EP Weekly Roundup 9.02.16: Philly Fringe

This week's roundup focuses on the Philly Fringe. Some fascinating dance, digital and investigative work featured in here.

"Gala" by Jérôme Bel. Photo Credit: Josefina Tommasi

Just as the massive Edinburgh Festival dust settles, another fringe festival emerges in Philadelphia, Penn. From their website:

“The Fringe Festival, presented by FringeArts, is a 17-day, city-wide celebration of innovation and creativity in contemporary performance. Each September, the Festival explodes into every nook and cranny in neighborhoods across Philadelphia and online with more than 1,000 artistically daring performances, including national and international performances curated by FringeArts, and works that are produced by independent artists and promoted by FringeArts.”

Founded in 1997, the Philly Fringe has its share of site-responsive, investigative, and digital projects. Here are just a few. As always, the weekly roundup isn’t an endorsement, as we’ve not personally seen everything. It’s our way of keeping you in the loop. Really, just give them a visit to see all the fabulous offerings this year. We couldn’t list them all here. The festival runs September 9-24, 2016.


A Bridge Apart_Widener Univ. Lone Brick Theater Artist Warehouse“A Bridge Apart”
Widener University Lone Brick Theater/Artist Warehouse

Embracing a rich cultural heritage, the city of Chester and Widener University collaborate to construct an artistic bridge with the voices of the people as its foundation in an exploration of the boundaries that separate university from community and how art can heal those divisions.

The Artist Warehouse is a multidisciplinary arts collaborative in Chester led by Devon Walls. Partnering with Widener University’s Lone Brick Theater (directed by Rob Reutter), Walls and Reutter have developed a powerful performance piece, A Bridge Apart, that candidly explores university-community or “town-gown” relations.

The content of the performance was generated and/or inspired by community members across the campus and the city. Stories were gathered during performative walking tours that took place over the past year: community leaders, neighborhood residents, Widener faculty, staff, and students were all invited to take on the role of walking tour guides and were asked to take actor/writer/director Devon Walls on a walking tour of what they perceived to be the boundaries between the campus and the community.

Transcripts of those walking stories form the basis of the performance. Those walking stories have been combined with spoken word, photography, actor interviews and improvisations, and musical performances of Chester-based artists on the theme of boundaries and bridges.



Jérôme Bel

A spectacle where the act of dancing, or the act of trying to dance, is celebrated, Gala showcases the desire to dance without complexes. Twenty dancers take the stage, from professional dancers to first timers—including children, teenagers, pensioners, people with disabilities. Interpreting a series of dances across a range of eras, their performances reveal each person’s desire to move, to strive for joy, perfection, to transform with unabashed expression. With a simple framework, like an end of year assembly, audiences become deeply connected to the individuals on stage, their dance revealing a world of their own imagination.





“Room 21”
Jace Clayton
A co-presentation with the Barnes Foundation
Curated by Lee Tusman in collaboration with Ars Nova Workshop
Created by Jace Clayton, aka DJ /rupture Curated by Lee Tusman in collaboration with Ars Nova Workshop

This site-specific performance is an inspired musical response to the artworks of Room 21 at the Barnes Foundation and Albert Barnes’ extensive record collection. The actual Room 21 displays an eclectic mix of Pennsylvania German furniture, Modigliani’s painting Reclining Nude from the Back, African masks, religious works, and paintings by Barnes students. Composer Jace Clayton (also known as DJ /rupture) plays on ideas of adjacency between vastly different artists and cultures. Carefully choreographed, Clayton’s concert rewards roaming through the performance, much like visitors roam through the art collection.

Joining Clayton is an ensemble of more than a dozen musicians, including the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, banjoist Ben Lee, Ethiopian Musician Gezachew Habtemariam and Pianist Emily Manzo, all wearing custom costumes handcrafted by fashion designer Rocio Salceda of Prellezo.





Ghost Radio Arcade art

“The Ghost Radio Arcade”
John Bezark
Ongoing / Goes live Sept 9

Thanks to recent advances in spectral sonification and visualization, the Ghost Radio Arcade can effectively commune with the spirits of the wondering and wandering. Tune your instruments to unearthly frequencies and use geo-location to navigate the streets of Philadelphia, collecting memories to help these ghosties get back home.


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