Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Program Announces 2018 Residents And Grant Recipients

Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Program Announces 2018 Residents And Grant Recipients Each year, as a part of the Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Program, 1812 Productions hosts residencies for three female solo artists, providing them with essential time and space to continue development of original solo works. This year, 1812 Productions and the Advisory Board of the Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Program are pleased to award residencies to Folaranmi Afolayan, Pratima Agrawal, and Alexandra Tatarsky. The summer residencies will take place from Monday, July 9th through Sunday, July 15st.

Folaranmi Afolayan will work with collaborator Christina May on Diaspora Crossroads, which began its process at Louisiana State University. The child of an African American mother and Nigerian father, Afolayan explores the places where cultures intersect in the African Diaspora. Stepping into the shoes of two of her ancestors, Afolayan calls Diaspora Crossroads "performed genealogy," saying, "It is my hope that performing as my ancestors will lead me to a better understanding of their history and cultural specificity. In this piece, I meet my ancestors at the crossroads to help clear my cultural dissonance and the pressures from society to perform my Blackness."

Pratima Agrawal will work with collaborator Sarah Mitteldorf on an in-progress piece called Voided, a work inspired the life and death of Kaplana Chawala, the first Indian female astronaut in space. Chawala died in the 2003 explosion of the space shuttle Columbia. Agrawal looks at Chawala's legacy "...through the lens of racial representation and feminism," leading her to the questions, "What is it to exist in the world yet not exist in a community? What does it mean for our histories to become invisible after we're gone?"

Alexandra Tatarsky will work with collaborator Eva Steinmetz on a new work called SIGN FELT. Framed as an adaptation of Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, Tatarsky looks to the work as an example of what it means to "...tell the story of the self." She continues, "I hope to unpack how our sense of self is shaped by the narratives we've inherited about what it means to be a productive member of society." SIGN FELT is also the first piece of a literal life's work as Tatarsky plans to tackle the novel chronologically, crafting a new piece every four years until the entirety of Goethe's work is told. Now 28, Tatarsky will be 94 years old when she finishes SIGN FELT.

In addition to the summer residencies, individual artist grants are awarded annually through the Couple Extra Bucks Fund component of the Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Program. It is with pleasure that 1812 Productions and the Advisory Board of the Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Program award 2018 Couple Extra Bucks Fund grants to Jess Conda, Sarah Knittel, and Lee Minora.

Jess Conda will continue work on her rock cabaret Katerina!. Previously titled Cinematic Human, Conda brought this work to a 2017 summer residency at 1812 Productions. Katerina! is the story of Katerina Marmeladov, a pivotal and frequently overlooked character from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. The cabaret moves the character out of her written narrative and ultimately out of the book itself in a celebration of liberation and the unknown.

Sarah Knittel describes her work Nightmare Fuel as "...Saw 4 meets Motörhead meets Marcel Marceau mime." In blood, gore, and comedy, Knittel and audience take on shifting roles in a fight for the survival of the female form that is so often disappeared and ravaged in contemporary culture. Nightmare Fuel premiered at Good Good Comedy Theater and has also been shown at FringeArts' Scratch Night and headlined the Bechdel Test Fest Women's Comedy Festival.

Lee Minora's White Feminist tackles the varied meanings and double-edged relationship between whiteness and feminism, between privilege and gender. The show's central character, Becky Harlowe, is a well-intentioned white female talk show host who struggles with allyship while facing misogyny and sexism. A comedy for our times, White Feminist was developed while Minora was in residence at Wilma Theater and will be performed this fall at Edinburgh Fringe and Philadelphia Fringe festivals.

Program History
The Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Program was established in 2005 after the passing of Philadelphia theatre sensation, and self-proclaimed "six foot redhead amazon from hell whom all men desire," Jilline Ringle. Ms. Ringle was a mainstay in early 1812 Productions shows including Michael Ogborn's musical Box Office of the Damned, Always a Lady, which she co-created and performed with 1812 co-founder Jennifer Childs, and her original cabaret Mondo Mangia. Best known for her original solo works, Ms. Ringle combined traditional cabaret with a theatrical and comedic flair all her own to create solo events full of intelligence, laughter, and heart. It was through her solo work that she was able to fully develop her own unique artistic voice. Jilline was beloved by many communities and had several artistic homes including City Theatre in Pittsburgh where her cabarets ran for many seasons, the Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey where she premiered all of her work, and Philadelphia where she worked often at the Arden Theatre Company and 1812 Productions, receiving four Barrymore Award nominations for her work.

Company History
1812 Productions was founded in 1997 and is the only professional theater company in the country dedicated to comedy. 1812 Productions is the recipient of an honorary citation from the City of Philadelphia for outstanding work and commitment to the Philadelphia arts community. In 2010 and 2016, they were among a select group of regional theatre companies to receive a National Theatre Company grant from the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. Their education program, 1812 Outreach, has received multiple nominations and has twice been awarded the Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service. 1812 Productions' mission is to produce theatrical works of comedy and comedic works of theatre that explore and celebrate our sense of community, our history, and our humanity.



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