POLITICAL SHENANIGANS Open Rehearsals with David Gordon

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David Gordon.

Choreographer and director David Gordon continues his investigation into Bertolt Brecht’s 1933 play (with music by Hanns Eisler) The Roundheads and the Pointheads, in a three-week workshop in Philadelphia to develop POLITICAL SHENANIGANS: dancing w/ Brecht & Eisler.

From March 5–23, 2014, at the Christ Church Neighborhood House theater, Gordon will rehearse this work with actress/dancer Valda Setterfield, musician Gina Leishman, actor David Skeist of Gordon’s Pick Up Performance Co(s), and local participants auditioned for the workshop.

Open rehearsals, free to the public, will be held each Saturday—March 8, 15, and 22—at 4 p.m., with discussions after each showing of material from Gordon’s work-in-progress. Michael Feingold—playwright and dramaturge, longtime Village Voice theater critic, and translator of the Roundheads and the Pointheads script Gordon uses—will join Gordon in leading the March 22 discussion.

This work in development is the next stop on Gordon’s 12-year journey (thus far) with Brecht. He took up the play in 2002, when actress Estelle Parsons asked him to direct a workshop for The Actor’s Studio. As “world and U.S. politics keep Brecht’s 1933 play feeling like today’s surreal news (or today’s news feels like a parody of Brecht’s play),” he revisited Brecht’s play as Uncivil Wars: Collaborating With Brecht & Eisler at The Kitchen in New York City in 2007; and as Uncivil Wars: Moving w/ Brecht & Eisler at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and at New Jersey’s Montclair State University in 2009.

Susan Hess Modern Dance hosts Gordon and his company during their investigative work in Philadelphia.


This month, Center-funded projects from Silvana Cardell and Anna Drozdowski culminate in live performances and workshops, while FringeArts looks forward to a fall theater presentation by hosting a discussion with Obie Award-winning Belgian theater director Ivo van Hove.

Grants & Grantees

The Philadelphia Orchestra offered the first Philadelphia performances of two recently composed works by Richard Danielpour and Bright Sheng.

A number of ongoing and recently completed Center-funded projects have filled theater houses and garnered extensive media coverage.

Promoting cultural exchanges between Ukrainians and the global community, Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble seeks to represent the country’s culture through dance.

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will hold a panel discussion exploring the effect that accumulated knowledge and experience has on artistic creation.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Suzanne Carbonneau is a dance writer and historian, and she directs the Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival.

Grants & Grantees

Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (2013 Pew Fellows) explore the potential of new tools, fabrication technologies, and construction to expand the beauty and sustainability of the urban landscape.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX unites distinguished choreographers with a company of world-class dancers to “forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace.”

Toni Shapiro-Phim’s portrait of the Brownings, co-founders of the World Music Institute, highlights their pioneering work in the curation of world music and their organization’s impact on the field.

The Philadelphia Flamenco Festival offers a free master class with flamenco master Pastora Galván.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jeffery N. Bullock is chair of the dance department at Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and director of the graduate degree program in association with American Dance Festival.

People’s Light & Theatre Company undertook a long-range plan to align future programming with its mission of integrating art and education.