Picks for Philly Theatre Week 2022

The Weekly Roundup, March 30-April 6

4 minute read
A person wears red and white clothes, bandana, and other clothing, carrying a flag (?) on a bamboo pole for a small crowd.

Philly Theatre Week presented by Theatre Philadelphia is here! The fifth annual festival features 85 events across the area—and 85 can be a daunting number. I dug into the program guide and found an assortment of performances for this week’s roundup. What I have for you is what I found to be the most intriguing for me, but I also wanted to make sure I gave love to performances that might fly under many people’s radars. From burlesque to polesque, a musical on identity with the Angel of Death as an antagonist, a trip to the stars, and a pair of unique community-based projects with a lot of care for ancestry and culture make these picks feel extra special.

I hope there’s something here for you. If not, check out the full guide!

Sophie Sucre: A Study in Sensual Performance via the Humanist Gaze
April 3-5
The Maas Building, 1320 North 5th Street, Philadelphia

Coming as part of the Miniball Festival, this 45-minute burlesque performance centers Sophie as she explores her most authentic, erotic, sensual self as a Black woman leveraging the erotic as power. The performance stars Danielle Currica, who has been performing as burlesque persona Sophie Sucre since 2009.

Out of Eden
Friday, April 8, 10:30-11:15pm
The Maas Building, 1320 North 5th Street, Philadelphia

Continuing a theme here, Out of Eden is a polesque show that “will take you on a journey from the heavens, into the fall, out of Eden, and through the depths of hell.” This trip through the depths of hell comes from Inversions, a collective of pole dancers composed of diverse ethnicities, body types, genders, and sexual orientations.

Silent Sky
April 1-3, 7-8
Skinner Studio, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia

Coming from the traveling performance group Fever Dream Repertory is Silent Sky, a performance based on the true story of the first female astronomers at Harvard. Those women discovered and created tools that helped map out the universe.

Crossroads Comedy Theater at Philly Theatre Week
Various times
Theatre Exile, 1340 South 13th Street, Philadelphia

Crossroads Comedy Theater’s hilarious series’ pop up for Philly Theatre Week features entries like Thank You, Places, Not Yet Rated, Study Hall, and more. Showing my bias here, BSR EIC Alaina Johns will be part of Study Hall: Comedy Inspired By Lectures on Saturday, April 2, at 7pm, so at least check that one out if you can!

The Ongoing Plight of the Ferryman
April 1-10
Streaming on-demand

We talked about Ongoing Plight last year, and the show is worth mentioning again. Philly native Ryk Lewis created this musical with hopes of highlighting racial, gender, and neurospectral diversity through characters that “simply exist in their own skin.” The genre-bending performance tells the story of Kharon the Ferryman, who is tasked with carrying souls to the other side but has become bored with the monotony of his duties and falling in line with the Angel of Death’s natural order of things.

The Nichos Community Project
Saturday, April 2, 7:30-8:30pm
Esperanza Arts Center, 4261 North 5th Street, Philadelphia

A work-in-progress employing workshops, research, oral histories, community members, and three different languages (English, Spanish, and Nahuatl), The Nichos Community Project is a multidisciplinary theater performance highlighting Mexican immigrants striving to preserve their languages and traditions. It’s slated to become part of a larger project later, but the donation-based event this weekend invites audience participation and feedback with a talkback after the show.

Community Capital: An Afrofuturism South Philly Walking Experience
April 1-10
Throughout South Philadelphia

Author and poet performance artist TS Hawkins and poet and filmmaker Lois Moses teamed up to draw a poetic expedition of sound and unearthing through the streets of South Philly. The self-guided trek promises “participants will have the opportunity to connect with intergenerational voices” in a tour that lets “ancestors guide permeable possibilities.”

Sounds like the perfect walk through the neighborhood.

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