Philly Theatre Week by Neighborhood: West Philly | Theatre Philadelphia
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Philly Theatre Week by Neighborhood: West Philly

Feb 3, 2020

Philly Theatre Week kicks off on February 6th, featuring exclusive Free, $15, and $30 tickets to 300 events across the region. See something new in West Philly! We're interviewing Curio Theatre Company, Bright InventionTheatre in the X, and Unattended Baggage. Read on to learn more about each company, hear about good eats around the venue, and what to know before you go!

Philly Theatre Week by Neighborhood: Head to West Philly

Curio Theatre Company
I ♥ Alice ♥ I

-Give us a one-sentence summary about you!

Curio Theatre Company has been West Philly's professional theatre company for 15 years giving the neighborhood accessible theatre and education programs.

-What’s the neighborhood where you’re performing during Philly Theatre Week?

We're located in West Philadelphia at 4740 Baltimore Avenue in the Calvary Center. We've been here for 15 years!

-What is unique about working in theatre in this particular area? 

Our neighborhood has a rich history and vibrant community. People are interested, involved and generous with their time. Our shows are made with the community in mind, so that we can make our art accessible to as many people around us as possible.

-What's the most unique thing about your venue?

The Calvary Center is a beautiful church home to several religious congregations, neighborhood groups and social justice organizations. It's truly a town hall meeting space for the whole neighborhood.

-What is one thing that would be cool if people knew about your Theatre Week event before attending?

I ♥ Alice ♥ I is making its North American premiere in Philadelphia during Theatre Week!

-What might your favorite audience member say to someone who has never been to any of your shows before?

A total hidden gem in West Philly with professional theatre at affordable ticket prices.

-Any good eats for before/after your event?

Check out Bookers, Dahlak or Aksum!

-Share a meaningful photo with us!

This photo was taken during Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale last spring, when Curio had its first pay-what-you-wish ticketing event — which we named Curiositix — Pay It Forward! — with a beer garden for patrons before/during the show.

Bright Invention
I
MPROVATHON 2020

-Give us a one-sentence summary about you!

The Bright Invention ensemble practices and performs longform improvisation, expanding the genre, and deepening the connection between actors and audience in all we do.

-What’s the neighborhood where you’re performing during Philly Theatre Week?

University City/West Philly

-Is this where you usually perform? If not, where do you usually perform?

We have monthly shows in a funky ballroom upstairs from a sushi restaurant off of Headhouse Square. We call it Improvasushi! We also do special shows which are usually site-specific. We recently performed at the Glen Foerd mansion in Tacony.

For Improvasushi, the Tokyo Ballroom where we perform looks and feels like a "ghost ballroom" and has a tiny stage at one end and bar with a bathtub in it.


-What's the most unique thing about your Theatre Week venue?

It's a center for music therapy! We will have access to two rooms, one where we will be performing and one where will be putting out snacks and taking donations.

-What is one thing that would be cool if people knew about your Theatre Week event before attending?

The Improvathon is a yearly benefit we do for a nonprofit our ensemble chooses. So we don't make any money doing it - it's free to see and we ask you to donate to our beneficiary. This year, we are raising money for The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, an amazing organization that provides life-changing occupational training for people living in West Philly.

-What might your favorite audience member say to someone who has never been to any of your shows before?

You won't believe they're making it all up on the spot - it feels like a rehearsed play!

Theatre in the X
West Philly Play Community Convening

-Give us a one-sentence summary about you!

Theatre in the X was created in 2013 to provide the people of West Philadelphia and the African American community at large the opportunity to see professional quality theater in their own neighborhood for no cost.

-What’s the neighborhood where you’re performing during Philly Theatre Week? 

West Philly

-What is unique about working in theatre in this particular area?

We love the diversity and community of West Philadelphia. In particular Theatre in the X seeks to tell stories for and by people of color and our theater event hones in on that even more, being a part of us creating a play specifically about the West Philly community that we will present this summer.

-What's the most unique thing about your venue?

Although we are a satellite company that does work all over the city, primarily in Malcolm X Park in West Philly, The CEC as a space and an institution aligns perfectly with our mission. They nurture individuals and artists, many of color, by providing space, classes, and performance opportunities.

-What is one thing that would be cool if people knew about your Theatre Week event before attending?

That they are invited to get up and play with us! We'll be sharing some excerpts of our upcoming original piece (currently titled The West Philly Play) and we also hope attendees will get up and do some improv as we continue to build the piece.

-What might your favorite audience member say to someone who has never been to any of your shows before?

Everyone always says our events feel like a family reunion or block party.

Unattended Baggage
T
he Bed Show

-Give us a one-sentence summary about you!

Unattended Baggage is a new company that presents work mostly in NYC and now Philly. We make exploratory theatre that draws from unlikely source materials: documentary/autobiographical/historical texts, sci fi, and the exploration of subcultures.

-What’s the neighborhood where you’re performing during Philly Theatre Week?

We’re performing in a bedroom in Fishtown on the 8th and on the 14th we’ll be in West Philly at 7 & 9!

-Is this where you usually perform? 

We perform in a variety of bedrooms who will host us!

-What is one thing that would be cool if people knew about your Theatre Week event before attending?

We’re a site specific/immersive show! I think that’s pretty neato burrito!

-What might your favorite audience member say to someone who has never been to any of your shows before?

That we’re always doing something sort of impossible. We made a documentary play about Juggalos, a bunch of short horror plays, and we’ve done short plays in the streets. No two shows are totally alike.

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See what's on stage during Philly Theatre Week: www.phillytheatreweek.com
Download the Phily Theatre Week Guide to see more performances in West Philly
Follow along with #phillytheatreweek