Three Reasons to Visit the 2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival

The 19th-annual Philadelphia Fringe Festival presented by FringeArts takes place Sept 3–19 with 150+ shows at venues all over Philadelphia, featuring the most provocative national and international innovators in theater, dance, music, and more—including highly-anticipated U.S. premieres and some shows that may not make it to New York City.

We’ve rounded up just three of them here, but you can view the full lineup here.

Oh, and there’s a fourth reason: they’re offering $20 tickets when you buy online with the code “brooklynmag.”

PE_pers__©_Photo by Jan Versweyveld_11

After the Rehearsal/Persona by the world-renowned Toneelgroep Amsterdam, written by Ingmar Bergman and directed by superstar Ivo van Hove, opens the Festival and runs for only one weekend. The show features an onstage 10,000-gallon pool of water and powerful emotional and physical performances to match the psychological drama of Ingmar Bergman’s text.

This U.S. premiere combines the work of one of the greatest film directors of all time with a theater company celebrated for its use of sophisticated media to heighten theatricality, eliminating the psychological distance between actor and audience. As a theatrical diptych, After the Rehearsal/Persona delves into the messy lives of actors and artists and blurs the line between reality and fiction. The show is a live reimagining of Bergman’s scripts—not the films—as a means to realize the text in ways films are unable to do on their own. September 3–5 at 23rd Street Armory, Center City.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Association - Available Light Dress Rehearsal  Photo by: Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging
Photo by: Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Available Light with music by John Adams, choreography by Lucinda Childs, and stage design by Frank Gehry, is a rarely performed, monumental work produced at a scale not seen since its premiere thirty years ago. The collaboration brings together three modern masters who share a minimalist approach to their respective fields of music, dance, and architecture. A luminous score, industrial set, and precise choreography create a singular, rapturous experience. September 10–12 at Drexel University Armory, University City.

Alias Ellis Mackenzie 2

ALIAS ELLIS MACKENZIE is the latest mind-bending meld of stage design, action, and storytelling from Philadelphia-based theater maker Thaddeus Phillips (RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE). Casting members form the new Netflix series Narcos and MundoFox’s Alias El Mexicano, the wild exploration of the 1980s “War on Drugs” is a theatrical adventure that centers on the American pilot Barry Seal—the drug runner-turned-CIA informant and Iran-Contra Affair player—and his relationships with Colombian drug lords, nefarious co-pilots, clandestine runways, his family, the DEA, FBI, CIA, and three U.S. presidents. This world premiere is told by way of the actors who play them and all on a studio soundstage, replete with the lighting, booms, cranes, cameras, sets, and props that recreate the energy of producing a Colombian telenovela. September 11–19 at Prince Theater, Center City.

$20 tickets to all curated Fringe Festival shows with discount code “BROOKLYNMAG”.

Click here for tickets or call 215.413.1318. Use the discount code online at checkout.

These presentations of After the Rehearsal/Persona and Available Light have been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. ALIAS ELLIS MACKENZIE has been supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

This post is sponsored by FringeArts: Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, headquartered in an historic waterfront building that includes a restaurant and beer garden. 


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