On today’s podcast, I get to know Eppchez! A self-producing artist wearing many hats who is featured in the Simpatico Theatre Project production of “HIR” by Taylor Mac. Get ready, there is some swearing at times. We explore the origins of Alma’s Engine and the dysfunctional family dynamics of “HIR” as it views the nuclear family through a new lens. Stay Tuned!
Somewhere in the tangles of the suburbs, Paige is designing a brave, new path for her children – Isaac, dishonorably discharged from active duty in the Middle East, and Max, caught in the throes of transitioning gender here at home. Freshly liberated by her abusive husband’s debilitating stroke, Paige is waging a cis-revolt in support of Max’s journey, and is now armed to dismantle the patriarchy! In this visceral and delightfully absurd kitchen-sink dark comedy, Taylor Mac explores the struggle to recognize change and the courage to face its messy repercussions.
EPPCHEZ! (MAX) – Newcomer to Philadelphia theatre. Worked with Pig Iron, The Mediums and others with a focus on devising new work. Studied Theatre and Writing at Wesleyan University. A playwright, choreographer, director, designer, puppeteer, songwriter and vocalist. Artistic Director-Conductor of Alma’s Engine, a process focused creative ministry and self-producing platform for realizing air work in music and theater. Album – Self-Realized-Nation; A Song Cycle of the Occupation (2013) original plays Junk Redemption (2012) and They Extract! (2014 & 2016). Bartam’s Garden – Train-ing: A Duet, a site-specific solo musical.
In the middle of Fringe Arts, it can be a challenge to catch up to the many artists who are presenting work. But, that won’t stop us here. Today, I caught up with Whit MacLaughlin on the phone on his way to one of many destinations in his artistic hustle to chat about HELLO BLACKOUT. There is a lot of thought behind an NPL piece and Whit is the best to explain and express the motives of NPL work. So, take a listen to our interview with Whit MacLaughlin for New Paradise Laboratories production of HELLO BLACKOUT. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT HELLO BLACKOUT
HELLO BLACKOUT! is theatre with a philosophical brain and an unpredictable heart. It follows the eccentric Kissimmee family ⎯ triplets, their mother, and an enigmatic father ⎯ back to the beginning of time. Blackouts engulf the family as they slam into an inexplicable future, with grim and hilarious results.
A pageant for this contemporary American moment, NPL presents a world where everything is unprecedented, and the final outcome is anyone’s guess.
I spoke with Iron Age Theatre’s John Doyle last in 2012 on a sunny day on UPENN’s campus. It was Fringe and we talked about Fringe Wraiths, an online theatre experience using QR codes as a gateway.
5 years later, we return with “To My Unborn Child: A Love Letter From Fred Hampton”. Local artist, Richard Bradford wrote this piece and portrays the Black Panther and Founder of the Rainbow Coalition who lost his life at the age of 21. Upon hearing this story, the question, “How far have we come”, comes to mind. Have we made any progress? I knew I needed to talk about this piece and if you have not experienced it as of this podcast, I hope you are so inclined to get tickets, plural, because this experience is sure to be one you will want to talk about with your plus one. So, here’s our interview with John Doyle and Richard Bradford for Iron Age Theatre’s “To My Unborn Child: A Love Letter From Fred Hampton”. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT TO MY UNBORN CHILD: A LOVE LETTER FROM FRED HAMPTON
Fred Hampton, Black Panther, Founder of the Rainbow Coalition and victim of police violence. Hampton was murdered at 21 in his home by Chicago police as he lay next to his pregnant lover. Iron Age Theatre freezes a moment in time so that Hampton can share his unique vision, his hope-filled dreams and his brilliant analysis of American issues of race, economic justice, and human dignity with his son. This play is part of the Iron Age Theatre Radical Thinkers stable of original works. Written by Iron Age Theatre core member, this world premiere will challenge and inspire.
There are two camps to this obsession with technology. There are those who want to know as much as they can about the benefits and the bells and whistles that give technology the potential to better their lives and there are those who want to let the world know that they have access to the newest technology but, do not always have the time to understand what it all does, how it helps and what you sacrifice for that access. So, Tribe of Fools production of FISHTOWN explores that through a noir lens which, peaks all of my interests. I spoke with company member and director Peter Smith, who also designed the set about the multiple hats worn in this production. Described as Chinatown meets Black Mirror meets Roger Rabbit, we are in for a ride. So, strap in and listen to our interview with Peter Smith for Tribe of Fools production of FISHTOWN: A Hipster Noir. Stay Tuned!
A luddite private eye stumbles onto a virtual reality conspiracy when new app allows you to live out your wildest fantasies… at a cost. This neo-noir explores our addiction to technology, our loneliness in an over-connected world, and asks what constitutes reality. It’s Chinatown meets Black Mirror meets Roger Rabbit.
On today’s podcast, I went to a rehearsal for Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium’s production of “The Bald Soprano” by Eugene Ionesco. My last experience with this piece was back in 2010 when Brat Productions produced a 24-Hour version of the piece at the Annenberg Center. The piece is about 65 minutes and moves at that pace but, so much is going on that you cannot help but focus in on the segmented moments where the work the cast has put into interpretation is clearly on display. IRC’s production is no different.
The space always lends dramatically to an Ionesco piece and this production will be staged at the Bethany Mission Gallery in the Fairmount area of Philadelphia. This rehearsal took place at The BeardCave in University City. Stay Tuned.
ABOUT THE BALD SOPRANO
The collapse of reality, a tragedy of language: classic absurdism freshly conceived! Ionesco awash in a world gone awry—causality means nothing, numbers don’t add up, names have no validity, existence is surreal. A comedy for our time, at Bethany Mission Gallery, the ultimate evening of Idiopathic outsider art!
On today’s podcast, we are joined by members of the cast of RunBoy Run Productions’ “Underground Episodes. The production is a collection of stories that use Philly’s subway system as a backdrop. RunBoy Run’s goal is to give you the most thought-provoking works by the brightest minds in Philadelphia and surrounding areas on the theater scene.
ABOUT UNDERGROUND EPISODES
Underground Episodes is about the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Philadelphia from the average person that rides the train. With stories surrounding matters such as changes in the economic and working culture, recovery, relationships, generational gaps, poverty, parenting and war. With stories being told through spoken word, music and dance If there is one thing for sure, beneath this city aren’t just roaming trains but a space of people filled with stories meant to be told in these underground episodes.