First Person Arts Festival
It’s story time in Philadelphia. In celebration of First Person Arts’ 10th anniversary, the First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art is taking over Old City for an unprecedented 11 days. In keeping with the mission of First Person Arts, we’re giving you more of the provocative, playful and personal programs you love. Enjoy theater, storytelling, documentary film, workshops, author readings and more — all inspired by real-life experience.
Christ Church Neighborhood House at 20 N. American St.
Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 20
Matthew Neenan: A World Premiere
Matthew Neenan’s new ballet is the first installment of the collaborative venture, “Inside the Mind of the Composer.” This all-new education project has allowed Neenan to join forces with award-winning composer Robert Maggio on works that blur boundaries between movement and sound. Neenan and Maggio incorporate BX company dancers and two cellos in their new piece. BalletX dancers will perform to music live onstage by two cellists from Network for New Music.
The Wilma Theater at 265 S. Broad St.
Wednesday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Nov. 20
Admission: $35, $22 for students
Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown
Known as “The Man Who Invented Funk,” the legendary Pee Wee Ellis joined forces with James Brown in 1965, penning the first pure funk hit, “Cold Sweat,” followed by a musical slew of 26 other singles that define how funk is perceived today. This movement was the renewal of the African in African-American music, making Brown’s tunes immensely popular, deeply felt and vastly influential in Africa. Still Black, Still Proud is conceived from the notion of coming full-circle, bringing the African to Brown. Featuring timeless hits such as “I Feel Good” and “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time,” this cross-cultural tribute boasts a smorgasbord of arresting rhythms, sounds and vocals backed by the star-studded lineup of funk titan saxophonist Maceo Parker, social-activist South African known simply as “The Voice,” Vusi Mahlasela and noted Senegalese artist Cheikh Lo, whose album “Jamm” was dubbed “African Album of the Year” (“Uncut”).
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at 3680 Walnut St.
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.
$20 and up
“Slut (R)evolution” and “Phone Whore”
Her one-woman shows have been described as uplifting, brave, intelligent and dark. Now is Philadelphia’s chance to see both of Cameryn Moore’s award-winning plays in one day. Choose one production or get a two-show pass for this one-woman theater festival that will shake you to your core.
Part flashback, part memoir, part in-the-moment slut, “Slut (R)evolution” is a storytelling play explores some of the incendiary events in the artist’s very sexual life. “Phone Whore” is followed by a Q&A with the artist. Truth and taboo collide in this intimate, one-hour visit with a phone sex operator. Listen closely: she may change your views on sex forever.
The Rotunda at 40th and Walnut streets
Admission: $10, $12 at the door for individual shows
or $15, $18 at the door for a two-show pass
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Theater Exile’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries”
An accident-prone dare devil and a corrosive masochist navigate friendship, love and the squishy parts that lie in between. In a series of non-linear vignettes that bounce over three decades of a relationship, Doug and Kayleen meet in a school nurse’s office, and from there build a complex connection over a lifetime of injuries, both physical and emotional. Truly a different type of love story,Gruesome Playground Injuries will leave you smarting from its sharp humor and shaper insights.
1340 S. 13th Street
Nov. 10 – Dec. 4