Chelsea & Magda’s The Shame Symposium: For All Your ShameLaughing Needs

  • FringeArts 140 North Christopher Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia, PA, 19106 United States

As the FringeArts Industrial Complex heads into its twenties, a very natural question poses itself: What will the next generation of Fringe-rs look like? The performance team Chelsea & Magda may offer a glimpse. As graduates of the Headlong Performance Institute, they’re very much schooled in the radical touchy-feely freak arts combo platter as practiced by the names that made the Fringe its own thing, like Headlong, yes, but also Pig Iron Theatre and New Paradise Laboratories. But seeing the duo in performance last year at one of HPI’s open workshop nights last year, there’s other, newer stuff going, too — stuff that pushes dance and movement to simultaneously more comedic and intimate places than you might expect.

And it looks like those places will be amply explored in The Shame Symposium, opening on June 9 at FringeArts. "A year ago we became completely excited about shame in performance,” reads their current artists’ statement, which then details just how completely excited they got: The show is now the result of a year of heavy research, experimentation and surveying they’ve done all around shame. (There’s also an adjacent bibliography on the subject of “Girl World/Female Friendship” that includes texts from Rebecca Solnit, Elena Ferrante, Sheila Heti, Toni Morrision and more — which is also a pretty solid summer reading list, if you’re looking for one.) What it all amounts to is a pretty heady mix of performance and movement, present-day feminist thinking, and, in an unlikely turn, some pretty great physical comedy. 

Chelsea & Magda’s The Shame Symposium runs from June 9th through the 12th at Fringe Arts. Tickets here.