Designed, Created, and Performed by: Donna Oblongata, Patrick Costello, Cricket Arrison, Chenda Cope, and Travis Sehorn
In the maze of tunnels that make up the deepest gold mine in the world, there exists an underground city—home to an ice baron, a telegraph inventor, and a doctor who’s dubious about the inherent value of the human heartbeat. The inventor’s daughter hears so much that it’s as if she can’t hear anything. The ice baron returns from debtor’s prison and becomes mayor. The mayor has a secretary who once gave birth to a pile of rabbit parts. The doctor seems certain that all of her patients are miners, though no one can remember the last time anyone saw a miner. The inventor hires a specialist, who arrives just in time for the Great Civic Parade, to which, of course, you’re all invited. Perhaps you might want to wear red?
Three Kinds of Wildness is the newest play from Der Vorführeffekt Theatre, a company under the artistic direction of Donna Oblongata. Featuring an all-star company of multi-disciplinary artists hailing from Philadelphia, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Charlottesville, VA; this production is the company’s first to be completely built and rehearsed in our new home at the Sherwood Oak in West Philadelphia. The play is 100% handmade and homemade, with exquisitely crafted puppets, intricately layered soundscapes, and unconventional theatrical lighting made from salvaged and repurposed materials gathered from around the neighborhood. The play enjoyed a two-week tour of the Northeastern US in May, and will go as far west as Minneapolis and as far south as New Orleans in November.
Der Vorführeffekt Theatre is a Philadelphia-based theatre company that operates under the direction of Donna Oblongata. Housed in the 150-year old Sherwood Oak building in West Philadelphia, Der Vorführeffekt works to create radically beautiful live performance. At the core of the company’s work is a celebration of creativity, imagination, resourcefulness, and liveness. These four qualities are certainly not the only things needed to create the kind world we want to live in, but as artists dedicated to social and environmental justice, we believe they’re a good place to work from.
In a world where technology is so ubiquitous as to become invisible, we treasure the lo-fi, the analog, and the painstakingly handmade. In a culture that creates such an abundance of waste, when natural resources are finite, we dedicate ourselves to using salvaged and recycled materials for all of our sets, props, and costumes. And in a society where the loss of personal connection is constantly lamented, where multitasking is a given and our relationships are mediated by technological devices, we offer the opportunity to take a breath, to be together, and to participate in an evening of warm, ridiculous, unpredictable theatre that is unabashed in its humanity; even before the curtain goes up, the space buzzes with all of our collective liveness.
We believe that experiences like those we create for our audiences and for ourselves as artists should be accessible to all. As such, we tour our work to geographic locations and venues underserved by the regional theatre system and by other touring models. Admission is always at or below the price of a ticket to the cinema, with no one turned away for lack of ability to pay. We offer donation-based performance classes during the year, as well as artist residencies to support to work of other performing artists living in West Philadelphia.