Essays

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Where moms learn why you do comedy. (Image courtesy of ‘Ur Mom Is Funny.’)

Good Good Comedy Theatre presents ‘Ur Mom Is Funny’

Pairing performers with parents

Good Good Comedy’s monthly variety show ‘Ur Mom Is Funny’ highlights family dysfunction, hysterical challenges, and heartfelt moments with hosts Pete Steele and Hannah Trav. Erin Dohony gets the story.
Erin Dohony

Erin Dohony

Essays 4 minute read
She’s just a dead Frenchwoman: John Jarboe as Edith Piaf in ‘All I Want for Christmas is a Dead Chanteuse.’ (Photo by Kristin Ross.)

The Bearded Ladies present ‘All I Want for Christmas Is a Dead Chanteuse’

A revolutionary holiday

If we’re having Christmas in July, why not Bastille Day in December? The Bearded Ladies sang of revolution in a holiday-ish cabaret at World Café Live. Brad Rothbart reviews.
Brad Rothbart

Brad Rothbart

Essays 4 minute read
Both students and teachers were challenged to understand the others’ point of view in ‘Philly Education Stories.’ (Photo by M. Asli Dukan.)

Teacher Action Group and Simpatico Theatre present ‘Philly Education Stories’

Tearing down school walls

When is theater-making activism? Philly’s Teacher Action Group and Simpatico Theatre teamed up to devise ‘Philly Education Stories,’ a performance co-created by teachers and students. Josh Herren considers.
Josh Herren

Josh Herren

Essays 5 minute read
Reclaiming the old tradition of performance art: Ali Asgar in ‘Roopbaan Reimagined.’ (Image courtesy of Louis Kang and Asian Arts Initiative.)

Asian Arts Initiative and Qunify present Ali Asgar's ‘Roopbaan Reimagined'

You live in America in 2019

A unique performance from Bangladesh native Ali Asgar found the true roots of performance art while reimagining an ancient folktale for today. Brad Rothbart reviews.
Brad Rothbart

Brad Rothbart

Essays 5 minute read
Journalist Megan Twohey joined Philly locals and other activists to kick off this year's FPA festival. (Image courtesy of First Person Arts.)

First Person Arts Festival 2019 presents ‘#IMNOJANEDOE’

Igniting #MeToo

The 18th annual First Person Arts Festival presents ‘#IMNOJANEDOE,’ a celebration of stories from journalists and survivors who ignited the #MeToo movement. Christina Anthony considers.
Christina Anthony

Christina Anthony

Essays 3 minute read

The Center for Media at Risk presents ‘Meme Tactics’

The radical power of memes

By one definition, memes are elements of culture that we share widely within and beyond groups. What happens when memes are used for civic good? In an exhibit at the Center for Media at Risk, makers take a simultaneously global and local approach to defiant narratives hidden in plain sight. Emily Esten reviews.
Emily Esten

Emily Esten

Essays 3 minute read
Spooky, mysterious, and ready for Instagram: 'DARK PASSAGE.' (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

Pseudonym Productions presents ‘DARK PASSAGE’

Halloween theatrics

A Halloween-season pop-up performance in Callowhill may draw in ticket buyers looking for a haunted house, but this is something different. Alaina Johns considers.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Essays 5 minute read
Saturday night done right. (Photo by Michelle Nugent.)

They don’t know how I do it, but I love living alone

The choice that nobody thought she could make

Especially for women, living with others (and taking care of them) seems to be life’s proper default. But Michelle Nugent has other ideas.
Michelle Nugent

Michelle Nugent

Essays 5 minute read
Biofeedback: is it an art? (Illustration by Hannah Kaplan, for Broad Street Review.)

Safety concerns at the Philly Fringe: does paying for a listing make it art?

Safety on the brain

One of this year’s independent Philly Fringe listings was a solo treatment session with a suburban psychologist who practices neurofeedback in his home office. Should it have been part of the festival? Wendy Rosenfield considers.
Wendy Rosenfield Illustration by Hannah Kaplan

Wendy Rosenfieldand Illustration by Hannah Kaplan

Essays 5 minute read
Celebrating melanin: panelists at a past year’s Locks Conference event. (Image courtesy of the Locks Conference.)

The 25th anniversary of Philadelphia’s International Locks Conference

Celebrating melanin

The Locks Conference is a beloved, important Philadelphia institution that promotes art, entrepreneurship, health, and wellness. Crystal Sparrow reflects on its history, and how it parallels her own journey.
Crystal Sparrow

Crystal Sparrow

Essays 5 minute read