Fringe Festival: Five neighborhood shows to check out

Philadelphia Artists Collective will perform "The Sea Plays" on board a ship.
Philadelphia Artists Collective will perform “The Sea Plays” onboard a ship.
Credit: David Comdico

With more than 130 shows in Neighborhood Fringe, there’s a show for almost any taste out there, from circus stunts to Ibsen, and beyond. And almost every one of them was produced right here in Philly’s swelling performance scene.

Here are five that caught our eye.

‘A Doll’s House’
Egopo Theater
The Playground, 2030 Sansom St.
Sept. 4-22
With a longstanding reputation for reinventing the classics, Egopo director Brenna Geffers turns Ibsen’s 1879 feminist classic into a one-woman show, starring a 14-year-old actress.

‘The Founding Wheel’
A Whole New Missoula
Hodge Podge Arts, 1212 South St.
Sept. 6-8
Writer-actor Davey Strattan White will perform this one-man show, embodying characters afflicted with a wide range of American political extremism. And if there’s one local playwright capable of truthfully navigating the red/blue state divide, it’s this one. White came to Philly for an MFA acting program, but never lost touch with his Indiana roots.

‘Go Long Big Softie’
The Groundswell Players
Torrent Collective, 938 S. Eighth St.
Sept. 6-21
Local performers Scott Sheppard, Mason Rosenthal and Charlotte Ford have discovered fruitful comic territory, to say the least. They’ve spent months researching the “mythopoetic men’s movement” of the ’80s, which sought to unlock the repressed, powerful masculinity of its adherents. A recent preview of an in-process scene caused people to fall on the floor laughing — literally.

‘The Sea Plays
Philadelphia Artists Collective
The Gazela, Penn’s Landing, 101 Columbus Blvd.
Sept. 11-23
Philly’s own classical theater lovers are getting into the wet and wild Fringe spirit with a site-specific production of three short Eugene O’Neill plays. All aboard the Gazela, a historic ship docked at Penn’s Landing, to experience O’Neill’s youth at sea. (What else can one do after dropping out of Princeton?)

‘The Talkback’
The Berserker Residents
Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place
Sept. 18-21
After creating Philly Fringe classics like “The Giant Squid” (2008), this trio of writer-performers is taking on the most pretentious of theater conventions: the post-show discussion. So, forget about the fictional naturalistic play you just missed and join them for a tour of the “process.”

For Neighborhood Fringe tickets:
120 N. Third St.
215-413-1318
www.fringearts.com



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