In the News: New Paradise Laboratories’ The Adults

1/3: New Paradise Laboratories’ The Adults. Photo by www.plate3photography.com.
2/3: New Paradise Laboratories’ The Adults. Photo by www.plate3photography.com.
3/3: Actors rehearsing The Adults. Photo by Camilla Dely.

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 >

The Adults has received praise from a number of additional outlets, including NewsWorks, Fringe Review, Phindie, and the Broad Street Review.


References

Grants & Grantees

EgoPo Classic Theater transforms classic theater and literature into provocative performances, placing equal emphasis on text, vocals, and movement. Its

Grants & Grantees

FringeArts presented the only American showing of this production by Australia’s Back to Back Theatre—a company known for creating works by and for an ensemble of actors perceived to have intellectual disabilities.

BalletX presented the world premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Still@Life and Helen Pickett’s Union.

Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, created by Thaddeus Phillips with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, is reviewed in the New York Times.

Piffaro holds a symposium exploring music, poetry, and art in the Spanish Golden Age, and its relation to Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Catherine Wood is curator of international art and performance at Tate Modern.

Leeway Foundation Executive Director Denise Brown leads a conversation with performance artist, director, and Re- Place-ing Philadelphia leader Marty Pottenger.

Grants & Grantees

The Philadelphia Theatre Company is dedicated to producing contemporary American plays and has produced nearly 40 world premieres since 1975.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Janet Pilla has danced on many stages in her native Philadelphia over the past 25 years.

Percussionist and Pew Fellow Pablo Batista presents El Viaje (The Journey), a new performance work.

Grants & Grantees

Joseph Cashore is a puppeteer and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

This essay is a revision of a paper delivered at the University of Texas as part of “An Uncanny Beauty: A Celebration of Deborah Hay Performance and Symposium,” held April 7–8, 2010.