Find out who is on the fringe of funny this weekend at Blue Heaven 2020, a weekend of genre-bending, boundary-pushing, cutting edge comedy brought to you by Fringe Arts. Now in its second year, the festival presents some of today’s edgiest and dynamic comedians working in a range of genres, including clown, stand-up, and the visual arts, and representing an array of voices.
A different kind of funny
“The festival is a way to subvert challenges in the comedy field more broadly, specifically diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as a desire to put comedic artists in a box,” explains Fringe Arts artistic producer and Blue Heaven 2020 curator Zach Blackwood. “And also to feature work that’s in the alt-comedy community and has proven to be more diverse both in composition and in subject matter.”
This subject matter includes identity, mental health, gender, sex, and the presidential election. “I was really interested in starting with artists who were saying something vital or particularly relevant now,” says Blackwood. “This was the work that to me would prompt our spiciest political conversations.”
Making you Squirm
Comedian Sarah Squirm will certainly bring that heat. Squirm is the only returning artist to Blue Heaven and is excited to engage again with a game and willing Philadelphia audience, “Everyone in Philly is open-minded, freaky and ready to get down,” she says.
Squirm uses body horror and the grotesque to explore female body image and politics. “If you’ve never seen me before just bring a barf bag and expect a lot of screaming Jewishness,” she advises, promising this year’s performance to feature “even grosser visuals. I recently relocated from Chicago to LA so I’ve got a lot to say about Hollywood body politics; I’m in the capital of body mutilation.”
Due to the sensitive nature of some of the material the artists will explore, Fringe Arts will have a counselor on hand who in addition to support, can also provide resources to audience members. Audience participation will be involved in some performances but will be optional.
Other offerings include temporary tattoos designed by Blue Heaven 2020’s comedians and face painting by guest clowns Ding Dong and Scrumpy. A special menu of food items from the restaurant La Peg will also be available to bring into the theater.
Though you might think twice before eating during Sarah Squirm’s set.
What, When, Where:
Blue Heaven 2020: A Fringe Arts Comedy Festival is February 7 and 8 at Fringe Arts, 140 North Columbus Blvd. Full artist line up can be found here. Tickets are available online and by phone at (215) 413-1318.
FringeArts Theater is equipped with a wheelchair accessible ramp entrance as well as an elevator. Click here for information about accessibility at Fringe Arts.