August 29, 2012
Fringe Festival Roundup: Top Picks For Participatory Shows In Which The Audience Makes The Performance
The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe is just over a week away, kicking off on September 7, and we want to make sure you’re fully prepared for the 16 days of artistic madness.
We’re pulling together a series of guides to events, plus spotlights on some of our particular favorites, to assist you in choosing what to attend.
First up was a roundup of shows in unusual locations. Below, we present picks for performances that the audience is critically involved in, in order by date.
• This Town Is a Mystery by Headlong Dance Theater: September 7-22, locations vary. This extremely innovative productions combines local performance and dinner in four Philadelphia homes. Created over the course of several months by Headlong and each home’s residents, the dance works are performed by the residents in their own living rooms — transformed into a fully teched stage — with no professional performers. And you get to be a part of watching the results. All you have to do is buy a ticket, make a dish, travel to the designated neighborhood and take a seat in the living room with ten other audience members. Potluck dinner follows the performance.
• Le Grand Continental by Sylvain Émard Danse: September 8-9, Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Watch the world’s most glorious contemporary dancing event from the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Le Grand Continental is a festive, free, 30-minute outdoor adventure that has assembled nearly 200 local dancers of all ages and backgrounds to show off the talent, charisma and personality of Philadelphians. First created for Montréal’s renowned Festival TransAmériques, the Philadelphia version promises to be one of the largest presentations of its kind in the world.
• Open Air: September 20-October 14, Project Headquarters – 24th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This spectacular, world premiere, highly anticipated public art installation involves 24 powerful robotic searchlights placed along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway combining to create enormous three-dimensional light formations that will be visible in the night sky from as far as 10 miles away. The passersby, or anyone with Internet access, are the controllers of the searchlights, as you program your own message into an app or web portal after which it is automatically queued to be displayed in the sky in visual interpretation form. So incredibly awesome. Open Air is affiliated with both Live Arts/Fringe and DesignPhiladelphia.
• The Big Nude Pinhole Shoot by RA Friedman/Tsirkus Fotografika: September 7 and 11, Ven and Vaida Gallery, 18 S. 3rd Street. Meet the artist and sign up to bare it all, make some amazing art and get a free archival print as artist RA Friedman uses primitive photographic tools to fashion a dazzling tableau.
Browse through and get tickets to the 2012 shows online. Psst: student/25-and-under tickets are $5 off if the Fringe ticket price is $15 or over.
Want to see every single show? That is, as many of the 200+ shows as you can manage? The All Access Passmakes the Festival easy by granting admission to every Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe show and 20% off up to 3 additional tickets per performance. Get your All Access Pass online.