TWO SHOWS LEFT

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SANS EVERYTHING has two performances left before it gets swallowed up by the universe. Today, Saturday Feb 11, at 2pm and 8pm. Shows have been selling out (!!) but there are still tickets available for both performances.

Rave review on DC Metro Arts: “feels like magic”

—->Get your tickets now<—–

Set so far in the future that human bodies have been abandoned, Evolved Intelligence are plugged in to the human life cycle for the very first time. When they encounter Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Elizabethan-style chaos ensues: a total collapse of world order.

What do we owe the past when thinking about the future? How is humanity best expressed: through what we do or who we are? Love, art, escape, the cycle of life—Sans Everything impels audiences to question where humanity is going and what will happen when it gets there.

Get a taste before you go: watch the trailer

SANS EVERYTHING opens tomorrow

Tomorrow we premiere SANS EVERYTHING, our collaboration with Strange Attractor three years in the making.mason-bannercrop

After three nonstop weeks of rehearsing, remembering, crafting, and starting all over, we open tomorrow. The show explores questions around the need to perform, the essential interior of the human being, and the relevance of the past while looking forward into the future. It feels more timely than ever.

We have five performances this weekend and we truly hope you’ll catch one of them. Don’t wait to get your tickets, either– Thursday night is already sold out.

SANS EVERYTHING

LIGHTNING ROD SPECIAL + STRANGE ATTRACTOR

FEBRUARY 9, 8PM (sold out)

FEBRUARY 10, 8PM AND 10:30PM

FEBRUARY 11, 2PM AND 8PM 

—–>CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS<—–

Want a taste before you go? Check out our trailer for the show.

Have you been keeping up with our LIVE WIRE? Assistant Director Tenara Calem has been posting weekly blog entries about the process and themes of the show. Check them out for some incredibly insightful writing.

Tune in to WHYY’s Newsworks Tonight tomorrow, Thursday, at 6pm for an interview with Alice, Scott, and Aram about the show!

Are you on Instagram? Alice is taking over the FringeArts instagram feed for the rest of the week. Let’s see what happens….

Guest Blog Post #3

February 5th, 2017, or:

Why You Should Still Go See Theater In the Time of Fascism

This is a question I know audiences have been asking, because I am an audience member, and I have been asking it myself. Why on earth should I go watch theater, pay money for a ticket, watch and indulge, when there are Senators to be called? Protests to join? Signs to be made?

Let me assure you: theater makers have been asking themselves the same question. I know this because I am also a theater maker, and I have been asking it myself. Why on earth should I make theater and ask people to pay money to see it? Why should I put on a performance? Why should I contribute to an artform that guzzles energy and materials, and is only made possible by the artifice of watching and entertaining?

Why should I do any of that when there’s so much at stake right now?

And then of course, the answer comes crashing back to me, as it always does, and as it will continue to do. It is precisely because of what is at stake that we must keep pushing forward in that artifice. That artifice allows me to see myself in you – you the audience, you the performer, you the character that is different than me. I arrive to the theater with the world in my pocket, and so I will look for the world in what I watch. Whether it’s As You Like It or Sans Everything.

The day after the Women’s March, it was the comedian Patton Oswalt who said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that while protesting and marching and calling our Senators and writing letters and making signs are necessary and instrumental actions that enable us to push against fascism, we should also reserve a day out of our week to do all the things that fascists want to take away. Go on a hike in a National Park, dance at a queer club, volunteer at a shelter, meet neighbors, draw something, write something, compose something. Go see theater. Because we have to fight for these things, absolutely, but we also have to do them, we have to show the fascists that we’re not just complaining, we’re talking about our lives here, and we’re not willing to give up our lives. Humans are some of the only animal species that make art, and that must mean that it feeds us in a way that eventually, words can no longer describe. I cannot adequately describe why I believe making theater is good for our souls, but I can say that I really love when I see the world in what I am watching, or what I have made. I really love Elizabethan messes, space travel, artificial intelligence, and existential re-imaginings. My point is that I believe you will love all these things too.

So go see theater, and we’ll see you at FringeArts on February 9th. Make sure you get your tickets early.

~Tenara

What we’re reading this week: “Why Isn’t Shakespeare Dead Yet?” by Susan Ahlborn

Guest Blog Post #2

January 28th, 2017

Tenara here again.

Today in rehearsal, our marvelous outside eye/director Rebecca Noon said the following: “Today, we are deep sea explorers. We are diving into the darkness. We are probably going to encounter some beautiful coral reefs, but we might get a little lost, and that might make us panic a little bit. But we all have oxygen masks, and we can all share our oxygen. Look around the room – these people are deep diving with you, and if you need them, you can rely on them.” And she sent off the creators to generate the last third of the play.

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Fearless explorer, Rebecca Noon

On the idea of deep dive theatrical exploration: the creators at Lightning Rod Special and Strange Attractor have been working on Sans Everything for three years. Not every artist has the opportunity – the wonderful, challenging, ultimately edifying opportunity – to live in and mine out one artistic world for that long a time. For this stretch of Sans Everything, we’ve only got three and a half weeks to carve out the final and most true iteration of Sans. That’s very little time, but the good news is that we’re not starting from square one. Actually, the opposite is true.

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Jenn got the bends — er, the giggles

The challenge in these kinds of timelines is how to hold onto what feels most gold, how to kill your darlings, and how to find, remind, re-find, and rework what the ultimate question of the show is. For Lightning Rod Special and Strange Attractor, the creators don’t feel particularly obligated to be chained to one static and perhaps unyielding conceptual question this play is asking – but then when are we leaving behind what no longer applies, and when are we scrapping everything we’ve done to create something completely different? Is that bad? Is that useful? Is that still Sans Everything? Is it another show? Is Sans Everything merely a proposal, or a play made of marble that we are responsible for sculpting? To answer any of these questions in a way that is theatrically satisfying for all requires creators with brains and instincts that move rapidly from performer to playwright to audience to director to performing artist and back. You can rest assured that Lightning Rod Special and Strange Attractor supply just that.

But then, in an instant, it clicks. You find yourself in an improvisation that is offering absolutely everything you’ve been looking for – it’s the right tone, it’s the right question, it’s theatrically mesmerizing, and suddenly you know that while it may not be the exact scene that goes into the show, it is the first yellow brick on your road to what the audience will see on February 9th. You sit down with your fellow artists and share what it was that made that moment the right moment, and the action plan of how to make it the best moment, the piece’s moment. These kinds of rehearsals are the product of deep sea theatrical diving, and of witnessing the most gorgeous coral reefs down at the bottom.

~Tenara

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From Thursday’s designer run

What we’re watching this week: Time Lapse View of Earth from Space, by astronauts on the ISS

Do you have your tickets yet? Get them HERE.

Guest Blog Post #1

January 22nd, 2016

Hello from a drizzly and gray Washington, D.C.! My name’s Tenara Calem, and I’m the Assistant Director for Sans Everything, coming to you this February 9th at FringeArts.

This Wednesday, Lightning Rod Special and Strange Attractor kicked off their first week of rehearsals for the spectacular Sans Everything – an exploration of art, body, voice, instruction, culture, love, violence, and humanity. The singularity, Artificial Intelligence, Shakespeare. Space ships! Stretching out your fingers because it’s the first time you’ve ever had fingers. All the World’s a Stage. In a Fishtown studio, a group of performers and makers gathered to look at where we’re starting from: several iterations of one show that we’re still carving out, with past productions in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Providence, and Boston. 

 

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Clara, Jenn, Rebecca, and Jed at our first script-read after 9 months away from the show!

 

I’m going to talk about the body in today’s blog entry, because we at Sans have been thinking a lot about its function and utility, how it performs, what it performs. The humans on our ship in Sans Everything read a quiet little proposal that perhaps all the world’s a stage, and your body the player. But what if you refuse to perform? What if you boldly reject the assertion that by existing in a body, you are complicit in the grand performance of your life? What if you desperately want to stop the performance and replace it with existence? Exactly how do you go about doing that?

People have been arguing about that for longer than we makers have been in the room devising this play, and so one of our wonderful challenges is to try to create a world in which the body is not performing, but being. In a performance at FringeArts. The camp of humans on the ship who challenge Shakespeare’s assumption explored how to put body as existence first, performance second. And how do you do that if you’ve only just arrived into your human body a day ago? (And how do you do that as a group of performers in front of an audience?)

We ended rehearsal on Friday night at ten o’clock after one such discussion, because now our bodies, the bodies of Lightning Rod Special and Strange Attractor had a different job to do. We got into our cars and we drove the two and a half hours south to Washington D.C. that night, to attend a rally, a march, and a gathering the following morning on 3rd and Independence. Well, we tried to get to 3rd and Independence, but it turned out that half a million people had the same idea, so we could only get as close in as 7th and Jefferson. The Sans Everything crew – both artistic and space crew – tried on a different use for the body: to be a member of a mass of bodies representing a cause. Estimates are still coming in, and in the new paradigm of tweeted misinformation, this Assistant Director is hesitant to accept statistics from just any which news outlet, but it might be safe to say that close to 3 million people in the United States alone gathered and marched against hate. That’s half a million in D.C., 750,000 in L.A., 250,000 in Chicago, 125,000 in Boston, and 50,000 in our own Philadelphia – among countless other cities across America. In a lot of ways, the devisers of Lightning Rod Special and Strange Attractor encountered the same fundamental question that the humans on the Sans Everything ship grapple: if all the world’s a stage, and your body is the player, what will your body say?

~Tenara

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LRS+SATC+D.C.

 

What we’re reading this week: Reflections of Avant Garde Adaptations, on HowlRound

 

 

SANS EVERYTHING Approaches

Yesterday we began rehearsals on SANS EVERYTHING, our collaboration with Strange Attractor three years in the making.

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We sat on the floor of the Red Horse Studio discussing characters, reading the script, and talking about our goals for the show. We’ve been reading Antonin Artaud’s “No More Masterpieces” essay, chatting with Artificial Intelligence experts, trying desperately to reach a Luddite (NOT EASY), and prepping for a busy week of collective actions. (More below)

We’ve got three jam-packed weeks of rehearsals before the show goes up. Stay tuned here for an inside look: Sunday begins our LIVE WIRE guest blogger series.

SANS EVERYTHING

LIGHTNING ROD SPECIAL + STRANGE ATTRACTOR

FEBRUARY 9, 8PM

FEBRUARY 10, 8PM AND 10:30PM

FEBRUARY 11, 2PM AND 8PM 

—–>CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS<—–

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Another Transcendent LRS Party

JOIN US FOR

spectacular-invite

 

Warm your hearts, raise some funds, and revel in…

THE EVERYTHING SPECTACULAR

Monday, December 5th

Starting at 6pm

Performances at 7pm

The Maas Building, 1320 N 5th Street, garden entrance

Funds raised at The Everything Spectacular will benefit the upcoming FringeArts premiere of SANS EVERYTHING, our collaboration with Strange Attractor. Maybe you caught a sneak peak at an early draft last year at the Special Strange, but after a year of development, plus a stellar Philly design team, we’ve got tricks up our sleeve.

The Everything Spectacular will feature performances by NYC Cabaret Legends Molly Pope and Erin Markey, Philly’s own Almanac, and LRS friend Alex Tartarsky (more to be announced). Plus: Silent auction! Live auction! Homecooked food and, of course, the signature Lightning Rod Special cocktail.

Live auction grand prize is a New York package with tickets to NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812. Don’t miss your chance!

CLICK HERE TO GET TICKETS

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