FringeArts presents a world premiere from Lightning Rod Special and Strange Attractor called Sans Everything. This dystopian vision of our future humanity takes place February 9-11 at FringeArts’ waterfront headquarters, 140 N Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.). Tickets cost between $14 and $20 and are available by phone at 215-413-1318 or online at FringeArts.com.
Explore a time so far in the future that humans have been replaced by disembodied intelligence, when the experience of having a body and traveling through the human life cycle is sold as a vacation package on cruise ships traveling though outer space. Aboard one such ship, an embodied A.I. finds itself coerced by a mysterious outside force to perform Shakespeare’s As You Like It, resulting in Elizabethan-style chaos and a total collapse of the world order.
“As it does for so many readers, Shakespeare’s ‘All the world is a stage’ soliloquy compelled us,” says Scott Sheppard, founding member of Lightning Rod Special, “and we began to imagine it as a sometimes brilliant, sometimes faulty guidebook for non-human life to understand humanity.”
The show took root first in the mind of Aram Aghazarian (Sincerity Project 2014, Sincerity Project 2016, 99 Breakups). He was visiting a rehearsal for As You Like It that was taking place in a New York City high rise. As he gazed out over the tops of the city’s skyscrapers, listening to one of the Bard’s sillier comedies, the thought struck him: As You Like It in space. Not set in space, but done in space. That seed grew into Sans Everything.
A world-class design team will bring this dream of a space capsule to life on the FringeArts stage. Brooklyn-based lighting and set designer Masha Tsimiring will transport audiences into the distant future, replete with rows of hydroponically grown plants. Philadelphia’s own Rebecca Kanach will transform fuselage material into Elizabethan collars and corsets.
This premise has allowed the company to explore big ideas: how is humanity best expressed? Through who we are or what we can do? “Why do artists feel compelled to make new work?” asks Alice Yorke, also of Lightning Rod Special. “And more importantly, why do they continue to return to centuries-old texts when gifted with boundless imagination?”
Sheppard sums it up: “When we peer into the future, we are always, inevitably, examining something from our past.”
Lightning Rod Special and Strange Attractor called Sans Everything
February 9 | 8:00pm
February 10 | 8:00pm & 10:30pm
February 11 | 2:00pm & 8:00pm
FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia PA 19106
Tickets: $20 | $14 for Members | $15 for students/under-25 |Special Discount rate for PhiladelphiaDANCE.org Members
Call 215-413-1318 or visit to purchase tickets.
Original Concept/Consultant Aram Aghazarian
Outside Eye/Creator Rebecca Noon
Performers/Creators Roblin Gray Davis, Jed Hancock-Brainerd, Katie Gould, Jennifer Kidwell, Mason Rosenthal, Scott Sheppard, Clara Weishahn, Alice Yorke
Photos: Johanna Austin
- Ephemerality: Dances In Time – a showcase for dance works created by Muhlenberg College student and faculty choreographers, April 16-18. - April 11, 2021
- Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series presents nia love- UnderCurrents, April 3 - March 31, 2021
- The Annenberg Center Presents Rennie Harris Puremovement in a Livestreamed Performance, April 1 - March 22, 2021