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Temple Theater to Present GROUP PROJECT in September

The play itself features a group of high school students, abandoned by adult supervision, who find themselves faced with a test they feel doomed to fail.

Temple Theater to Present GROUP PROJECT in September

School is supposed to teach you how to solve the problems of the future -- but what if the problem is that you want to solve for something new? GROUP PROJECT is a new work written and directed by Lindsay Goss in collaboration with a cohort of Temple University theater students. The play itself features a group of high school students, abandoned by adult supervision, who find themselves faced with a test they feel doomed to fail. Do they have what it takes to pass? What happens if they don't?

GROUP PROJECT will be performed live and in person from September 8 to 18, 2022, at The Randall Theater, 2020 N. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA. This production is a part of the 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased through this ticketing link.

To create this new work, Goss asked cast members questions about how they imagine the future and their place in it. Their answers shaped her thought process, and though Goss says she tends not to make work that is explicitly "about" specific issues, for this piece she was interested in balancing that inclination against her students' clear desire for a play that felt relevant, engaged and urgently targeted at the present moment. "I wanted to honor both impulses," Goss says, "This play explores and depicts the intense contradiction of trying to live in the present when you have no idea what the future will look like, and are being told, more or less, to keep calm and carry on."

Goss pulled from multiple references and inspirations to create GROUP PROJECT, including iconic portrayals of high school students in films such as Dead Poets Society and the John Hughes canon, speeches given by young people like environmental activist Greta Thunberg, and the Spanish Golden Age play Fuenteovejuna, by Lope De Vega, which depicts a collective uprising of peasants against their abusive ruler. "I had a sense that this might find its way in," Goss shares about the latter play, "though for a while it seemed like it wouldn't. And then it did, but not quite in the way I'd expected!"

One goal of GROUP PROJECT for Goss is to work through how society might navigate conditions of crisis. Director Goss says the piece is exploring "a world occupied by young people that is supposed to be ordered, safe and functional - but the adults are missing or incompetent or just not taking responsibility." Does theater offer a good model for determining and prioritizing needs? Says Goss, "everybody seems to hate group projects, but that is literally what theater is, and it's literally what we'll have to do if we want to address any of the crises facing us today."

Director Lindsay Goss is a theater historian, performance theorist and theater artist. Her work explores how popular discourses of authenticity and identity rely upon historical anxieties about the actor in proximity to politics, and how these anxieties shape the fields of theater history, activism and contemporary performance. Her current manuscript focuses on the theatrical tactics civilians and soldiers deployed in building a GI movement against the Vietnam War (including the FTA, an anti-war variety show led by Jane Fonda) and argues for a reassessment of the role of performance and spectatorship in theorizing contemporary activist movements. Her scholarly work has appeared in TDR, Contemporary Theatre Review, Performance Research and Afterimage. As a director, actor and teaching artist, she has worked with companies in Minneapolis and St. Paul; New York; and Providence, Rhode Island. More recently, her devised work has appeared in Abu Dhabi and London. She directed the world premiere of Marisela Treviño Orta's play Somewhere at Temple in the spring of 2020. Lindsay earned her PhD in Theater and Performance Studies from Brown University and her BA in English Literature from Macalester College.

Temple Theaters' GROUP PROJECT is the first show of Temple Theaters' 2022-23 season, and is a part of the 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. All evening performances (Thurs-Sat) are at 7:30 pm, with 2 pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday. ASL interpretation will be offered for the evening performance on Saturday, September 17. Tickets can be purchased on the Fringe Festival website.

Temple University is currently hosting events in compliance with regional, city-wide and CDC guidelines, and is following the city of Philadelphia's Aug. 13, 2021 mandate requiring full vaccination at higher education institutions for all students, staff, faculty and contractors (unless specifically exempt). We encourage audience members to be masked, and recommend audiences be prepared for the possibility of mandatory masking if protocols change. Visit the university's COVID-19 Resource Hub, or check Temple Theaters' website or social media accounts for updates before attending your performance.

Production Team

Director: Lindsay Goss

Scenic Designer: Eliot Curtis

Costume Designer: Rachael Linker

Lighting Designer: Maddy Connors

Sound Designer: Tanner Richardett

Stage Manager: Erin McHugh

Cast

Jackson Adams, Jaylyn Anderson, Grace Browning, Devon Duffy, John Fiorvanti, Nia Golden, Alé La Paz, Madelin Madamba, James Maloney, Taryn Murphy, Zoe Necowitz, Bari Secondino, Talia Speak


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