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Shakespeare in Clark Park Presents GERMANTOWN PLAYS PERICLES

An interactive, all-ages fair and play co-created by the Germantown Community.

Shakespeare in Clark Park Presents GERMANTOWN PLAYS PERICLES

This summer, Shakespeare in Clark Park is thrilled to bring live theater back to not one, but three parks! August 28 & 29 will be the Germantown production, Germantown Plays Pericles.

Festivities in Vernon Park begin at 5:30pm each evening with a fair including interactive art installations, games, resource tables, a mutual aid station, reunion photo booth, drumming, and more. The evening culminates with an original 30-minute play at 7pm that refracts Shakespeare's PERICLES through a poetic story which centers Black Germantown and the community's fight against gentrification. This event is free and open to the public.

"We invite the audience to perambulate through Vernon Perk and interact with nine 'islands.' Each is reflective of a narrative moment in PERICLES and embodied in a 100% contemporary Germantown way," says Seema Sueko, director of the fair and play. Sueko utilized consensus organizing processes to co-conceive the project through conversations with over 30 individuals and organizations based in Germantown. "PERICLES begins with a riddle, thus you will find an 'Island of Questions,' which features riddles of Germantown in our fair. There's a tournament in PERICLES, you'll find an Island of Play at our fair with breakdancing, a spades table, and lawn games. We've all experienced profound loss and grief over the past year and years. Our 'Island of Remembrance' offers a message-in-a-bottle interactive art installation for people to grieve, remember, honor, and/or release," Sueko continued.

The culminating play (written by Angela Bey) synthesizes the ideas that surfaced in co-creator meetings. "Our play centers Black Germantown, balancing activism and education with joy, hope, humor, and imagination. One of our community co-creators said, 'Shakespeare is hip-hop, and so is our Pericles.'"

The Germantown Co-Creators are: Sydney Devereoux, Naomi Hirsch, Lawanda Horton Sauter, Victor Jackson, Anthony P. Kamani, Marie-Monique Marthol, Miles Orion Butler, Rebecca Segers, Karen Smith, Crossroads Women's Center, Friends of Vernon Park, Germantown Residents for Economic Alternatives Together (GREAT), Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library, and Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.

Other artists featured in Germantown Plays Pericles include: Krista Nelson, Kevin Porter, Ron Simelaro, drummers Donna "Noize" Dorman, Michael Blount, and Ronald Carter; breakdancers Gregory "EZ-Greg" Bissell, Damon "Dinksworth" Holley, Nate "Bboy Nacho" Brooks, and Antwine "Twine" Freeman.

Additional Germantown organizations participating in the fair or providing in-kind support for the event include: Awbury Arboretum, The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry, Germantown Info Hub, Germantown Kitchen Garden, Germantown Life Enrichment Center, Living Well Theater, Mastery Pickett City Harvest Community Garden, and Ourchive215.

Shakespeare in Clark Park's home base production of PERICLES served as the company's launching point to reach out to the communities of Germantown and Kensington. The third show of SCP's summer season, Peril's Island, is a Kensington community creation spear-headed by director Sam Tower and lead writer Alexandra Espinoza premiering in Harrowgate Park August 13 - 15.

For more about all three shows, visit shakespeareinclarkpark.org.


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