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Philadelphia Live Arts Announces Scratch Night

By: Dec. 21, 2011
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Philadelphia Live Arts announces the launch of Scratch Night as part of the organization's year-round programming at the Live Arts Brewery (LAB). Beginning on Jan. 12, Scratch Night is a monthly salon designed to foster the social, interactive and accessible qualities of art-making while investing in artists' creation of new works of dance, theater or cross-genre performance. Funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia will underwrite the first two seasons of the program, which will run annually from October through May.

The first event on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. will feature LAB Fellow Justin Jain and playwright and performance artist Jeffrey Stanley. Jain, of The Berserker Residents, will present brief excerpts of his in-progress work Bedtime Stories for Special Boys. As part of his LAB Fellowship research, this theatrical piece explores gay male identity through the ensemble's personal narratives, children's fairy tales and audience interaction. This showing will be used as an experiment to investigate some of the more audience participatory moments created in the studio. Collaborators/co-creators on the project are: Thomas Choinacky, James Ijames, John Jarboe, Scott McPheeters and Steve Pacek.

Stanley will present a portion of his 2011 Philly Fringe show Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead as he continues to develop it for planned productions in Philadelphia and New York City later this season. This autobiographical solo show is a dark comedy about alcoholism, family and contacting the dead that features a supernatural element and audience participation.

Scratch Night invites audiences into the artistic process and plays a key role for artists who are testing, experimenting and building new ideas. Derived from its predecessor the Live Arts 2nd Thursday Series, Scratch Night builds upon the core concept that candid audience feedback offers artists valuable insight as they work to develop new performance-based work. Artists will show brief segments of newly developed material, and audiences will offer feedback directly through a moderated talk-back, as well as anonymously by sharing their thoughts via a survey. At the close of the season in May, nine Scratch artists will be asked to submit proposals for the LAB Fellowship program, from which one candidate will be selected by Live Arts programming staff. Knight Foundation support will underwrite two LAB Fellows over the course of the next two seasons.

Upcoming Scratch Nights
All Scratch Nights are held at the Live Arts Studio, 919 North 5th St., Philadelphia, PA 19123. Admission is free, however advance reservations are encouraged by RSVP'ing online at or calling (215) 413-9006.

Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. – Justin Jain and Jeffrey Stanley
Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. – artists TBA
Thursday, Mar. 8 at 7 p.m. – artists TBA
Thursday, Apr.12 at 7 p.m. – artists TBA
Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. – artists TBA

About the Live Arts Brewery
The Live Arts Festival launched the Live Arts Brewery in 2009, further expanding and enhancing the Festival's mission to support the development of new work by selected local artists, while simultaneously providing the organization with a year-round presence in the cultural landscape of Philadelphia. The initiative grew out of an emerging need in Philadelphia's artist community for dedicated resources supporting the research and development of new live performance work. The LAB is currently in its second year of a two-year pilot program funded in part by a multi-year grant from the Kresge Foundation. Under the leadership of Director Craig Peterson, the LAB facilitates multiple programmatic initiatives designed to meet the needs of working artists.

About the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe
The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival features performances by renowned contemporary performing artists from the U.S. and around the world who are selected and invited to the Festival by Producing Director, Nick Stuccio. The Philly Fringe is an unfiltered Festival, where new and established artists of all kinds present their own work, free of a selection process. Together, the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe establish Philadelphia as a city bursting with wild creativity, bringing audiences sixteen days of the most stimulating, provocative new art being created in Philadelphia, across the U.S., and around the world. The 2012 Festival will be held Sept. 7 – 22. Visit for more information.

About Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. Knight believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. Now in its second year, the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia is a three-year, $9 million community-wide contest seeking the most innovative ideas in the arts to engage and enrich Philadelphia's communities. For more, visit and


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