Christmas time is here. I can almost hear the theme song from A Charlie Brown Christmas in my head. Oh, wait, let me turn my volume up…
‘Tis the season, y’all! Yes, this is a very different Christmas, and the holiday cheer might be hard to come by. The offerings this weekend might help diffuse that. A handful of theater companies have great, real stories to tell. There are holiday-inspired musical performances, an interactive immersive theater show, and more to uplift and inspire.
Be safe out there, friends!
EgoPo has adapted Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground into a story relevant to Black men living in contemporary Philadelphia. The interactive virtual performance occurs through your phone, computer, email, video, blogs, and social media, telling the story of a man who mysteriously emerges from years of isolation to reveal his hidden past. The performance is available through Sunday, December 6, and you can find out more at EgoPo.
Scribe Video Center will present a series of retrospective screenings of works by Zeinabu Irene Davis, kicking off Wednesday, December 2 through Friday, December 4. Davis’ experimental, non-fiction works highlight the experiences of Black women. Get your tickets at Scribe Video Center online.
Drexel University’s Jazz Orchestra is having a free holiday performance in the spirit of the holidays on Thursday, December 3 at 7pm. The twenty-piece ensemble will feature excerpts from various classic holiday-themed jazz songs. Sign up to tune in.
Philadelphia’s Jewish theater company Theatre Ariel will present True Colors on Thursday, December 3, and then December 5, 12, and 13. The performance celebrates diversity with “humorous, revealing, and inspiring stories from Jews of color exploring identity, community, and being an American Jew.” Get your virtual seat at Theatre Ariel's online box office.
Immersive theater and game design company IKantKoan, based in Philly and NYC, is offering one last chance (for now) to check out one of their signature shows, Chaos Theory, on Thursday, December 3, at 7pm. The show has since gone digital, calling itself a “super serious lecture about chaos theory” that turns into a series of interactive games and experiments inspired by chaos, Jurassic Park, and middle school crushes. Get in line for chaos at IKantKoan's website.
Philadelphia Photo Arts, Hidden River Films, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Scribe Video Center have come together for a community conversation about the role of cameras in the Kensington community. Exploring methods of creating news stories, pictures, and film, the discussion centers on the impact of being documented (with or without permission), its impact on people’s lives, and how representation matters. The event, which will be online Friday, December 4, at 4pm, is free and will be held in both English and Spanish.
If you’re a sucker for Christmas music like I am, then SALT’s A Christmas Spectacular is right up your Christmas tree. Promising excerpts from The Peanuts, The Grinch, The Nutcracker, and many more, the virtual performance brings the spirit right to your home. Sing along (if that’s your thing) on December 4-5 and 11-12 at 7pm.
For one night only, on Saturday, December 5, at 7:30pm, Theatre Horizon will present the first show of its Art Houses series with an original work from Rebecca “Becky” Bradbeer, a Chester County woman with cerebral palsy. The show will explore “ideas of independence, caregiving, and performativity while living in a body with cerebral palsy.” Tickets are available on Theatre Horizon’s website.
On Saturday, December 5, at 7pm, our friends at Blue Stoop are hosting Words of Revolution; Words of Solace, an event featuring readings from 10 of “the most exciting voices” writing in and around Philly. The fully captioned event is a sliding-scale ticketed show to benefit Blue Stoop, a home for literary Philly. See the full line-up and RSVP at BlueStoop,org.
Image Description: A man and a woman dressed in solid-colored shirts hold open binders, their faces towards each other, in mid-speech.