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The Pub, the Show, the Army: Shakespeare in Clark Park returns with epic Henry IV performances and pre-show events

Posted on 07 July 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

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Henry IV cast members: Marla Burkholder, Brian Ratcliffe, Brian Anthony Wilson and Jennifer Kidwell. (Photo by Jen Cleary/Shakespeare in Clark Park Facebook page)

The awesome people who bring Shakespeare plays to Clark Park every summer have prepared something of epic proportions this year. Shakespeare in Clark Park (SCP) is teaming up with Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (TSPC) for an unprecedented collaboration featuring a five-night production of Shakespeare’s HENRY IV, intimate pre-show events at the Gojjo and a nightly conversation station in the park.

The play, titled HENRY IV: YOUR PRINCE AND MINE, combines aspects of both Henry IV: Parts 1 and 2, and features a community army of over 100 soldiers, selected during a multi-month open call. The army encompasses a diverse array of folks, ranging in age from 13-59, and representing 36 neighborhoods. The production also stars leading performers of stage and film including Brian Anthony Wilson, Charlie DelMarcelle, and Brian Ratcliffe, and is directed by TSPC’s Co-Founder and Resident Director, Alex Torra.

The shows are scheduled for July 30 – August 3, beginning at 7 p.m. Continue Reading

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Readings at the X: Talking history at Malcolm X Park

Posted on 27 June 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

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Click to enlarge.

The Friends of Malcolm X Park and local resident, historian and educator Rhone Fraser are teaming up to bring dramatic readings of seven historical plays to the park located at 51st and Pine Streets. The focus is on dramas dealing with important figures and events in African American history. The series, titled “Readings At The X,” will kick off July 8 and will be presented every Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m., until August 26 (see the flier for more details).

Currently, the organizers are raising funds for this community theater project. $3,000 is being raised to pay the venue, actors (some are coming from New York and Washington, DC), and videographer who will record the readings (not for commercial purposes). A portion of the raised funds will go to the Friends of Malcolm X Park for future events.

If you would like to support this project or want to learn more about it, please visit this Indiegogo page. There is only one week left to help the project with your donation.

 

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Catch Curio’s hilarious comedy as 2013-2014 season ends this weekend

Posted on 22 May 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Curio Theatre’s 2013-2014 season is coming to an end, with only three shows of Oedipussy remaining. Oedipussy is Curio’s North American premiere of British theater troupe Spymonkey’s hilarious adaptation of the well known Greek myth of Oedipus. Tickets are still available for this Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s shows, so grab them while they last.

The show received some great reviews.

“I can say in all honesty, it was one of the most enjoyable evenings I’’ve had in the theatre…,” writes Ellen Wilson Dilkes for Stage Magazine.

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Aetna Gallagher in Oedipussy.

Oedipussy is a physical comedy. “Leaping, climbing, hurling themselves around the simple set while downing painkillers, they barrel through the tragedy in a hilarious and weirdly touching meditation on life, love, theater, and aging gracelessly,” writes The Inky‘s Wendy Rosenfield praising the actors’ physical stage fitness (three of the four cast members are nearing 50).

And here are six reasons why you should not miss this show, according to Curio’s Managing Director Gay Carducci:

1) Not one bad review
2) Standing ovations nearly every night
3) Neighbor reviews posted on telephone poles
4) Nobody is really naked
5) You will laugh…there is no doubt
6) And it’s the last show of the season!

Performances take place in Curio’s home base, the Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Ave. at 8 p.m. Tickets ($20-$25) are available here. Parental discretion is advised.

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Paul Kuhn (left) and Harry Slack in Oedipussy. Photos courtesy of Curio Theatre.

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Greek tragedy inspired by James Bond: Curio Theatre premieres Oedipussy

Posted on 25 April 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Oedipussy

Photo by JR Blackwell.

If you haven’t been to West Philly’s Curio Theatre recently, you probably should go soon. Curio has just premiered its last show of the season, Oedipussy, a hilarious fusion of the well-known Greek tragedy and James Bond. Oedipussy was originally created by super inventive U.K.-based company Spymonkey, and this is its North American premiere.

Inspired by Barbarella and a little bit of Bond, this is a tale of the ultimate dysfunctional family: a jealous father, a messed-up son, and one mother of a brilliant comedy. The Times in London called the show, “Remarkable.Powerful. Joyful.” The Guardian said, “’Riotous laughter. Funny but shocking.”

The play is adapted by Emma Rice and written by Carl Grose and Spymonkey. The cast includes Curio Company members Aetna Gallagher, Paul Kuhn, Brian McCann and Harry Slack.

Previews began last night (this is your last chance to use 2013-2014 Dollar Stroll tickets!). The official premiere is Friday, May 2. All performances run Thursday-Saturday night at 8 p.m. The closing date is Saturday, May 24.

Tickets are $20-$25 and can be purchased here.

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Be part of this summer’s epic battle scene: Shakespeare in Clark Park recruiting volunteers

Posted on 25 February 2014 by Mike Lyons

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Practicing the battle cry. (Photo from the Team Sunshine Performance Corporation’s website).

 

Fancy taking part in an epic battle in Clark Park on a sultry summer eve? This year Shakespeare in Clark Park is staging Henry IV complete with a battle scene and they need your help.

The Shakespeare in Clark Park folks are teaming up with the Team Sunshine Performance Corp. to recruit and train 100 volunteers to take part in the late July performances. Tryouts will be held during the weekend of April 5-6 and you must be at least 12 years old to participate (which unfortunately eliminates some of the kids who go at it with all manner of medieval foam weapon every weekend in Clark Park). Your commitment includes a half-dozen rehearsals and five performances in mid- to late-July and early August.

“Anyone who can learn and remember basic instructions, be outside in July, can get up to a light jog and can be enthusiastic about joining an epic performance should participate!,” according to the tryout invitation. “No previous performance experience is required.”

The tryouts are:

Saturday, April 5th, 10:30am – 1:00pm
Sunday April 6th, 2:30pm-5pm
Sunday April 6th, 6:30pm-9pm

For tons more information about tryouts – including an FAQ – go here.

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Curio Theatre Company premieres ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ tonight

Posted on 21 February 2014 by Annamarya Scaccia

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Photo by Claire Horvath.

Continuing its season of exploring themes of gender roles and identity, Curio Theatre Company will premiere its production of Brian Friel’s “Dancing at Lughnasa” tonight at 8 p.m. on Curio’s Mainstage, 4740 Baltimore Avenue.

Directed by Gay Carducci, “Dancing at Lughnasa” is Friel’s epic, weaving narrative of five unmarried sisters living in the fictional town of Ballybeg in Ireland’s County Donegal during the summer of 1936. Set around the Celtic harvest festival, Lughansadh, Friel’s TONY award-winning play follows Kate, Maggie, Agnes, Rosie, and Christina as they realize their long buried desires and dashed dreams while dealing with rising tensions that threaten to unravel their close-knit home life. Originally premiered in April 1990, “Dancing at Lughnasa” is loosely based on Friel’s mothers and aunts who lived on the west coast of County Donegal.

“We planned a season with emphasis on gender. ‘Dancing with Lughnasa’ is a memory play. It is a play about hard economic times, deflated dreams, hope, pain, love. It also deals with five adult, in married sisters and their place in the world,” said Carducci in a press release. “To me personally, it is mostly a play about change and how change [affects] us all differently. In this, I find this play to be timeless. All of the themes are themes that will always be present. It is beautiful, lyrical, and touching on so many levels.”

Performances start at 8 p.m. and run Thursday through Sunday night until closing night, March 15th. Tickets are $20 to $25, and can be purchased here or by phone at 215-525-1350.

-Annamarya Scaccia

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