After the success of School Play in 2017 Tribe of Fools is embarking on their second one-person show. This time Tribe of Fools is teaming up with Barrymore nominated director Brenna Geffers to tell the story of the often ignored 13th apostle, Mary Magdalene.
The play is set in cave turned temple where Mary Magdalene, played by Colleen Hughes, speaks to devotees about her experience as an apostle through the lens of being the only woman in the group. The play pulls material from the Gnostic gospels, the gospel of Mary Magdalene and the gospel of Judas Iscariot. The play explores themes of the individual vs the institution, spirituality vs dogma and re-examines popular stories from the Bible with details that are excluded from popular cannon; including the idea that Judas’ “betrayal” of Jesus was not treachery but an act planned by Jesus himself and misunderstood by history. The play goes on to explore other stories omitted by a church that excluded women and the influence of women for centuries.
Colleen Hughes said that creating the piece is very personal for her.
“I was fascinated by how different this woman was from the narrative I knew of her. The “re-branding” of Mary Magdalene was carefully designed by a culture afraid of a woman with power. The term “whore” is used as an epithet by those who feel threatened by female sexuality and women’s agency over their own bodies. The term “penitent” shifts the image we see of Mary – no longer is she a spiritual leader with throngs of followers sitting at her feet as she gives her sermons, now she is a woman on her knees. This play is an attempt to give voice again to a complex and compelling woman pushed to the side of history for two millennia.”
Gluck said that writing the piece was very important and timely.
“What feels most urgent to me about doing this piece is that we are living in a moment when women are vehemently asserting the right to tell their own stories. Every day we’re seeing women refuse to let the patriarchy continue to define them or their experience in the way that it has for thousands of years. Mary Magdalene is a woman whose story has been rewritten by one of the most powerful patriarchal forces in the history of the world, but the Magdalene we’ve imagined will no longer be silenced or talked over or interrupted.”
Geffers stated that the reason for exploring this character is because Mary Magdalene is so often portrayed as a flawed or fallen character by male historians.
“I am really interested in exploring complex female characters right now: The ones that don’t fall easily into boxes, who don’t fall in love, who don’t fall victim to the societies around them. So exploring the narrative around one of our culture’s most iconic “fallen women” is exciting for me. I want to see women on stage who are not nice, who are not charming, who have flaws and who are hashing out their personal inconsistencies. That means that sometimes we have to make the kind of characters we want to see.”
The creative team for Magdalene is Brenna Geffers, Rachel Gluck and Colleen Hughes. Brenna Geffers will direct, Rachel Gluck is the playwright and Colleen Hughes the solo performer. Geffers , a very accomplished director, has been Barrymore nominated for Outstanding Director, Outstanding Choreography and has been named Best Director by the Philadelphia Critics Choice. Rachel Gluck is a company member of Curio Theatre Company. Rachel’s play Antagonyms was produced by Curio Theatre Company as part of their 2016/2017 Season. Colleen Hughes is a Philadelphia based actor. She is a company member of Curio Theatre Company and has worked previously with Tribe of Fools in their Barrymore award winning play Antihero. Colleen has also worked with The Wilma, EgoPo, Enchantment Theatre Company and The Lantern.
Doug Greene will be designing the set. Angela Coleman will design lights. Brenna Geffers will design sound and Colleen Hughes and Brenna Geffers will design costumes.
About Brenna Geffers Brenna Geffers is a theater-maker and director based in Philadelphia. She has been nominated for Oustanding Direction, Oustanding Choreography, and Outstanding New Play under the Barrymore Awards and has been named Best Director by the Philadelphia Critics’ Choice. She has created many new works for theater, opera, and museums like her immersive choose-your-own-adventure opera, Shadow House. She also creates highly dynamic and stylized versions of classic texts like Machinal and Marat/Sade, as well as contemporary pieces like Knives in Hens and Lulu’s Golden Shoes.
Brenna is a founding member of Die-Cast , a theater group dedicated to creating work for non-traditional spaces. She has been an Artist-In-Residence at the historic Powel House in Philadelphia and a member of the Philadelphia Opera Collective. She has been part of the artistic teams for Theatre Exile, EgoPo Classic Theater, Flashpoint Theatre, Rebel Theater in NYC and more.
About Colleen Hughes: Colleen is a Philadelphia-based actor and movement artist. After training at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC and receiving her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she came to Philly where she has worked with companies including the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Simpatico Theatre Project, Tribe of Fools, EgoPo Classic Theatre, Swim Pony Performing Arts, Commonwealth Classic Theatre, Plays & Players, Iron Age Theatre, and the Wilma. In addition to working locally, Colleen has also traveled extensively with Enchantment Theatre Company on several national tours. She is a company member at Curio Theatre Company. She is most interested in collaborative, ensemble-based work and she specializes in physical theatre.
About Rachel Gluck Rachel Gluck is a Philadelphia based theatre artist. Her play “Antagonyms” was produced last season at Curio theatre company. Rachel is also a company member at Curio where she has performed in many productions. Most recently she appeared as Lenny in “Crimes Of The Heart.”
About Tribe of Fools Tribe of Fools is a physical theatre company formed at The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and has been creating original work in Philadelphia since 2003. The company began in Germantown in 2003 and moved to South Philly in 2004. Their signature physical stylization has earned them the titles of “stylish” and “signature sweet badass” and “A true theatrical powerhouse.”
In fourteen years Tribe of Fools has created fifteen original pieces including; Bedlam!, Echo, Fool, The Slightly Brown Girl, Armageddon at the Mushroom Village (which Phawker.com said “danced it’s way through bitterness and despair to and end that makes Pink Floyd’s wall look like Steamboat Willie”), Dracula and Heavy Metal Dance Fag (which was hailed as “A raw-talking, blood pumping, street smart and altogether charming piece” by the Philadelphia Inquirer), Shut Your Wormhole, the “Bold Winner” Antihero, the “badass and sweet” Two Street, Zombies… with Guns! and “Fishtown – A Hipster Noir” and School Play. Tribe of Fools has also produced nine cabarets, Tribe of Fools is known for their signature physical style of stage movement and recently won their first Barrymore for Outstanding Choreography for Antihero.
Both Terry Brennan or Colleen Hughes are available for interviews. To schedule an interview with either of them you can call Terry Brennan at 215-284-1178 or reach him by email at email@example.com.
For Tickets: http://tribeoffools.org
About the Show
For more information go to http://tribeoffools.org
- Thursday, April 5, 2018 7pm
- Friday, April 6, 2018 7pm
- Saturday, April 7, 2018 7pmpm
- Sunday, April 8, 2018 2pm
- Monday, April 9, 2018 7pm
- Friday, April 13, 2018 7pm
- Saturday, April 14, 2018 7pm
- Sunday, April 15, 2018 2pm
- Monday, April 16, 2018 7pm
- Friday, April 20, 2018 7pm
- Saturday, April 21, 2018 7pm
- Sunday, April 22, 2018 2pm
Second Stage at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St.
$15 – $20