Announcing PURE MEDEA

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It’s 2019, a theater company rehearses Medea, the ancient tragedy of marital discord, palace intrigue, gender politics, and murder. Set during one of the company’s final run-throughs, PURE MEDEA intertwines Medea’s revenge upon her husband with the smaller tragedies—and petty rivalries—of the modern-day actors’ personal and professional lives.

Saturday May 4 at 8pm
Sunday May 5 at 7pm
Monday May 6 at 7pm*

Thursday May 16 at 7:30pm*
Friday May 17 at 8pm
Saturday May 18th at 8pm
Sunday May 19 at 2pm

TICKETS ($12–$15): puremedea.brownpapertickets.com

Christ Church Neighborhood House
20 N. American Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19106
(By 2nd and Market Streets)

Run time: 90 minutes plus intermission.

*Postshow discussion with Dr. Sheila Murnaghan, translator of Medea, Norton Critical Editions (2018), and the Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Professor of Greek at the University of Pennsylvania. Moderated by Christopher Munden, founder and editor, Phindie.com.

Translation of Medea by Sheila Murnaghan (W. W. Norton & Co, 2018). Performers: Sophia Barrett, Josh McLucas, Hallie Martenson, Lauren Suchenski, Homer Robinson. Costume design: Adrena Williams. Lighting design: JJ  Jury. Concept, additional text, and direction by Josh McIlvain.

We made it, thanks to you!

We’re creating something new, out of something classic! Help us bring our most ambitious production yet to life by contributing to our Kickstarter Fundraiser!

WE RAISED $3830, PASSING OUR $3500 GOAL—THANK YOU!

For our 10th anniversary season, Automatic Arts is thrilled to announce a major new production, PURE MEDEA, an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea, to debut May 2019 at Christ Church Neighborhood House, a 100-seat theater in the heart of Old City in Philadelphia. Having created and presented purely original work for ten years, tackling a classic play is very new to us—so of course we have added an Automatic Arts-style twist on it. This is an adaptation of the Ancient Greek play Medea and sets the play with in a rehearsal by a modern day theater company who are mounting the Euripides play. PURE MEDEA follows both the original text and the drama of the rehearsal room as the roles of Medea begin to infiltrate the inner lives of the actors.

This is an ambitious project and we need your help to bring it to life. Our goal is to raise $3,500 and we have 30 days to do so! Kickstarter is a make it or break it giving platform. To receive your gift, we must reach our goal of $3,500.  Please make a gift today to ensure that we reach and even exceed our goal and fund PURE MEDEA!

We even have fun items for the various giving levels! We even have this entertaining Video Pitch:

Conceived of and directed by Josh McIlvain, PURE MEDEA features the 2018 Medea translation by Sheila Murnaghan, plus additional rehearsal room text and rearrangements of the original by Josh McIlvain. Features the actors Sophia Barrett, Lauren Suchenski, Homer Robinson, Josh McLucas, and Hallie Martenson.

Producing theater is a pricey endeavor, in which ticket sales do not cover costs, even on the most prestigious stages. I hope you will help make PURE MEDEA a reality with a contribution to this Kickstarter campaign.

Thank you

Josh McIlvain
Artistic Director of Automatic Arts

Announcing PURE MEDEA

It’s 2019, members of a theater company rehearse Medea, the ancient tragedy of marital discord, palace intrigue, gender politics, and murder. Set during one of the company’s final run-throughs, PURE MEDEA follows contemporary actors as they create their own interpretation of Euripides’ play, intertwining the machinations of Medea’s revenge upon her husband with the smaller tragedies of their personal and professional lives.

Coming May 2019

Christ Church Neighborhood House
Old City, Philadelphia

with

Sophia Barrett

Hallie Martenson

Josh McLucas

Homer Robinson

Lauren Suchenski

 Directed by

Josh McIlvain

Medea (Euripides) translation by

Sheila Murnaghan

Concept and Additional Text by

Josh McIlvain

Miss the show? Read the review!

People Are Strange and other revelations has closed, but you can read all about it here:

Broad Street Review

SoLow Fest 2018: Automatic Arts’ ‘People Are Strange and Other Revelations’

Quirky quartet

Automatic Arts, producers of the Nice and Fresh series of new short works, capture the SoLow Festival do-it-yourself aesthetic in People Are Strange and Other Revelations. This eclectic quartet of one-person pieces plays in the Da Vinci Art Alliance. ​

Marissa Kennedy in “A Friend.” (Photo by Said Johnson.)

Writer-director-performer Josh McIlvain starts the evening with a darkly funny recorded pre-show announcement. This travels into intriguing territory when he explains that “robots have rights” and that the space is haunted by vampires.

A gallery of characters 

The creepy vibe continues in “Away,” which McIlvain performs with a microphone in the small space, switching lights on and off as he goes. “Away” is actually a dialogue, I realized.

It’s a discussion about escaping everyday life to start over elsewhere, veering into a hilarious consideration of blindness’ possible benefits and brilliant throwaway moments such as, “I’ve been trying out saying that Jesus said stuff.” (As our president has proven, say something often enough and people believe it.)

Nik Menotiades’s “That’s My Time” likewise includes multiple characters. A nervous stand-up comedian wearing a tracksuit tells corny jokes (“Where were potatoes first fried? In Greece!”).

Menotiades also plays a heckler who takes over the show, then transforms into another comic (new costume hidden beneath the tracksuit), performing funny animal impressions. His excruciating comedy of discomfort left me thinking fondly of Andy Kaufman.

In “Key West or Bust,” written and directed by McIlvain, Tara Demmy plays Billy, a guy driving with friends from Troy, New York to southern Florida. Demmy wades into the audience, talking to us like we’re old friends sharing stories. Billy’s adventure is equally funny and sad, as the drive’s rigors nearly ruin Margaritaville, but Demmy’s lovable lout finds a silver lining.

McIlvain also penned “A Friend,” performed by Marissa Kennedy. As “M” sits painting, she recalls a variety of friends in a soft-spoken and sincere stream-of-consciousness chat that is deceptively detailed and deep. Can men and women really be friends? There’s no easy answer.

Nothing automatic

Like Automatic Arts’ “Nice and Fresh” series, People Are Strange slyly proves larger than the sum of its parts. Their DIY approach brews connections between disparate (and desperate) characters unadorned by theater’s more formal trappings. The humor often emanates from a feeling of common experience: at one time or another, we’ve been all these characters.

We’re just folks in a room, perhaps sipping a beer (Thoughtfully provided!), sharing something special. People Are Strange is us.

See us at SOLOWFEST

people are strange.JPG

People are Strange, and other revelations . . . you’ll take away from this awesome night of short solo performances

Thursday June 14 at 8pm TICKETS

Friday June 15 at 7pm TICKETS

June 16 at 7pm and 9pm  TICKETS

Blindness, Key West, giraffes, a hunky neighbor who may be the real father of your child—encounter multiple circumstances and people in this evening of four solo performance works. People are Strange blends humor, insight, and just plain oddness with some music to boot. Performed in multiple rooms at an art gallery.

Performances by Tara Demmy, Marissa Kennedy, Josh McIlvain, Nikitas Menotiades*

*Appears courtesy Actors Equity

Da Vinci Art Alliance

704 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

$10 / strange.brownpapertickets.com/

Nice and Fresh comes to West Philly Dec 1 + 2

Special Nice and Fresh curated by 2017 Automatic Arts resident artist Sarah Knittel

Nice and Fresh: The Great West

Friday December 1 at 7pm + 9pm TICKETS
Saturday December 2 at 7pm + 9pm TICKETS

Featuring new creations by
Anna Michael
Fred Brown
Betty Smithsonian
Lillian Ransijn
Josh McIlvain

Also including the talents of Christina Higgins, Taylor Plunket-Clemens, Travis Fischbach, and your host Sarah Knittel!

$7 / automatic.brownpapertickets.com

New short works of theater and dance!
Art Church of West Philadelphia
5219 Webster St, Philadelphia, PA 19143
(1 block from 52 + Baltimore)