Tribe of Fools plays with time travel in ‘Shut Your Wormhole’

 Frances Calter, Colleen Hughes and Tara Demmy seem to be enjoying rehearsals for “Shut Your Wormhole.” Credit: Christopher Haig
Frances Calter, Colleen Hughes and Tara Demmy seem to be enjoying rehearsals for “Shut Your Wormhole.”
Credit: Christopher Haig

Almost precisely one year ago, Terry Brennan and Jay Wojnarowski sat in the Last Drop Cafe for hours, frantically brainstorming around the theme of time travel.

Tribe of Fools, their Philly-based experimental theater group, had always developed work from the troupe’s own idiosyncratic inspirations. But this time, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts came calling with an assignment. And if Tribe wanted the commission, they would have to conform to the fest’s 2013 theme: If you had a time machine, where would you go?

“We felt like if you made a time machine, the first thing that would happen is other people would start coming out of it, and they’d be hassling you — trying to get you to help them change things in their past,” says Brennan.

And with that, Tribe’s latest campy romp, “Shut Your Wormhole,” was born.

Drawing on influences from the era of serial radio dramas, “Wormhole” is broken up into 10-20 minute segments that will be presented, one per day, at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, and Tribe is hoping to draw a following out of the Center City commuter crowd.

“We’re aiming for people walking home from work. We made it easy for them — come in, catch a quick thing, take off and come back tomorrow,” explains Brennan.

The quirky narrative was developed over the last year, with the company working in their usual technique: agreeing on a few rough plot points and continually improvising around them, making in-the-moment discoveries and refining their material along the way. And Tribe’s vision of the future is indeed a frightening and peculiar place. For starters, Jean-Claude Van Damme is president of the United States in 2024.

“We were really interested in the way movies influence our understanding of history. Like, when people discuss the JFK assassination, they often confuse the events of the [Oliver Stone] movie with real life,” says Brennan. “So, we had fun with the idea that a future society that discovered time travel would idolize action stars that appeared in time travel movies from the past.”

If you go

‘Shut Your Wormhole’

April 4-26

The Kimmel Center: Commonwealth Plaza 300 S. Broad St.

Free, 215-546-7432 www.pifa.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…