Odyssey, Emilie du Châtelet Defends Her Life, reFlea, and Dungeons & Dragons for Philly jawns

The BSR Weekly Arts and Culture Roundup, September 28-October 4, 2023

3 minute read
Four women on stage look up in awe, a backdrop of the ocean and cloudy skies on four separate panels in a row
The Acting Company brings 'Odyssey' to the stage at Annenberg Center. (Photo by Kevin Berne/Marin Theatre Company.)

This week has a handful of events for the most curious of minds. The Resource Exchange’s reFlea market reinterprets arts and crafts in environmentally-friendly ways, and the Please Touch Museum is looking to spark the imaginations of the city’s youngsters with a variety of new events and exhibits. Then, check out a Dungeons & Dragons festival at Bok Bar, and be sure to check out new music and a retelling of a timeless epic courtesy of Penn Live Arts.

Branford Marsalis Quartet and Odyssey
Friday, September 29, 8pm
Saturday, September 30, 8pm
Sunday, October 1, 3pm and 7pm
Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Penn Live Arts invites audiences to a pair of performances this weekend. Branford Marsalis and his quartet, which includes West Philly native Justin Faulkner at the drums, is coming to the Annenberg Center for a night performing their latest album, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul.

Then, on Saturday and Sunday, the Acting Company brings a retelling of Homer’s epic Odyssey to the stage. Four young women trapped in the limbo of a refugee camp retell Odysseus’s adventures as they struggle to find a home for themselves. There is another performance on Monday, October 2, geared toward student audiences as well.

reFlea Market
Saturday, September 30, 12-5pm
Resource Exchange, 1800 North American Street, Philadelphia

Resource Exchange, an organization providing reclaimed materials for creative and environmentally resourceful making, teaching, and living, is hosting its reFlea vendor market this weekend. Featuring local remakers, vintage and secondhand refurbishers, upcyclers, and DIY creatives, the afternoon event is free and open to the public.

A Playful World
Starting September 30, 2023
Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

Please Touch Museum kicks off its new year of programming in the spirit of play—this year’s theme is designed to make space and opportunities for learning for young children and families that are approachable and inclusive. The first part of the year opens on Saturday, September 30, with Dinosaur Train: The Exhibit, a take on the Jim Henson’s Company TV show of the same name. Here, guests can hunt for and press fossils, learn more about the age of dinosaurs, and more. The day also includes festivities for the Worldwide Day of Play, where children can explore costuming for a pop-up runway fashion show, experiment with instruments, and enjoy story times.

The exhibit gives way to future exhibits, including Hispanic Heritage Month activities, a 47th birthday celebration of the museum, Pumpkinpalooza, and more throughout October and beyond.

Dungeons n' Drafts: Tales from the Jawning Portal
Sunday, October 1, 11am-4pm
Bok Bar, 800 Mifflin Street, Philadelphia

Dungeons and Dragons players can come together for an afternoon festival featuring D&D-inspired brews, arts and crafts from local makers, game shops, food, D&D merchandise, and more. If you’re planning on swinging by, cosplay is encouraged!

Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight
October 3-5, 7pm
Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street

American Philosophical Society (APS) brings Lauren Gunderson’s play Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight to its Franklin Hall stage. The performance follows the life, loves, and accomplishments of 18th-century mathematician Emilie du Châtelet, who was often cast in the shadow of poet Voltaire and not acknowledged for her advancements in her fields, including translating Isaac Newton’s work while also openly challenging his theories. The play is free and open to the public, though registration is required ahead of time. Emilie comes in tandem with the APS's exhibit Pursuit & Persistence: 300 Years of Women in Science—which we reviewed this summer.

(Author's note: I am affiliated with the APS as an employee.)

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