Kùlú Mèlé turns 51, The Forest’,‘The Wolves’, and D‑Pad’ stream this weekend

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Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble celebrates 51 years this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Kùlú Mèlé).
Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble celebrates 51 years this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Kùlú Mèlé).

It doesn’t feel like a holiday, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. The weekend features a handful of selections from Kùlú Mèlé, The Crossing, Philadelphia Theatre Company, and Theatre Exile. A Novel Idea considers history with middle-grade readers, and a panel on quiltmaking and its impact on social change decorate the early parts of next week.

Save the turkey for next year and keep your beautiful selves at home.

Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble 51st Anniversary

The Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble is celebrating 51 years with a virtual celebration of dance and drumming on Saturday, November 28. The day-long celebration includes dance and drum classes and West African, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and jazz-inspired performances for the whole family. Festivities begin at 10am and run all day long, concluding with a live after-party celebration at 8pm. A suggested donation is encouraged, but no one will be turned away—register online.

Going through The Forest

The Crossing’s October 2020 performance of The Forest, featuring 24 singers along a trail at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope, is now available to watch on-demand. Catch it on YouTube now if you’re in need of a musical getaway.

The Wolves hit the field

Philadelphia Theatre Company will stream the production of The Wolves starting Friday, November 27 through Sunday, December 20. The story follows nine young women from a competitive high school soccer team, telling a story “from ambition to abortion...life, love, and loss.” The show is pay-what-you-can. Find out more online.

Theatre Exile’s D-Pad

Written by Jeremy Gable and directed by Brey Ann Barrett, D-Pad makes its world premiere at Theatre Exile this weekend. “Written with humor, thoughtfulness, and humanity,” D-Pad follows Alex as she copes with self-isolation, family struggles, and fights her way through the male-dominated gaming industry to create something “beyond entertainment.” Ang Bey, Paloma Irizarry, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, and Michael Doherty star in the online performance, which streams Friday, November 27, through December 13, with opening night on Wednesday, December 2. Reserve online.

Time traveling with A Novel Idea

A Novel Idea on Passyunk hosts debut novelists Nicole Valentine and Jennifer Robin Barr for Past Present: Time Travel & Historical Fiction for Middle-Grade Readers. The local authors will participate in a new reading series from A Novel Idea titled All But True, a collaboration with New Door Books. Find out more about the authors and their new books, and register for the event, which streams on Monday, November 30, with a $5 suggested donation.

Quiltmaking for social change

How far can a needle carry you? Well, you can find out on Tuesday, December 1, at 3pm as Betty Leacraft, Dindga McCannon, Beth Mount, and Tieshka Smith curate inspiring stories and reflections on how quilt making has garnered international success. “Quiltmaking has evolved significantly as an artistic medium, while activating powerful shifts in the way in which stories about race, class, gender, and ability are told and received,” reads the event page. The event is free.

Image description: About a dozen dancers in colorful African robes, dresses, and headdresses dance together, with a woman in white in the center of the image.

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