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Theatre Program's New Works Festival: Welcome to Campus

January 7, 2014

Welcome to CampusPhiladelphia’s unconventional Swim Pony Performing Arts company and The Mandell Professionals in Residence Project (MPiRP) want to take you on a very different tour of Drexel’s campus – one that fuses Drexel landmarks with very personal (and sometimes awkward) anecdotes of student life. “Welcome to Campus,” part of our Theatre program’s first New Works Festival, is a immersive, genre-defying theatrical experience loaded with laughs and a few surprises.

Swim Pony director Adrienne Mackey is committed to the creation of unique live performances that are joyful and defy tradition with an ensemble of multidisciplinary artists who live and work in Philadelphia. The group’s 2010 production, “SURVIVE!” established their unique style that’s part performance, part art installation, coupled with a journey through a maze, and a chance for the audience to choose-their-own-adventure. “SURVIVE!” had audiences wandering through 20,000 square feet of performance space, guided by a narrator. “Welcome to Campus” takes audiences from the URBN Annex Black Box Theater to a culmination in the Mandell Theater, with a script based on original stories written by the student actors in the play.

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“The actors will be telling stories about their lives at Drexel along the tour, and the audience will sometimes notice that these scenes are being acted out in the scenery around them,” explains Mackey. “The idea evolves from theatre games, or activities during theatre exercises and rehearsal, where actors and actresses create roles for their own characters. I don’t want to ruin the surprises we have planned by getting too much into detail about the show. All I can say is that ‘Welcome to Campus’ is going to be a lot of fun. Wear comfortable shoes and bring an umbrella, just in case.”

“Welcome to Campus” is made possible in part through a grant from the Samuel P. Mandell Foundation. Performances are planned for groups of approximately 15 audience members, so tickets will be very limited. Some performances are already sold out. 

Wednesday, Feb. 19th at 7:00 PM
Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7:00 PM (8:30 PM sold out)
Friday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7:00 PM
Sunday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 PM
Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM
Friday, Feb. 28 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, March. 1 at 7:00 PM
Sunday, March. 2 at 7:00 PM
For more information, click here to visit the event's Facebook page, or call 847-309-1266

Welcome to Campus is part of our Theatre program's very first New Works Festival, featuring a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel A Tale of Two Cities, as well as two nights of Drexel students reading new plays under the direction of Theatre Professor Bill Fennelly, with dramaturgy by Professor Bruce Graham. The Festival will run from Feb. 19 through March 2 in the Black Box Theater (URBN Annex, 3401 Filbert St, Philadelphia). 

The new play readings with Professors Fennelly and Graham will take place Feb. 28 and March 1 at 8:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theater. The New Works Festival also includes a reading of a brand new adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities by Jane Jones, Artistic Director of Book-It Repertory in Seattle. Drexel students will be working with Jones, our visiting Rankin Scholar, and Kate Czajkowski, a professional actress currently with the Wilma Theater and a Book-It veteran who will teach students how to adapt novels to plays in the Book-It style. The reading of A Tale of Two Cities will be Feb. 22nd at 8:30 p.m. in the URBN Annex Black Box Theater and they’re free to the public with a reception for Jane Jones beforehand. New Works Festival auditions will be held at the URBN Annex Black Box Theater on Sunday, Jan. 12 from noon to 3 p.m. 

A Tale of Two Cities: 

Feb. 22 at 8:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre

New Play Festival readings (in the Black Box):

Friday, Feb. 28 at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March. 1 at 8:30 p.m.