Wilma’s Transformation Continues

On today’s podcast, I return to my annual chat with Blanka Zizka to talk about the 3-part process that is the Wilma Transformation. While our focus is on the season, we touch on the new lobby, educational efforts and the 16 Barrymore Nominations that while, notable, are do not the fuel that drives Wilma’s engine. Stay Tuned!

ABOUT WILMA THEATER 2017-18 SEASON

 

 

BLOOD WEDDING

By Federico García Lorca

Translated by Nahuel Telleria

Directed by Csaba Horváth

October 25, 2017 – November 19, 2017

On the morning of her wedding day, a young Bride is visited by a headstrong former lover, reigniting a family blood feud that has been simmering for years. Their isolated village is a pent-up powder keg of fury and desire, and when they escape together, all that repression is released — to destructive ends. Acclaimed Hungarian director-choreographer Csaba Horváth leads the Wilma’s HotHouse Company of actors in a production combining athletic ensemble theater with Lorca’s fiery language. Magical realism at its richest and most tragic, this reimagining of the Spanish classic is a searing investigation of passion in the Wilma’s signature style.

PASSING STRANGE

Book and Lyrics by Stew

Music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald

Created in collaboration with Annie Dorsen

Directed by Tea Alagić

January 10, 2018 – February 18, 2018

In this major revival of Stew and Heidi Rodewald’s Tony Award-winning musical, a rebellious young black man journeys to Europe in search of something “real.” Music takes center stage as we travel from gospel-soaked South Central LA through psychedelic Amsterdam to militant Berlin and back. This incendiary musical is a rowdy salve for turbulent times: a young punk screaming in defiance of the void, with an electric onstage band. See a musical experience ahead of its time, as The Washington Post recently proclaimed: “It’s high time Hamilton lovers and anyone else who cares about weird, smart, highly personal art rediscover Passing Strange.”

PASSAGE

A World Premiere by Christopher Chen

Directed by Blanka Zizka

April 18, 2018 – May 13, 2018

Imagine you’re in an exotic new country — occupied by your nation. Now you are a distinguished doctor, but a cab will not stop for you. Now you’re in a cave so dark, so quiet, you lose track of who you are. Suddenly, there’s a sound and —

Welcome to Passage, a fantasia on E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India that uses the theater’s primal evocative powers to examine the most essential questions of our time. Written by Obie Award-winning playwright Christopher Chen, this World Premiere is a perfect vehicle for the Wilma HotHouse Company’s passion and transformative prowess.

HOTHOUSE

The Wilma HotHouse is an incubator for artistic investigation and experimentation, and enables its company of actors to dare and explore under the Wilma’s auspices. HotHouse allows the Wilma to develop new works specifically for our company of actors; to conduct readings, intensive workshops, and other experiments with company members and guest artists; and to hone a unique theatrical aesthetic for the Wilma through rigorous actor training.

FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION:

http://wilmatheater.org

 

Nomadically-Nominated “Exile’s” 2017-18 Season

Before the mind-bending madness of Fringe Arts, I sat down with Deb Block to talk about the nomadic Theatre Exile and their 2017-18 season. Now, with offices in the company of 1812 and 11th Hour, we ran down the lineup while celebrating the 3 Barrymore Award nominations received last season. Exile will also play host to one of four plays presented in the region by playwright, Michael Hollinger, whom we hope to get some time with before the season ends. Exile will present at the Latvian Society this season and it will be a wonder how they use this space after getting so comfortable at home in Studio X. Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ideation by Aaron Loeb

Directed by Joe Canuso

Honorary Producers: June and Steve Wolfson

Associate Producers: Gayle and David Smith

Season Sponsors: Bruce and Giuliana Zallie and Zallie ShopRite Supermarkets

Philadelphia Premiere

October 12 – November 5

The Latvian Society (531 N. 7th Street)

Featuring D’Arcy Dersham, Alex Hughes, Allen Radway, Harry Watermeier, Bill Zielinshi

 

Ninety minutes from now, a group of stressed-out corporate consultants is slated to present their work on a mysterious project. It’s time to brainstorm within the morally ambiguous parameters they’ve been given so they can make it to their kids’ soccer games and continue their ill-advised affairs. But as they work, the question of what they aren’t being told looms ever larger, becoming harder to ignore. If something truly monstrous is going on, it wouldn’t be happening over Starbucks scones… would it? A ferocious and hilarious thriller.

Really by Jackie Sibbles Drury

Directed by Matt Pfeiffer

Season Sponsors: Bruce and Giuliana Zallie and Zallie ShopRite Supermarkets

Philadelphia Premiere

January 25 – February 18

The Latvian Society (531 N. 7th Street)

 

In the studio she once shared with Calvin, a photographer poses his mother for a portrait. Like many artists, she struggles to capture on film what she envisions in her mind. As the photo shoot progresses, the women grapple with their memories of the man who was once the center of their lives. In the age of selfies, Really examines the particular and diverse lenses through which we see ourselves, each other, and our place in the world.

Sing the Body Electric

BY MICHAEL HOLLINGER

World Premiere

Directed by Deborah Block

Season Sponsors: Bruce and Giuliana Zallie and Zallie ShopRite Supermarkets

April 19 – May 13

The Latvian Society (531 N. 7th Street)

Featuring: Kim Fairbanks & Tony Lawton

Jess is tanking in Physics, so her mom hires Lloyd to help her pass. But she’d rather study his son, the survivor of a lightning strike that killed his girlfriend a year ago, and tattooed his body with elegant scars. When Lloyd and Mom hit it off, these two broken families are bound ever closer, inexorably — with explosive results. An intricate, atmospheric tale of love, sex, and the unseen forces that draw us together and drive us apart.

FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION:

http://theatreexile.org

 

 

Shed some light on HELLO BLACKOUT

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.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION

Hello Blackout!

Fishtown: A Hipster Noir

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.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION:

Fishtown – A Hipster Noir

 

Inside: Greg Nanni

On today’s podcast, we take a trip back to November 2016 and chat with Playwright, Greg Nanni. When the idea for “Commuter” came about, I wanted to bank a few episodes before releasing. Following the Septa model, we are running behind schedule. So, here’s the interview with Greg that took place after the reading. We will release the reading as soon as the trains start running again. Stay Tuned!

ABOUT GREG NANNI

Greg Nanni is a playwright, comic book writer, and marketer living in the Philadelphia area. He is a member of Witherspoon CirclePassage Play Lab, a former PDC Playwright in Residence at Plays & Players,  the Literary Manager of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, and the former Marketing Manager of Plays & Players Theatre. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Moderator of the PDC Playwrights’ Happy Hour. He is the Co-Writer of the Youtube Series Bar-N-Tavern. He is the Assistant Sales Manager at the Bucks County Playhouse, a board member of the PDC, and has interned with Azuka Theatre in the past. He was the cofounder and editor of The Rome Review, a printed literary magazine. His One Act plays have been featured in 24 Hour Festivals and Readings throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area, and have been produced nation-wide. He is a graduate of the George Washington University.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://gregnanni.com

 

One More River To Cross

 

On today’s podcast, James Jackson dropped by the studio to talk about the Lynn Nottage compiled, “One More River To Cross”. Yes, another very timely production that speaks to the never-ending conversation of race, class and gentrification. Stay Tuned!

ABOUT ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS

A World Premiere, by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage, One More River To Cross immerses  you in song and culture as you experience lives of former slaves. Between 1936 and 1938, the Federal Writers Project gathered over 2,300 interviews with emancipated slaves in the post war South. Nottage has collected and condensed these interviews into a theatrical exploration of the entire history of black slavery in the United States from African capture through the emancipation. This new work, staged to reflect the deep historic connections between current theatre and primary cultures in Africa, resurrects the voices of people who, for many years, had none.  One More River To Cross brings the words and stories of black American slaves firmly into the present and delivers a lyrical declaration of hope, reaching out from the past and giving strength to our future.
FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1353087044774748/

http://onemorerivertocross.bpt.me

 

Matt Decker

Today’s podcast marks our 8th Anniversary! Today, we caught up with Matthew Decker, Co-Founder and resident Director of Theatre Horizon and Associate Artistic Director of Arden Theatre Company. Matt is a 3-time Barrymore Award winner and the productions he helms always receive multiple nominations and positive buzz. I’ve been meaning to catch up with Matt for years now and I am glad to have had the opportunity to dive into his world! Stay Tuned!

ABOUT MATTHEW DECKER

From Theatre Horizon website

Matt is a Co-Founder and Resident Director of Theatre Horizon. He is also the Associate Artistic Director at Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia. He has directed over 15 productions with Theatre Horizon and favorites include Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s Spring Awakening, Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig and Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, for which he was awarded the Barrymore for Outstanding Direction of a Musical. Other credits include Incorruptible, Pinocchio and Robin Hood (Arden), Love, Rose (Philly Fringe), InterAct Theater WRITE LOCAL Festival, Walnut Street Theater, [email protected], Villanova University and HERE Arts Center. As a professional teaching artist, Matthew has developed Theatre Horizon’s Autism Drama Program and teaches with Arden’s outreach program, Arden for All. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Matthew resides in Philadelphia.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://theatrehorizon.org