Philly The­atre Week, black future, jazz, and more in store this weekend

3 minute read
Bright Invention won't stop till they drop this weekend with Improvathon. (Photo courtesy of Bright Invention.)
Bright Invention won't stop till they drop this weekend with Improvathon. (Photo courtesy of Bright Invention.)

Philly Theatre Week starts tomorrow, headlining a weekend filled with diverse, accessible events. Philadelphia is primed for more Lunar New Year festivities and celebrating Black History/Future Month, too. The city is looking alive for sure.

The Presented kicks off Philly Theatre Week

Philly Theatre Week gets started this weekend, and The Presented is a promising overture. The Presented explores what it means to be a chosen artist in the world today. In his signature comedic style, Chris Davis examines the issues facing many theater artists today in a show that questions the pursuit of a career in the arts. Mary Tuomanen serves as director, and you can catch the show February 7-9 at 8pm at DaVinci Art Alliance (704 Catherine Street).

Memoirs of an Artivist

Mary’s Daughter: Memoirs of an Artivist is a poetic dramatization of hip-hop artivist (activist + artist) Blak Rapp Madusa's childhood — from growing up in foster care to discovering hip-hop. Conveying the cultural intricacies of race and gender common to marginalized people in America through the eyes of an 8-year-old, this one-woman theatrical performance humanizes systemic oppression. The show takes place February 7 at the Community College of Philadelphia (18th and Callowhill, room C2-28) at 6pm.

Jazz pianist Sullivan Fortnerperforms

Winner of the 2016 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, Sullivan Fortner is set for a solo performance at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (19 South 10th Street) on Thursday, February 7, at 7pm. Selections from his new release, Moments Preserved, will headline the set list. The performance is a testament to St. Stephen’s commitment to the arts. You can pick up tickets online.

Lunar New Year at International House
Celebrating the Lunar New Year continues this weekend at IHP on February 7. Festivities include a screening of the award-winning film short The Red Packet, presented by Philadelphia Asian American Film and Filmmakers; a traditional lion dance by regional favorite the Philadelphia Suns; musical performances by the Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society and Qin Qian; dances by the University of Pennsylvania’s Pan-Asian Dance Troupe and the Great Wall Chinese School Little Mulan Dance Troupe, and more. The celebration begins at 7pm and tickets are available online.

PAFA's Open Studio Night 2019

PAFA's graduate and undergraduate students open their studios to the public to show and discuss their works in progress this Friday, February 8. All five studio floors of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building are open to give visitors a look into the creative processes of emerging artists. The event is free and starts at 5pm.

Bright Invention brings back Improvathon

In an effort to raise money for the William Way LGBT Community Center, Bright Invention is bringing back its Improvathon this Saturday, February 9, at Arch Street Quaker Meeting House (320 Arch Street). The improv begins at 10am and won’t end until they raise $500. Tickets are free, and there are rumors of an appearance by Gritty.

Mural Arts Philadelphia's Black History Month trolley tour

Mural Arts Philadelphia is offering a special trolley tour of murals that explore civil rights, freedom, and equality. On Sunday, February 10, at 2pm, a guide will discuss each mural, the artists, and the mural-making process. Weave through neighborhoods by trolley and get inspired on this two-hour ride that starts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (128 North Broad Street, Hamilton Building). Tickets run from $28 to $32.

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