One More Week in Philly!

And so many exciting announcements to make!

THE APPOINTMENT is Barrymore Recommended!

That means, for the first time ever, one of our shows is eligible to be nominated for a Barrymore Award. We are really honored to participate in a beloved hometown tradition.


Reviews are coming in!

Philly Life and Culture says, “Just as you are belly-laughing… you are sucker punched into reality.”

Philadelphia Dance says, “The laughter that the show provokes becomes the glass of water we drink to digest the bitter pills the show prescribes.”

Broad Street Review calls the show “genius,” “pitch-perfect,” “by turns hilarious and devastating,” and says, “Women are somehow both at the center of America’s obsession with abortion, and completely irrelevant to it. We’re infantilized and sexualized; glorified and stripped of agency. I hate to legitimize opposition to abortion access as a healthcare “debate.” The Appointment is not a debate. But it does confront, surprise, challenge, and entertain its audience.”


Take Us to New York!

Have you heard? THE APPOINTMENT got a last-minute offer to perform in New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series just two weeks after we close in Philly! We need you to help us make it happen. If you enjoyed the show, please make a contribution in support of our tour. If you’re unable to see it, we suggest donating the price of your ticket!

This Week!

We still have six shows left in Philly and we don’t want you to miss out! Wednesday’s performance will be followed by a conversation with our partner organization, Allentown Women’s Center, about how they balance abortion care with comprehensive trans health care. We love the folks at AWC and can’t wait for our audience to hear about the amazing work they do.

Then on Friday night, stick around after the show for SEX ED TRIVIA NIGHT. Hosted by Dr. Timaree Schmit, with prizes donated by the Sexploratorium, and **free drinks** this is one time you’re gonna wanna get schooled.

Thanks for your support!

With love and lightning,

Alice, Scott, and Lightning Rod Special

LRS STRIKES NYC!

Holy moly, Batman! We got a LAST MINUTE offer from New York Theatre Workshop to perform THE APPOINTMENT as part of their Next Door Series in April and May. Yes, that’s right– two weeks after we close the show in Philly, we’re going to New York!

This is an incredible opportunity for us. There will be a lot of visibility on the company as we return to New York after the success of “Underground Railroad Game.” We believe this show, which gets more timely every day, is poised to make a big splash.

But we need your help to make it happen.

We have already raised $90,000 for this rolling, two-city presentation. We need $13,200 more to get us to the finish line.

Will you make THE APPOINTMENT?


As though that wasn’t exciting enough, WE OPEN THE SHOW IN PHILLY THIS WEEK! We hope you’ll get your tickets and join us as we lift this project off the ground. Click the image below for tickets:

http://fringearts.com/event/the-appointment/2019-03-20/
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THE APPOINTMENT premieres at FringeArts!

We are so excited to announce that this March, after three years of research and development, THE APPOINTMENT will premiere at FringeArts. THE APPOINTMENT is a dark satire with original music about the hypocrisy, misogyny, and absurdity surrounding the abortion debate in America.

After raising almost $5,000 for safe abortion access at our work-in-progress showing in August 2017 (titled “Unformed Consent”), this premiere will feature a bunch of awesome activities to help connect the content of the show with reproductive justice work that happens every day in Philly. Details of the events are to be announced, but will include conversations with Women’s Medical Fund, Puentes de Salud, and more organizations to come!

We are so proud of this show and where it’s come since that early showing. We hope you’ll join us at the premiere in March! Get more info HERE.

Wednesday, Mar 20 at 8pm* (preview)
Thursday, Mar 21 at 8pm (opening!)
Friday, Mar 22 at 8pm
Saturday, Mar 23 at 2pm
Saturday, Mar 23 at 8pm
Sunday, Mar 24 at 3pm
Wednesday, Mar 27 at 8pm
Thursday, Mar 28 at 8pm
Friday, Mar 29 at 8pm
Saturday, Mar 30 at 2pm
Saturday, Mar 30 at 8pm
Sunday, Mar 31 at 2pm

!!!

We are deeply humbled to announce that UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME was named #21 of the 25 best plays of the last 25 years by the New York Times.

Better 25

From the article:

Physical-theater artists who wrote this daring show for themselves to perform, Ms. Kidwell and Mr. Sheppard are accustomed to making work that’s rooted in the body. “Underground Railroad Game” is more text-based than they’re used to, yet it’s rooted in the body, too — the black body and the white body, female and male, locked in a poisoned dynamic of scarring damage and enormous pain.

Read it HERE.

We have been working on this piece since 2013, for all five years of our life as a company. From the cramped RV we drove down to New Orleans that fall, to the esteemed OBIE Award ceremony last spring, we have been bowled over by reception to this work. To find our show on this list, amongst plays like “August: Osage County,” “The Laramie Project,” “The Vagina Monologues,” and “An Octoroon” is more than we could ever have dreamed of.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME stands as a testament to the continuing power of live theatre. If you have been moved by the show and believe in our mission of exploding complex questions with precision and play, we urge you to secure the future of Lightning Rod Special’s work:

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Make a donation here.

Your tax-deductible donation ensures that we can maintain our commitment to creating intelligent, considered work that provokes the cobwebbed corners of our audiences’ minds. Donations of all sizes have a huge impact. If you are interested in making a donation of $2,500+ or in becoming an honorary producer of our future work, please contact Alice@lightningrodspecial.com.

Thank you.

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For more information about the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME tour and art book/script, click HERE.

To stay up-to-date on all things LRS, click HERE.

Lightning Rod Special: Live?

What good is sitting alone in your womb?

Come hear the music play!

It’s been many months since our in-process showing of “Unformed Consent” in August and we are back in the studio, hard at work continuing development of the piece. We’ve been working on sharpening the critique, deepening our research, and most of all… writing new songs.

When we create, we do so with active participation and listening from every person in the room. In this way, our pieces are really created by the collective and have a strong ensemble voice. With this same sense of collaboration, our audience is a crucial voice for us to hear. Given that it can be many years before our shows premiere, we like to give you as many looks into our process as possible.

So, you are cordially invited to a one-night-only cabaret of songs from “Unformed Consent” and songs that have never before left the rehearsal room.

LRSLive

LIGHTNING ROD SPECIAL: LIVE?

March 30th, 10:30pm

La Peg at FringeArts, 120 N Columbus Blvd

Tickets: $5 standing room or $15 for a table

http://fringearts.com/event/lightning-rod-special-live/

We hope to see you there.

 

The Big Bad Funtime Bash: Five Years of LRS

It’s that time of year again: days are getting shorter and colder, but it’s warm and bright inside the annual LRS party!

This year the party, The Big Bad Funtime Bash, celebrates our fifth anniversary. Five years of making provocative, incendiary original performance in Philadelphia. This party will celebrate our trickster spirit by indulging all things bad. Let yourself be a little naughty this year and join us on Monday, December 11th from 6-9pm at the Maas Building. 

Details and tickets: Click here!

Featuring performances by Salty Brine, Isaac Oliver, Jess Conda, and the cast of “Unformed Consent.” Plus Magic Mike bartenders, deviant spiritual guides, prizes from Groundswell Greetings, KG Strong, Good King Tavern, and more. Live auction prizes include roundtrip train fare to New York City to enjoy dinner at Morimoto before seeing “The Lucky Ones” produced by Ars Nova.

All funds raised at the Big Bad Funtime Bash will support our continued development on “Unformed Consent.” Help us continue to make this timely, socially important work!

We’ll see you there!

~Alice, Katie, Scott, and Mason

 

LRS goes to Orchard Project

We’re excited to announce that LRS will be working on our in-progress piece this summer at Orchard Project. A week-long residency in Saratoga Springs, Orchard Project provides us time and space away from the city to focus in on the new work so that we can hit the ground running when rehearsals begin in August.

More info on the residency here:


THE ORCHARD PROJECT ANNOUNCES ARTISTS
SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 
2017 ORCHARD PROJECT SUMMER LAB PROGRAM 
AND PERFORMANCE SERIES

Participating Artists and Teams Creating New Work in Residence Include Mo Rocca, Taylor Mac, Dell Arte International, Alarm Will Sound, Itamar Moses, Lightning Rod Special, and more.

New Programs This Summer: Integrated Childcare for Participating Artists, An Expansion of the Orchard Project’s Cabaret and Musical Theatre Program, and the Launch of BUSK!: A Street Performance Event to Launch the Saratoga Summer

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — The Orchard Project is proud to announce the artists, teams and ensembles participating in its eleventh summer residency program, running from June 1-July 2, 2017. Twenty-six artists and ensembles were selected from the nearly 600 theatre artists who applied to develop big, new ideas. The Orchard Project is a laboratory program where theatre artists and companies come to innovate, develop, and refine new shows. Past productions developed at the Orchard Project have gone on to be performed on Broadway and around the globe for more than 1.5 million people, winning every theater award from TONY® to OBIE to Oliviers, and being turned into acclaimed films.

“The Orchard Project clears the runway for amazing artists to make great work,” Artistic Director Ari Edelson said. “I couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming season, when we will support a more diverse group of artists than ever before and launch our new Family Initiative to support working families.”

In addition to its laboratory program, the Orchard Project is holding a series of public events, including 8:00pm Cabarets on Friday, June 9, Saturday, June 17, and Friday, June 23. On Sunday, June 4th from Noon-6:00pm, it will launch BUSK!, a spontaneous, outrageous, family-friendly event showcasing world-class performers alongside local talent. BUSK! aims to offer something to everyone — from local bands and magicians to spectacular circus artists and stunt performers. BUSK! will culminate in an evening cabaret at Putnam Den, kicking off at 8:00PM. All Orchard Project events are free, with special reserved seating for members. For more information about becoming a member, call 646-760-6767.

The artists selected to participate in the Orchard Project laboratory program will come to Saratoga Springs from around the world to accelerate projects at various stages of development. They include:

  • Lub Dub Theatre Company (NY), developing their immersive piece filled with music and magic, The Doubtful Guest;

  • Atlas Circus Company (NY), working on a new piece incorporating acrobatic slapstick, magic, and inventive circus skills;

  • Beloved street performers The Red Trouser Show (MA), creating a new show;

  • Mia Chung (NY) and Peter Stopschinski (TX), creating a new musical about the Korean War;

  • Lightning Rod Special (PA), creating a butoh-bouffon musical about birth and babies;

  • New Perspectives (United Kingdom), adapting award-winning Romanian film Tales From The Golden Age;

  • Dell Arte International (CA), collaborating with Til Lalezar (Denmark) on the large scale devised work, Life Boats;

  • Michelle Tattenbaum and Itamar Moses (NY), developing Mr. Moses’ non-verbal play cycle, Ideas;

  • Paul Lucas (NY), creating a second piece in his well-received Transcripts series of works;

  • Playwrights in residence Bernard White (CA), Neena Beber (NY), Lila Rose Kaplan (MA), Heidi Armbruster (NY), and Sarah Gancher (NY);

  • Shakespeare Theatre of St Louis (MO), working with Alarm Will Sound (NY) and Taylor Mac (NY), working on Taylor Mac’s adaption of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.

The Orchard Project is also continuing and expanding its Cabaret and Musical Theatre Program, launched last year in partnership with the Putnam Den. This year, the Orchard Project has made annual favorite Julian Fleisher director of cabaret and musical theatre, and will be hosting new work by a slew of the most exciting artists around:

  • Mo Rocca (NY)

  • David Cale (NY)

  • Rebekah Allen (NY)

  • Howard Fishman (NY)

  • Jack Bartholet (NY)

  • Ryan Scott Oliver (NY)

  • Molly Rice (PA) and Milia Ayache (Lebanon)

  • John Arthur Hill (CA)

THE FAMILY INITIATIVE

In 2017, the Orchard Project’s Family Initiative looks to raise the bar for all arts organizations by saying child care should not just be an occasional option but standard operating procedure. While the Orchard Project has always been family friendly, as of this summer it will provide form-fitting childcare to visiting artists. The Orchard Project Family Initiative will not be restricted to one week or one project, and will provide different resources to parents based on age and need.

Says Edelson, “The simple truth is that the field makes it tremendously difficult for theatre makers with young families to have the time and space to create new work, and if anyone is interested in the representation of diverse voices on stage, such a commitment is most important at institutions like the Orchard Project, which overwhelmingly seed the content produced by theatres around the country.”

ABOUT THE ORCHARD PROJECT

Hundreds of theatre companies and creative artists from around the United States and world have applied each year to develop their big ideas at the Orchard Project. In its original home in Hunter, NY, the Orchard Project supported more than 700 artists and 200 shows. In 2015, The Orchard Project expanded and moved to Saratoga Springs, NY, where it added a new series of public programs, Orchard Project Presents, allowing the public and theatre industry to get sneak peeks of ground-breaking new work.

The Orchard Project supports work that go to a wide variety of other theaters – from Broadway to the West End to independent theaters across the world. Recent productions include Amelie (Broadway), The Iphigenia Quartet (Gate Theater), Empathy School (Abrons Arts), All the Way (Broadway, Asolo Rep, Arena Stage, Dallas Theatre Center, OSF, A.R.T, HBO Films and more), The Object Lesson (BAM Next Wave Festival and New York Theatre Workshop), and I Promised Myself to Live Faster (Humana Festival).

Writers, teams, and ensembles join the Orchard Project for overlapping residencies, during which they are provided with free rehearsal space, room and board, and the support of fellow artists.

The Orchard Project’s elite education program, the Core Company, draws talented young artists from across the country. The young artists who are members of the Core Company train and create new work alongside resident artists and companies — and support the professional artists in residence.

Past Orchard Project supported companies include The Royal Court, the Public Theater, Tectonic Theatre Project, The Atlantic Theater Company, Pig Iron, The Rude Mechs, American Repertory Theater, Paines Plough, The TEAM, Mabou Mines, and many others. Work developed at the Orchard Project has gone on to win awards including Obies, Drama Desks, Olivier Awards and the 2014 TONY Award for Best Play for All The Way, which was written at the Orchard Project in 2010 and 2011. By even the most conservative estimate, these shows have been seen by more than 1,500,000 people in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and as far afield as Tokyo and Stockholm.