Part of the 2014 Fringe Festival presented by FringeArts, New Paradise Laboratories’ The Adults is a truly collaborative theater piece—merging original and new ensemble members, music composition by Bhob Rainey (2013 Pew Fellow), set design by Matt Saunders (2014 Pew Fellow), and the influence of Anton Chekhov and painter Eric Fischl.
Supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, The Adults explores the not-so-hidden darkness of human nature and its impact on the natural world. Six adults and one invisible visitor gather at a lake house in the woods, their cruelties demonstrated through highly physical theater and the pairing of ominous sound and set design. Since its world premiere at Painted Bride Art Center on September 3, The Adults has received rave reviews. Performances run through September 14.
For The New York Times, critic Ben Brantley describes the action of the play as “games, both sporting and erotic…rendered in various body-contorting pas de deux, in which civilized and primal impulses seem to do battle.” Read more >
“Nasty, beautiful, ugly, thought-provoking, and hypnotic,” writes Wendy Rosenfield for The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Matt Saunders’ set and projections offer a Philip Johnson-style modernist dream…beneath the menacing eyes of an enormous taxidermied bear. Bhob Rainey’s fuzzy, squealing sound design, all unsettled agitation, underscores the disconnect between the people and their surroundings.” Read more >
Lew Whittington of the Huffington Post praises New Paradise Laboratories’ bold experimentation: “unflinching as a theater company willing to experiment with high-wire concepts, kinetic visuals, cinematic sound design, integrating ‘physical theater’ and character choreography to conjure fantastical stage worlds that challenge safe theater conventions.” Read more >
Philebrity says The Adults is “highly physical movement work that provokes a rapturous discomfort from way deep in your gut…onstage happenings so astonishing they attain the level of hallucination or illusion.” Read more >
How might a world-famous art collection inform a new piece of music? MacArthur award-winning saxophonist and composer Ken Vandermark shares his thoughts.
Timothy Douglas is a freelance director and actor. He served as a Center theater panelist in 2011.
Ronen Givony is the founder and artistic director of the Wordless Music Series and Orchestra, and the music director of SubCulture, both in New York City. He served as a Pew Fellowships panelist in 2011, and a Performance LOI panelist in 2015.
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Meiyin Wang is the associate artistic producer of The Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival and Symposium in New York, which presents new and cutting-edge theatrical work from the U.S. and abroad.
FringeArts presents, develops, and commissions a range of high-quality contemporary performing and visual arts in Philadelphia.
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Randy Mason is the chair of historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the executive director of PennPraxis.