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

We asked Philadelphia multidisciplinary theater artist Aaron Cromie to comment on the artistic responsibilities he considers as a director. “I think it’s the director’s job to create an environment and a world,” Cromie responded. “The director is an arbiter of great ideas.”

Grants & Grantees

MacArthur Fellow and visual artist Ann Hamilton, whose installations incorporate textiles and fabric, will create a major off-site installation and organize a loan exhibition of historical and contemporary fabrics.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Juliette Carrillo is a nationally recognized theater director, writer, and award-winning filmmaker from Los Angeles, California. Carrillo served as a Pew Fellowships panelist in 2015.

An outgrowth of the anti-graffiti network, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has produced over 3,600 murals since 1984, making it the largest public art program in the United States and earning Philadelphia the nickname “City of Murals.”

Collaborators & Colleagues

Mark Brokaw is the artistic director of the Yale Institute for Music Theatre in New Haven, CT, and an associate artist of the Roundabout Theatre in New York City.

Grants & Grantees

In 2007, the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 83 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Opera Philadelphia seeks to create productions of classic and new operatic works that assemble the finest international creative artists, and present a wide array of programming that educates, deepens, and diversifies opera audiences.

New Paradise Laboratories’ core ensemble will expand their devised theater techniques and lay the groundwork for a series of new pieces, through investigations of improvisational structures, games of chance, and audience interactivity, with a group of international practitioners including composer Bhob Rainey and UK game theory specialist Tassos Stevens.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, CAConrad wins the Believer Poetry Award, Geoff Sobelle’s play The Object Lesson heads to Australia, and Opera Philadelphia presents Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain.

An urban performing arts center on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, the Annenberg Center presents touring theater, jazz, and world music.

Grants & Grantees

Kevin Kautenburger is a visual artist and a 1999 Pew Fellow.

With boxes stacked to the ceiling, physical theater artist Geoff Sobelle will transform the BAM Fisher into an epic storage facility of gargantuan proportion.