West Craft Fest, Today Is My Birthday, and dancing in Philly

The Weekly Roundup, April 27-May 4

3 minute read
Three dancers in flowing white robes that expand like wings. Dimly lit, the robes are visible, the dancers are almost not
'Wind Rose' is part of the upcoming 'Melting Ice/Changing Winds' series at Mandell Theater. (Photo by Annie Drew.)

This week, we’ve got theater and dance offerings that feel both new and familiar. This Is the Week That Is returns to the stage for its first in-person performance since the pandemic. Then, a performance at Mandell Theater explores dancing in the Arctic, honing in on climate change and its impact. Closer to home, Today Is My Birthday explores fantasy and reality in the lonely parts of online and offline worlds.

Arts, crafts, and more

West Craft Fest
Saturday, April 30, 11am-5pm
The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia

West Craft Fest is back, featuring wares by over 100 local makers. The festivities also include live music, food trucks, crafts, and performances by Tangle Movement Arts. It’s free to attend, too!


Melting Ice/Changing Winds: Dance and Music of Climate Change
Friday, April 29, 7pm
Mandell Theater at Drexel University, 3220 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance returns to Philadelphia with a performance inspired by Sperling’s experience dancing on polar sea ice. The Arctic has always been an intriguing place—I’d love to see Antarctica in my lifetime, but I also know how the Arctic has been impacted by climate change. It’s a somber thing to think about, and I’m especially curious to see how this performance interprets the “fragility and dynamism of the Arctic.”

If you miss the show on Friday, you’ll have another chance to catch it again. Readers who can make it to NYC can catch the show May 5-7, and the NYC performance will have a livestream of the performance on May 6.

Behind the Stage Door
Friday, April 29, 7pm
Cherry Street Pier, 121 North Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia

Mural Arts and Philadelphia Ballet kick off a series of free, live ballet performances that incorporate mural artists’ designs to create outdoor pop-up scenes throughout the city. The first stop is at Cherry Street Pier, with performances popping up through various locations. The events are free, family-friendly, and open to the public.


Today Is My Birthday
April 28-May 22
Theatre Exile, 1340 South 13th Street, Philadelphia

It was when I hit over 1,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook that I realized I had no idea who my real friends were. And as someone who hides their birthday date on all social media (I’m sure it’s easy to Google it if you really cared), Today Is My Birthday by Susan Soon He Stanton sounds not-so-surprisingly familiar. Directed by Cat Ramirez, Today is about life with a thousand friends on Facebook and no one to have dinner with on a Saturday night. The story follows Emily, a writer who moves back to Hawaii after her bubble life in New York pops and creates an alter-ego for a radio dating show looking to turn fantasy in reality.

This Is the Week That Is
April 28-May 22
Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia

Sixteen years in the making, This Is the Week That Is returns to live performances this season starting this week. The political satire created by Jennifer Childs is a Philly theater staple, mixing elements of SNL, The Daily Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. This year’s edition is directed by Tanaquil Márquez.

A performance with audio descriptions is available for audiences on May 15.

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