadelphia and Trinity Church in South Philadelphia. In addition to signing up for a performance slot, audiences are invited to visit the gallery spaces just outside of each venue. These galleries are a series of designed spaces where you can hear audio content from interviews with neighborhood residents.