Philly Live Arts Fest to Welcome Wooster Group, Gatz, Local and World Artists | Playbill

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News Philly Live Arts Fest to Welcome Wooster Group, Gatz, Local and World Artists Programming for the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, a curated fest offering an array of performing arts, has been announced.

The 11th annual festival runs Aug. 31-Sept. 15 and includes international, national and local theatre artists and troupes, including The Wooster Group, Elevator Repair Service (performing the East Coast premiere of Gatz, inspired by "The Great Gatsby"), The Riot Group, Cynthia Hopkins, Coco Fusco, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Young Jean Lee, Philadelphia's Pig Iron Theatre Company (presenting a world premiere, Isabella), and New Paradise Laboratories (presenting the Philly premiere of work commissioned by the Humana Festival).

Presented in conjunction with the Philly Fringe, the Live Arts Fest showcases 37 works alongside nearly 170 self-produced Fringe shows, and draws over 45,000 people.

Shows are performed in venues throughout the city — from traditional theatres, to art galleries, to churches, to "site-specific" works that take you on a journey through Philly neighborhoods.

Ticket prices range from free to $35, and can be purchased online at, or after Aug. 20 by calling (215) 413-1318 or by visiting the box office, located at The National (113-131 N. 2nd Street, between Arch and Race Streets).

Festival guides, which include dates, times, and venues for all performances, are available at all festival venues and other locations throughout the city. Philadelphia Live Arts Festival At a Glance

  • Congolese choreographer and dancer Faustin Linyekula will present the U.S. premiere of Festival of Lies, a dance and theatre performance, visual installation, and community event all in one "that addresses Linyekula's relationship to his country, whose history is constantly being re-written and whose name keeps changing."
  • Kamderdans, from the Netherlands' Jérôme Meyer & Isabelle Chaffaud, "who will visit Philadelphia residences as audiences 'order in' for dance performances in their own homes.
  • Map Me, a dance and video piece that uses the human form as a canvas, from Belgium's Charlotte Vanden Eynde & Kurt Vandendriessche.
  • The influential and celebrated New York City theatre company The Wooster Group, with their acclaimed production of Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones.
  • New York City theatre ensemble Elevator Repair Service will give Live Arts audiences an opportunity to see the East Coast premiere of Gatz, a marathon presentation by a 13-member cast of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby.
  • Multi-award-winning New York choreographer Tere O'Connor "will take advantage of Philadelphia's rich architecture" to present the world premiere of Rammed Earth, a site-specific work for five dancers that employs architecture as a fundamental force in the choreographic form.
  • New York artist Coco Fusco's multi-media monologue A Room of One's Own: Women and Power in the New America addresses the expanding role of American women in the War on Terror.
  • Korean-born, New York City-based theatre artist Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven will look at cultural identity through the Korean-American experience.
  • New York's Nature Theater of Oklahoma will present No Dice, "taking inspiration from over 100 hours of recorded telephone conversations to transform the everyday into a distinctly off-kilter theatre experience."
  • New York's The Riot Group will present the world premiere of Hearts of Man, written and directed by Adriano Shaplin, familiar to Philadelphia audiences as the playwright of Pig Iron Theatre Company's Obie-winning Hell Meets Henry Halfway. [It] "details the capture, indictment and defense of a computer sex predator."
  • Pig Iron Theatre Company, a Philadelphia and festival favorite, "will radically rework Shakespeare's Measure for Measure in Isabella — a breathtaking spectacle of human puppetry set in a hospital morgue."
  • Philadelphia's Obie Award-winning New Paradise Laboratories "will take a trip into the world of party rituals in the Philadelphia premiere of BATCH: An American Bachelor/ette Party Spectacle, a new work commissioned by the Humana Festival.
  • The Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental/Thaddeus Phillips will premiere Flamingo/Winnebago, which contemplates the U.S.'s excessive use of energy and resources as an Indian immigrant and a young man searching for his past hit the roads and roadside attractions of the American West."
  • Charles Anderson will debut a full production of Tar, a dance piece based on the "Tar Baby" folktale which appeared as an in-progress performance in the 2006 Festival.
  • Poland's Dada von Bzdulow Theatre will perform Several Witty Observations, a dance-theatre exploration of the eccentric themes of celebrated playwright/novelist Witold Gombrowicz."
  • Choreographer/performer Ea Sola — born in Vietnam and trained in Paris — will present Drought and Rain Vol. 2, a reflection on the memory of the Vietnam War by the generation living in a new Vietnam today, performed by National Ballet of Vietnam dancers with a traditional Vietnamese percussion ensemble.
  • Bulgarian director Petar Todorov's Satores & Arepo Group will perform Delta, a physical theatre work for three women.
  • New York City musician and theatre artist Cynthia Hopkins presents Must Don't Whip 'Um, a prequel to her celebrated Accidental Nostalgia (seen in the 2005 Festival) that depicts the farewell concert of a failed 1970s pop star. Brooklyn punk legends World/Inferno Friendship Society will perform the world premiere of Fiend in Wien: Peter Lorre's Twentieth Century, a punk-rock operetta based on the life of stage and screen actor Peter Lorre.

  • Philadelphia-based bowerbird will present a three-day series of experimental, improvisational music.
  • Improvisational theatre artist Bobbi Block (of ComedySportz and LunchLady Doris) will explore "the unpredictable excitement of long-form improvisation with an ensemble of six professional, award-winning Philadelphia actors" in LEAP: An Actor's Improv Experiment.
  • Kaibutsu, the creators of Festival hits The Guided Tour and Northern Liberty, will present their take on Greek tragedy with Antigone Salon in a Rittenhouse Square hair salon.
  • Brian Osborne (creator of last year's Philly Fringe show Bitch on Wheels) who will perform The Word, based on the life of the electrifying evangelist, Marjoe Gortner.
  • Inis Nua Theatre Company (creators of last year's Fringe favorite Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco) with an Irish fable about tradition in a mad place, Trad.
  • Adrienne Mackey's Recitatif, which delves into perceptions about race, based on a short story by Toni Morrison.
  • Marianela Boan, a Cuban choreographer who recently relocated to Philadelphia, will expose a couple's intimate life in the world premiere of the dance and video installation Voyeur.
  • Philadelphia's Devynn Emory will premiere Beast, a dance and video duet.
  • SCRAP Performance Group will perform Between the Pages: Three sisters, a winged boy and a lighthouse in the St. Andrew's Chapel in University City.
  • Merián Soto will present States of Gravity & Light #2, part of a series of dances that has been developed in Philadelphia's Wissahickon Park over the past year.
  • Motion Dance Company and Bessie award-winning Headlong Dance Theater will present Sonic Dances and Explanatorium, respectively. The former is "a traveling performance of music and movement through public Philly sites." The latter "will employ audience members' stories of the unexplainable as inspiration for improvised performances."
  • Free street events will be produced by The Brothers Cromie, who will stage AFOOT! A Treasure Hunt through some of Philadelphia's most vibrant streets, and Miro Dance Theatre, which will kick off the festival on First Friday with 50 drum kits, 15 dancers and two video artists in Principles of Uncertainty — a one-night-only street spectacle.
  • Local radio producer David Witz has engaged local actors Karen Getz, Grace Gonglewski, Jennifer Childs and many more in an online play on a "virtual stage," The Many Men of Martha Manning.
  • In-progress works will be seen from Philadelphia artists Nichole Canuso Dance Company, Kate Watson-Wallace and Makoto Hirano/OMNiBUS.
  • The festival will offer panel discussions with The Wooster Group, Faustin Linyekula, Charles Anderson, as well as a panel of local theatre artists, a master class with Ea Sola, and several post-show talks.
  • The Late Night Cabaret returns in 2007, programmed by The Peek-a-Boo Revue's Scott Johnston and housed in a new venue, Club Polaris (formerly the Starlight Ballroom), located at 460 N. 9th Street. All Late Night Cabaret shows are free and patrons must be at least 21 years old. *

    The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe were originally founded in 1997 as the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

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