WeftWorks Examines How Technology and Consumer Culture Affect Identity, Relationships, and the Environment

Dance theater company WeftWorks returns to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival with Before/After, a brand new show featuring costumes, props, and puppet creatures made out of discarded objects and repurposed packaging materials. The production is divided into two parts. The first, Before/, explores how our hyper-connected, on-demand culture impacts our relationship to self, others, & nature. Why, when anything can be acquired with a click, do we still feel empty? The second part, /After, imagines the resurgence of nature in a post-industrial world— where humans have either evolved into new forms, or have become extinct.

The cast includes dancers Caitlin Green, Shizu Homma, Olivia Wood, and Neimyiah Whittley-Jones as well as theater artist Rebecca Love. The production also features video by filmmaker Chris Hallock. Artistic Director and fiber artist Sarah Carr has transformed bubble wrap, plastic bags, discarded water bottles, and other repurposed materials into costumes and creatures, including a bird with an eight-foot wing span and a starfish-like puppet that requires five people to operate! The emphasis on reclaimed materials is meant to provide a visual account of the environmental cost of consumerism, but also shows how, with creativity and ingenuity, a new world can be constructed from the things we thoughtlessly discard.

Before/After is presented as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, a citywide celebration of innovation and creativity in contemporary performance. Show times are Saturday, September 15 at 7 PM and 9 PM, and Sunday, September 16 at 2 PM and 7 PM. All performances take place at the CHI Movement Arts Center in South Philadelphia, on South 9th Street between Wharton and Reed (near Pat’s and Geno’s). Tickets are available through FringeArts, and can be purchased at this link, http://fringearts.com/event/beforeafter or by calling (215) 413- 1318.