Feeling a little overwhelmed by the Fringe Festival website or catalog
? When you count FringeArts’ "curated" collection of shows, the theatrical free-for-all by neighborhood and this year’s brand-new free online experience Digital Fringe
, there are 140 shows in all.
The festival is underway September 3 - 19. Here are some experiences Flying Kite
readers shouldn't miss.
Outside Sound Concert and Art Gallery
promises to be an interesting and accessible evening. Happening September 16 at the Central Branch of the Free Library, this free "live music and art event" features pieces by artists with disabilities and live original music inspired by artwork.
Looking for more music? Hit up Philadelphia Opera Collective’s Jump the Moon
($20). It’s about a true-life late 19th-century "harem" of women at Harvard who "discovered and catalogued more stars than anyone before or since." The piece is an "experimental opera" mashup of science, music and the cosmos that invites you to "leave your orbit." It’s coming to the Skybox at the Adrienne in Center City September 16-19.
For another interdisciplinary experience, consider Soldier Bear
($5) from Leila and Pantea Productions. Funded by the Jim Henson Foundation, the show is based on the true story of a Polish WWII soldier who adopts an orphaned bear cub. It promises "puppetry, dance, shadow theater and animation combined," and is coming to the Mainstage at Center City’s Plays & Players Theatre September 9-19.
Willing to step outside for another animal-themed show? At The Renegade Company’s Damned Dirty Apes
($20), the audience will take a "theatrical expedition" of FDR Park incorporating three classic films: Planet of the Apes, Tarzan the Ape Man
and King Kong.
The description warns: "Wear comfortable shoes, prepare to get dirty, and don’t stray from the path." It’s running September 9-19.
If you like the interactive element but want to stay indoors, Linda Dubin Garfield’s FAMILY: Portraits and Stories
offers an "interactive mixed media Fringe Installation." The show is free, and art materials for telling your own story are supplied to everyone who comes; donations go to Family Support Services. It’s happening September 13, noon - 2 p.m. at the Book Trader in Old City.
If you’re interested in technology, past and present, check out Brian Shapiro's A Few Thousand Upgrades Later
($15). This show originally premiered in 1995, predicting how "computers would impact human interaction." After twenty years, what did it get right? Shapiro revisits the work to take a look. It’s coming to Fairmount’s London Grill through September 18.
Tangle Movement Arts
is a company doing some really interesting work around town: This all-female circus/acrobat troupe devises performances built around the feminine and queer experience. They’re premiering The Girl’s Guide to Neighborly Conduct
($20) which uses a "kinetic cityscape" of ropes and silks to fathom "life’s unspoken rules and expectations." The show is part of the Fishtown/Kensington Fringe at Philadelphia Soundstages, September 10-12.
Finally, for a one-night fest-within-a-fest check out Alternative Theatre Festival 2015
($5), an annual event hosted by University of Pennsylvania's iNtuitions Experimental Theatre
. Each student-written, acted and directed piece "features some sort of experiment or new and different idea." It’s coming to West Philly’s Platt Performing Arts House on September 12.
For the full Fringe line-up, plus dates and times, visit FringeArts online
Writer: Alaina Mabaso