Tag Archives: nonprofit

Don’t Miss Gravedigger – The Plays of Mark Borkowski!

HAPPENING AT THE WALKING FISH:Join us at B. Someday Productions and the Walking Fish Theatre for three original one-acts plays from the award winning playwright Mark Borkowski, beginning on May 5 and running through May 23rd.  Mark is a Fishtown native, and his oh-so-real characters and intense writing are inspired by experiences and encounters he had in the neighborhood.  Mark has been joined by a veteran cast of actors and producers who were all drawn to these plays for one reason – Mark’s undeniably exceptional playwriting.  Actor Kenneth McGregor, known around the world for roles in films such as Cocktail in which he starred alongside Tom Cruise, X-Men, and The Muppets Take Manhattan, turned down two other roles for the opportunity to bring Borkowski’s script to the stage.

In “ A Gravedigger’s Tale” you will meet a gravedigger, junkies, crack whores, and gamblers, who all assume they’re going to get healthy tomorrow – until tomorrow comes.  You will see if their compromise of lack of compromise is going to kill them or if they will see another day.  In the “Mutilation of Saint Barbara” you peer into the life of a couple on the verge of ending a six-year relationship and in “Twilight’s Child” you watch the intimate moments between a husband and wife as they wrestle with the death of their child.  As you watch this gritty and gripping show, you will find new ways to explore the relationships between human beings.  The hauntingly truthful dialogue will captivate you as you realize quite distinctive versions of the happy ending.

Mark Borkowski is now living in New York and has garnered numerous awards including a Sterling Award for Best Play for “The Kids are Awake”, a Best Actor award in the 2008 Portugal Film Festival, has been published twice in Anthologies of Best Plays, and has received glowing reviews from coast to coast.  Producing these plays at the Walking Fish Theatre has been a homecoming of sorts for Mark and we hope you can join us for these fiercely original and spellbinding plays!

The production takes place at Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, 19125. Tickets are $18, or $12 for students and seniors. For more information call 215-427-9255 or email info@bsomeday.org. Pay-what-you-can preview performances will take place on Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6.

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Welcome Spring with New Orleans style!

Join the B. Someday crew, friends and sponsors for the second annual annual Gala Celebration on Saturday, April 10, 2009, from 7pm to 11pm at The Angler Movement Arts Center, 1550 E Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125. We invite you to join us for an evening of music and magnolias, hosted by radio personality Eric Herr, dancing to music by New Orleans blues band New Pony, victuals, beverages and auction items from local artisans and businesses, all to benefit Fishtown/Kensington’s only resident non-profit theatre company.

You’ve put on your crisp spring semi-formal clothes, but you’re ready to take off your shoes to dance. You’ll enter through ancient gates to a courtyard with a sculpture installation of buoyant dancers. Your senses are piqued as the verdant garden gives way to the open doors of a warehouse-turned-studio, resplendent in colors of hyacinth and bougainvillea. The smell of smoked barbecue from Johnny Brenda’s arouses your appetite,  and the music of New Orleans blues band New Pony gets your heart racing.  Join us as we celebrate another year of great entertainment by Fishtown’s only resident theatre company.

Your host, Eric Herr, is a staple of radio throughout the Delaware Valley, including WHYY, WRTI and KYW. New Pony is known throughout the greater Philadelphia area as practitioners of classic southern blues music. Bid on gifts from area businesses and local artists.  Johnny Brenda’s prides themselves on using fresh ingredients from local farmers and patient cooking.  You’ll taste the difference. All this will take place at The Angler Movement Arts Center. It’s a perfect night to celebrate the return of Spring. All proceeds from this gala benefit the programs of Walking Fish Theatre and B. Someday Productions. This event is made possible through the generous support of Eagle One Federal Credit Union.

Tickets are $60 per individual and $90 per couple.  Dress is semi-formal. You can always purchase tickets for our events at www.walkingfishtheatre.com, or by calling 215-427-WALK. There’s never a handling fee.  Come celebrate with us!

For the benefit of Mr. Gravedigger…

February 19, a gray stone house on a quiet street, a gravedigger’s tale. These sound like necessary ingredients for a murder mystery, but instead they were parts of our cozy, bright Victorian Happy Hour Salon to benefit the upcoming mainstage show, Gravedigger: The Plays of Mark Borkowski.

L-R- Actor Kenneth MacGregor, playwright Mark Borkowski, and Board President Marne Castillo.

Marne Castillo, the newly elected Board President for B. Someday Productions, the resident company of Walking Fish Theatre, opened her new home to us for delicious beverages, snacks, mixing and mingling. Monsieur Thujone of The Absinthe Drinkers was our master of ceremonies and bon vivant and Melissa Santangelo of The Oubliette Ensemble provided lovely harp music.  Raffle prizes were provided by El Quetzal, The Music Fountain Cafe, Historic Philadelphia, The Aramingo Diner, The Philadelphia School of Burlesque, and many more.

Mostress Vicki performs a tarot reading for a guest.

Mistress Vicky performs a tarot reading for a guest.

Most importantly, excerpts from our upcoming show were read by the cast. The plays in this show- A Gravedigger’s Tale, The Mutilation of Saint Barbara, and Twilight’s Child, were all inspired by things that Borkowski witnessed while growing up in Kensington.

Salon guests watching the dramatic readings. The playwright is at center.

Salon guests enjoy dramatic readings in Ms. Castillo's foyer.

The stories in Gravedigger are not for the faint of heart. They are spellbinding tales with unique characters, and every one has their own exclusive version of a happy ending. Surrounded by the luxury and kindness in Marne’s home, seeing and hearing these excerpts of these gritty, gripping plays was like having a visitation from a ghost.

The plays will come to life in full this May, the 5th through the 23rd, 2010. We’re proud to say that thanks to the help of Marne Castillo, our board members, and all of our supporters, we did make our goal for this fundraiser.  To those of you who helped us, we are grateful for your support of our programs and mission.

If you missed this fantastic party, don’t fret- keep your calendar clear for The Spring Blues Soiree on April 10!

Managing Artistic Director Michelle Pauls and longtime supporter Dr. Bob Wallner.

We’ll have entertainment by New-Orleans-style blues band New Pony, in the garden-cottage setting of the Angler Movement Arts Studio in Fishtown. Wear your best party dress and kick off your shoes to dance! keep your eyes on walkingfishtheatre.com to purchase tickets with no handling fee.

Behind the scenes video of The Good Puppet of Szechwan

See a bit of rehearsal and hear director Stan Heleva’s modus operandi and raison d’etre in this short video by filmmaker Mike Spano. Find out what it is about this story that’s compelling and relevant, and what makes it so magical.

It might not look completely magical right this second. When this was filmed, the puppets were functional but unclothed and unpainted. We’ve come a long way since then, so you’ll be able to see big differences when you come see us on November 6. For more information, visit our website. Thanks!

A sneak preview of rehearsal…

"Got a bowl of rice for an old friend? How 'bout some tobacco, sweetie?"

"Got a bowl of rice for an old friend? How 'bout some tobacco, sweetie?"

The puppets are coming along! Here, Zac shows us the head of The Old Man, one of Shen Teh’s many duplicitous supplicants. In the back ground are Carol Raviola and Jodi Gross, listening to Stan give notes.  Behind them, Sun Wang takes a well-earned nap.

Thank you for your patronage and Salon support!

Our Salon benefit on October 10 was a tremendous success! Thanks to everyone who volunteered, attended, bought raffle tickets, or otherwise enjoyed our event. It’s not only the whole B. Someday crew that wants to thank you. We also managed to get a brief interview with our guest of honor, Bertholt Brecht, who was surprisingly enthusiastic for a man who’s been out of the theatre scene for the last 30 years.

Bertholt Brecht, our guest of honor, honoring his guests.

Bertholt Brecht, our guest of honor, honoring his guests.

WALKING FISH ONLINE: So, Herr Brecht, did you enjoy yourself this evening?

BERTHOLT BRECHT: Entschuldigen Sie, bitte, but you can call me Bertholt, and of course, I had a wonderful time.

WFO: What did you like best about it?

BB: Where to begin? I have to say that the Salon is not only the past but also the future of art. And this reizende Dame, this lovely lady Carol Smythe, who opens her

Carol Smythe and Dave Bodoff in her garden

Carol Smythe and Dave Bodoff in her garden

home to us, such a generous woman, and her home and garden are so elegant. In the old days the nobility would open their homes for the artists to come and perform for their friends, because you know, coal, it’s not cheap stuff keeping the place warm. So you have the salon in your home, and people are invited, they come and perform their music, their poetry, perhaps they read the plays, although the audiences, they

Excerpts from The Good Puppet of Szechuan were performed at the Salon.

Excerpts from The Good Puppet of Szechuan were performed at the Salon.

want to see the set, ja? So maybe not so much the plays performed at salons, although you certainly did very well with the reading here tonight, and the lovely music from Melissa Santangelo. Maybe the plays in the living rooms are they way to go- ask Vaclav Havel. It’s where art becomes more personal- do we keep theatre at a distance, on the stage, or do we invite it into our some? Something to think about.

WFO: What did you think of the refreshments?

BB: I was very surprised by that kind man Bob Murphy and his ice cream from The Music Fountain. I usually prefer to just, uh, settle down with some whiskey and

Bob Murphy of The Music Fountain Cafe serving up sweet treats to the guests.

Bob Murphy of The Music Fountain Cafe serving up sweet treats to the guests.

tobacco and a good book and I’m good for the night. But the ice cream was delicious. Also, it was fantastic to taste the wines of Germany again from the gentlemen from Moore Brothers. But this is what theatre should do, and back in my youth I was angry but now I’m optimistic, it’s a way for people to come together and share their resources, and so many places gave delicious desserts and refreshments. You got the whole

Greg Morre, right, of Moore Brothers, serving German specialties to our guests.

Greg Moore, right, of Moore Brothers, serving German specialties to our guests.

list, ja?

WFO: Oh, yes. We were generously helped by Hinge Café, Mercer Café, Ida Mae’s Bruncherie, Rembrandt’s, George’s Pizza, The Aramingo Diner, Brown Betty Dessert Boutique, Wegman’s, Darlings Café, and like you mentioned, Moore Brothers Wine, the Music Fountain Café, and Palm Beer.

BB: I’m glad you know all that, because even in my forties I had to write stuff down and put it in my pocket. But you know what I can’t forget, is seeing all my old friends again, my lovely wife Helene, my good friend, that young man, what’s his name, changed his name to Peter Lorre? I love him. And of course the good Kurt Weill, he stopped talking to me after he went to New York, it’s been over half a century, but that “Mack The Knife,” it’s still a catchy tune.

WFO: There were some other friends of yours there as well, weren’t there?

Bertholt Brecht has a weakness for witty women.

Bertholt Brecht has a weakness for witty women.

BB: Well, I hope Ruth forgives me my sins, or at least I hope she quit smoking. And Elisabeth, people should know how much of The Threepenny Opera she wrote, it’s true.  Now, new people, that I did not know before, I am enamored of that Liz Bradley and Kaki Burns who did so much to make everything perfect, and that T. J., he is a wunderkind. But that Senator Joseph McCarthy? How’d he get in the door?

WFO: He said he wanted to contribute, he was anxious to meet you.

BB: Well, he should meet somebody else. You know, actually, I’m glad he was there. People like him should see what freethinkers can do, what happens when you bring people together and they give generously and make

L-R: Michelle Pauls, Sarah Corlett of the NKCDC, Bob Murphy of The Music Funtain, and Stan Heleva.

L-R: Michelle Pauls, Sarah Corlett of the NKCDC, Bob Murphy of The Music Fountain, and Stan Heleva.

art. But maybe that’s something that Senator McCarthy doesn’t get. So, the point is, many good people, good friends, good ideas, all coming together. That’s why we make theatre in the first place. This Stan Heleva, building this theatre, adapting my play, he is an ubermensch. I like him very much. He told me the play opens on November 6, so that’s not too far away. I like this with the puppets very much, seeing them change over time in production, I think this is sehr gut. They start out puppetssimple, they get more and more complex.

WFO: So, in retrospect, after having said all this, let’s revisit the original question; what did you like most about the party?

BB: All right; the ladies. Always the ladies. I might have been a Marxist and a curmudgeon, but I could never resist their sprightly charms.

ladies in black

The Music Fountain puts the Fun in Fundraiser!

Bob Murphy generously donated delicious ice cream,  and not only his but also his loved’ ones hard work, to provide a fantastic fundraiser for Fractured Fairy Tales.  His new ice cream parlor and coffee shop, The Music Fountain, located at 308 East Girard Avenue, is an oasis of good times and great music. The cool green and pink colors, retro fixtures and vast collection of vintage radios made more than one local hipster say, “This is just like the old Silk City Diner!” The jukebox is free and stocked to the brim with musical treasures. “I wanted to have at least half of it be great Philly music,” he said, before a wall lined with photos of Philadelphia pop legends from Jerry Blavat to Hall and Oates.

All of the proceeds from the delicious ice cream were donated to B. Someday for Fractured Fairy Tales, It was a beautiful moonlit night in Fishtown, and plenty of people stopped by to visit. Take a look!

Right to left, Bob, Mary, and friends from the Franklin Fountain.

Right to left, Bob, Mary, and friends from the Franklin Fountain.

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Great to have new neighbors!

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Mike Dura stopped by to give Michelle a shoulder to lean on.

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Generations of fun. Snow White's tiara, wand and elegant handmade cape could be yours for a raffle ticket. Contact us for details!

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Don't say 'cheese,' say "cream!"

Snow White and Harry Beast greeting the customers!

Snow White and Harry Beast greeting the customers!

Fractured Fairy Tales opens this weekend, and plays on the following dates and times: September 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 2009, at noon on Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays. Tickets are $5, and are available at the door or at http://www.livearts-fringe.org. Don’t forget to arrive about 30 minutes early to get a good seat! See you at Walking Fish Theatre!