Nice and Fresh: February!

sandraDavisspoonsPhoto (above): Bill Hebert.

Friday February 27 at 6pm + 8pm
Saturday February 28 at 6pm + 8pm

Moving Arts of Mount Airy
Greene St and Carpenter La
Mt Airy (across from the Co-op), Philadelphia

A great show, thanks for coming!

Sarah and Anna

Magick and Glitter
Hella Fresh Theater / performed by Anna Flynn-Meketon and Sarah Knittel; written by John Rosenberg. In short: A sorority girl who wants Magick the Magician’s to autograph her teddy bear befriends the magician’s assistant.

monster
Created and performed by Megan Mazarick. In short: An evolving solo dance by Megan Mazarick, “When I was in Egypt in 2014 I finally figured out I am a lady. I know, right? How depressing. So part of making this solo is about being unlady-like or facing female identity in new ways.”

Lords of the Universe or FIVE YEARS IS TOO LONG TO WORK HERE
SmokeyScout Productions / performed by Fred Brown and josh McIlvain; written and directed by Josh McIlvain. In short: Two men lord over the masses from their perch at a café, overly obsessed with the girls who make their coffee, and a belief that they are still in the game.

Where are the Spoons?
Flower in the Storm
SHARP Dance Company / Choreography by Diane Sharp-Nachsin / Dancers: Joe Cicala, Sandra Davis, Sophie Malin, Miguel Quinones, Kate Rast. In short: Two short works from the modern dance company, one solo from there upcoming show, one a group piece about being on the wrong end of rage.

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monster

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Nice and Fresh: Winter Series

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SmokeyScout Productions presents

Nice and Fresh: Winter Series

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Pop up Performances of New Theater and Dance and Circus Arts

Hosted by the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in Germantown

Featuring Amazing New Creations

by

Megan Mazarick and Les Rivera

Kendra Greaves and Cole Della-Zucca

Josh McIlvain of SmokeyScout Productions

John Rosenberg of Hella Fresh Theater

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
5900 Greene Street (entrance on Rittenhouse St), Germantown, Philadelphia

Nice and Fresh: Winter Series

kendra cole

“We find an exciting partner in Josh McIlvain and SmokeyScout Productions’ commitment to curating a cross section of Philly’s performing arts community. Circus is often overlooked as a distinct art form, and we are looking forward to presenting work alongside the dancers, movers, playwrights and art-makers that populate this series.” –Marc Miller, managing director of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts

“I’m interested in the many artistic forms that constitute performance and yet exist separately: theater versus dance versus multimedia and all the subgroups within artistic disciplines, which tend to isolate themselves from each other. I like putting these different forms side-by-side in one show. For audiences, it’s a snapshot of the directions various artists and disciplines are stretching themselves—and for me, it’s fun to see all this wildly different work in one place.”—Josh McIlvain, series curator and contributor, director of SmokeyScout Productions

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Nice and Fresh: DECEMBER!

SmokeyScout Productions presents

Nice and Fresh: Fall Performing Arts Series of Pop-up Performances of New Theater and Dance Works

Annie Wilson and Jenna Horton in Lovertits

Every First Weekend (Fri./Sat.) October through December, 2013.

Moving Arts of Mount Airy

6819 Greene Street, Greene and Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119.

December 6 at 7pm and 9pm

December 7 at 7pm and 9pm

 A GREAT LINE UP FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON . . .

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Lovertits, conceived and choreographed by Annie Wilson, featuring Christina Gesualdi, Jenna Horton, Ilse Zoerb (dance)

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Jesus and the Sister-in-law by Josh McIlvain/SmokeyScout, featuring Emily L. Gibson (theater)

let it snowden

Let it Snowden written and by John Rosenberg/Hella Fresh Theater, featuring Josh McIlvain and Francesca Piccioni (theater)

discreet holy

Discreet Holy Landspan by Eleanor Goudie-Averill/Stone Depot Dance Lab, featuring  Melissa Chisena, Scott McPheeters and Eleanor Goudie-Averill (dance)

All works are between 10 and 20 minutes. Entire show is 70 minutes.

READ ALL ABOUT DECEMBER’S SHOW IN THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER!

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READ THE PHINDIE.COM REVIEW OF NOVEMBER’S SHOW  . . . 

NICE AND FRESH November (SmokeyScout): Get punched in the face by art at SmokeyScout Productions’ NICE AND FRESH

November 4, 2013 – Julius Ferraro

SmokeyScout is named after artistic director Josh McIlvain’s cats: Smokey and Scout. The program of the November NICE AND FRESH thanks them, along with Moving Arts of Mount Airy (MAMA), the intimate, neutral space in which the variety show—or “Pop-Up Performance of New Theater and Dance Works”—is being presented.

Each of the four pieces in the November program is about ten minutes, and there’s a five-minute breather in the middle, making your $7 ticket go far while keeping your legs from cramping up.

Emily L. Gibson and Steve Lippe in MAKING the WORLD a BETTER PLACE through MURALS.

Emily L. Gibson and Steve Lippe in MAKING the WORLD a BETTER PLACE through MURALS.

Program opener THE CHASE is a wordless action-clowning farce in the precise style of GDP Productions’ recent Do Not Push. Nick Gillette, playing an over-exuberant, ticket-punch wielding SEPTA employee, pursues truant passenger Ben Grinberg across land, sky and sea. Ben and Nick bend space, climbing train cars, creating motorcycles and airplanes, and dangling from cliffs, all in an approximately 5×10 foot, unadorned patch of floor.

McIlvain’s own short play, MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE THROUGH MURALS, is a titillating denouncement of an unnamed Philadelphia mural-producing program. In it, a veteran mural-maker (played by both Steve Lippe and Emily L. Gibson) goes rogue after losing faith in the belief that a painting of happy multicultural people standing in a garden can improve a neighborhood. The plentiful chuckles in McIlvain’s irreverent script have a guilty tinge to them, reminding us how much stock we place in the massive arts programs of our city.

“You’d never put one of those in an uplifted neighborhood. An uplifted neighborhood would say ‘don’t put that shitty mural here’”

The other talky-piece is by John Rosenberg of Kensington-based Hella Fresh Productions, who has worked with McIlvain on multiple productions in the past—and whose theater company is similar to SmokeyScout in that both are run by Philly-based playwrights self-producing in areas outside the usual theatergoer’s path. PLOT: SECTION 46 LOT 366-11 GRID O/P-22.5 (whew!) treads the well-worn short-play path of mismatched strangers meeting and swapping philosophical ponderations. Rosenberg’s idiosyncratic voice comes out in the cynical twist: one’s a war widow (Francesca Piccioni) fiercely bitter about not being in TIME Magazine, and the other’s a sad old man (Rosenberg) picking up chicks in Arlington National Cemetery.

The weird highlight of the night is CITY BIRD SINGS THE CAR ALARM, a dance choreographed and performed by Shannon Murphy of idiosynCrazy productions (the company which created Private Places for the 2012 FringeArts Presented Festival). Outrageous, posturing, and irreverent, Murphy’s physical vocabulary borrows from overt seduction, self-conscious grooming, childish acrobatics, and drunken provocation, all within the balletic framework of a bird rising from its nest, singing and dancing, and then returning. The result is an exploration of a sassy, messy femininity larger and more complex than societal expectations. The music, designed by Steve Surgalski, mixes Annie Lenox’s 90s pop hit “Little Bird” with car alarms and other city noises. Murphy effectively mixes vulnerability with truculence. Her persona is much larger than the little space, and manages to intimidate more than a few audience members while telling her story.

“Fresh” is a good word for this pugnacious collection; each short piece manages to make a definitive twist to its respective medium. “Nice,” maybe less so; someone’s bound to be offended eventually, but that’s all part of the fun. The downside is its out-of-the-way location; though it’s only a twenty-minute train ride, audiences balk at leaving familiar pastures. But the radius of the arts is expanding in Philly, and if McIlvain continues to cultivate work of this quality and coolness, he might lure broader audiences out of center city.November 1+2, 2013 (subsequent events December 6 + 7, 2013)smokeyscout.com.

Moonlighting at the Hella Fresh Theater: Thanks for the memories!

Special thanks to John Rosenberg for bringing me on board with his show Alp D’Huez for Hella Fresh Theater, which was written by John. It was an honor to direct him and  Jennifer Summerfield in this tightly woven, funny and tragic script that takes an intimate look at the moment of break up. We wrapped up the 4-week run in November at the Papermill Theater in Kensington, Philadelphia.

A man’s wife shows up to Paris a day early and won’t say why. What is she hiding? Why is he so upset by it? What did he do on Alp d’ Huez? This intense, mysterious, funny, and often heartbreaking tale shows all the problems of a marriage colliding at the least opportune time–on vacation in France when they should be having the time of their lives, and rooting on Lance Armstrong and team America in the Tour de France.

–Josh McIlvain

Playwright and Hella Fresh founder John Rosenberg has been hailed by City Paper as “an impetuous playwright [who] takes a radical approach to independent theater.” More details at www.hellafreshtheater.com.

WILD PUNCH finished its run, thanks to all who came!

John Rosenberg, Josh McIlvain, Annie Wilson. Photo by Erin Desmond.

Wild Punch: Dance Theater Adventures in Kensington

A joint presentation between SmokeyScout Productions and Hella Fresh Theater, Wild Punch features new plays by Josh McIlvain and John Rosenberg, and a dance work created and performed by Annie Wilson. Audiences experience these three bold works in three separate spaces created within the Papermill Theater. 1 show. 3 perspectives. 3 original works.

WILD PUNCH PRESS RELEASE

Wild Punch features: dancer-choreographer Annie Wilson’s dance graceful frsutrated expletive, a solo about her personal evolution as a dancer that involves a hilarious and touching first person narrative, dance, and an anything goes approach; Josh McIlvain’s play Waiting For The Boss (with James C. Tolbert & Josh McIlvain), a comedic drama about maintaining your sense of worth as you grow older in menial, underpaid labor, and the intimate personal revelations between coworkers who care nothing for each other; and John Rosenberg’s play Automated Fault Isolation (Anna Flynn-Meketon & John Rosenberg), a dark romance set in 1950s Alabama about a white high school girl and a soldier waiting for the person she has lured to a motel room.

Wild Punch promo features co-creator Josh McIlvain discussing the show.

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