New Jersey Stage
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Cape May Stage Presents Killadelphia: One-Man Mixtape of a City
<b>ABOUT THE SHOW</b>
In the early 2000s, Philadelphia averaged over 400 murders a year, giving rise to the popular idiom that the city had "more bodies than days". With its murder rate on par with some third-world countries, the city earned the unfortunate nickname "Killadelphia". In response, the Mural Arts Program – a non-profit organization charged with the protean task of bringing works of art into areas of the city untouched by anyone but a tagger's spray can – approached Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company and their playwright-in-residence Sean Christopher Lewis to commission a theater piece about the program and the prisoners who create these murals to beautify the city. As Lewis began interviewing inmates about the murals, their imprisonment, their crimes, and their lives on the inside, he found that he had more questions than answers, eventually expanding the scope of his inquiry beyond the mural project.
The result is a 75-minute one-man theatrical documentary, giving voice to nearly twenty separate individuals ranging from "lifers" at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution in Gratersford, Pennsylvania, corrections officers, victims and their families, and Mayor Nutter. Universally hailed by critics, Killadelphia has been called "a must-see evening of theatre… an epic… a satisfying one-man symphony," by NYTheatre.com, and "a call to action as well as a plea to open our minds," by the Philadelphia City Paper. Metromix gives the production five stars, it has won the 2010 Smith Prize for Drama (for plays that focus on American politics), it's been cited by Central Ohio Critics Circle for Best Touring Production, and has been nominated for a 2010 Barrymore Award for New Approaches to Collaboration.
<b>ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT</b>
Sean Christopher Lewis is the inaugural recipient of the Rosa Parks Award for Social Justice in Playwriting from the Kennedy Center. A former NNPN Emerging Playwright in Residence at InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, he has toured his critically lauded solo shows I Will Make You Orphans (Uno Festival of Solo Performance, Available Light 01 Festival, Equinox Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Center for Independent Artists, Galapagos Art Space, Hyde Park Theatre, TIXE Arts Center, Bowery Poetry Club) and The Gone Chair (Penn State University's Cultural Conversations Festival, Openstage Harrisburg's Flying Solo Festival, Riverside Theatre).
His other plays include Militant Language (National Premiere at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Halcyon Theatre of Chicago, Bang and Clatter in Cleveland, and Theater for the New City in NY) and The Aperature (Cleveland Public Theatre). He has been a playwriting fellow at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and has had his work developed at the PlayPenn New Play Conference, Lark New Play Development Center, Orlando Shakespeare Festival's Harriet Lake Festival of New Work and at the National Center for New Plays at Stanford University. A noted actor, he has worked Off-Broadway at the Pearl Theatre, in NYC at La Mama ETC, regionally with companies like the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and mostly recently in the feature films God Country and Blood Fantasy.
Part of Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series, Killadelphia: One-Man Mixtape of a City will run Monday, October 4th at 8:00pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May. Tickets are $20. Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website, www.capemaystage.com. Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series is presented through the gracious support of Chris and Dave Clemans.