With more than 200 noncurated shows running concurrently with the Live Arts Festival, the Philly Fringe can be difficult to navigate -- even for the people behind the festival. With a new permanent building in the works and plans to present work year-round, Philadelphia Live Arts is inaugurating Jumpstart, a new series designed to discover and nurture new talent in the city.
"This is a way that I thought we could mine the community for new or younger talent that we might not otherwise come into contact with," says Live Arts Brewery and Philly Fringe director Craig Peterson.
The premiere program features a half-dozen short pieces offering a mix of dance and theater. Peterson explains that Live Arts was looking for "works that have a clear intention, that are forward-thinking, that perhaps approach live performance in a way that we've never seen before or is unique." Pieces include a dance-theater hybrid by Iranian-American choreographer Sahar Javedani exploring cultural identity; a racy piece by Headlong Performance Institute alum Ilse Zoerb; "Dirt Roads," a solo performance by 20-year-old poet/performer Jamarr Hall; and "Lessons for the Lobotomized," a comedy from The Brothers Beffa that follows a man who survived a traumatic head injury as he eases his way back into society with the "help" of a questionable psychologist.
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Peterson anticipates Jumpstart becoming a twice-annual series. Artists are auditioned live rather than via recorded submissions, which Peterson says is key to the process. "It gives people an opportunity to come in and show us what they're about and create a relationship face to face," he says. "It's a mutually beneficial relationship that can carry forward into the future."
If you go
Live Arts Studio
919 N. Fifth St.