Doggie Hamlet will herd audiences to the Belmont Plateau June 3 and 4

The one-of-a-kind production of the Kimmel Center’s Doggie Hamlet will herd audiences to the Belmont Plateau June 3 and 4, 2018 during the 2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) where they will be met with hay bail seating for what The Dartmouth calls “a spectacle combining dance, theater and sheepherding.” From choreographer and performance artist Ann Carlson, Doggie Hamlet was inspired by The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by author David Wroblewski. Performed by dancers, an American Sign Language interpreter, five performers, herding dogs, and a flock of sheep, Carlson explores sentiments such as instinct, sentience, attachment, and loss.

“The programming offered as part of the 2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts takes audiences beyond our Campus, allowing them to experience art in creative and unique spaces,” said Anne Ewers, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “Although not the typical scene for a theatrical show, the Belmont Plateau is the perfect setting for this unbelievably creative performance. An added plus: audiences will get to enjoy breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline.”

This outdoor performance weaves dance, music, visual, and theatrical elements with aspects of competitive sheep herding trials. The Center for the Art of Performance calls it a work that “defies categorization.” The 70-minute production, which unfolds at dusk, lives in both the symbolic and the real world. Doggie Hamlet recalls the bucolic impression of a landscape painting or a 3D pastoral poem. The sheep, the dogs, the human performers, and the earth’s surface are at once performing as themselves and as living symbols in this work and asks us relevant questions of our time: What does it mean to follow? What is instinct, and how does that differ from a reaction?


DOGGIE HAMLET (Philadelphia Premiere)
Belmont Plateau
June 3, 2018, 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
June 4, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now and start at $20.00. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883.