Art Installation Opening: September 2, 5pm

The divas are those fleshy things, reclining so vogue-ishly, stalking so deliberately. Alternately haunting and hunting the space between the divan center and the fridges on the perimeter, the divas have ritualized their movement and words into an iconic and metaphysical plane. DIVA DIVAN is the environment proposed by the evolving group of 12 writers, 12 performers, and 12 visual artists working collaboratively and pseudonymously under the name Cult 12. In this work-in-progress art installation and butoh inspired performance four divas inhabit the juncture of text, movement, and art object in the "FridgeHenge" of five refrigerators.


Fringe festivals are a vital cultural phenomenon in the cities where they exist. But does the “fringe” really still exist? Is there still a “fringe artist” in today’s world of ubiquitous 15 minutes of fame? The Philly Fringe has successfully marketed itself in a few years into the Live Arts Festival, with the fringe portion of the festival becoming a showcase for Live Arts. The same phenomenon holds true for the fringe festivals of New York and elsewhere: artists using the fringe festivals to market their work into more mainstream venues.

FridgeFest was conceived both as tongue-in-cheek fun and as a reaction agianst the many fringe festival artists and producers harboring aspirations to mainstream acceptance. The mise-en-scene of FridgeFest is an art installation. Visual artists install and display their work in refrigerators, that icon of capitalism and clean white cube that artificially preserves human nourishment. Aspiring to capture the zeitgeist of fringe festivals, FridgeFest is a fringe of the fringe. In ticket price and open access, we want to present a counter-proposal to both artist and audience alike.

FridgeFest is an ongoing cross-disciplinary project which began in 1996. Since that time, FridgeFest has been performed/exhibited from New York to New Zealand; on the street, in theatres, and in galleries. At the core of the Philadelphia incarnation of FridgeFest is DIVA DIVAN/Cult 12: 12 Writers, 12 Artists, 12 Performers, an evolving collective of visual artists, performers and writers working collaboratively and pseudonymously. The Philadelphia FridgeFest marks our curatorial debut. We will present 10+ shows under one tent recalling the days of the original fringe performance... the American Sideshow & the Ten-in-One Show.

We choose to engage in multidisciplinary practices because cross-pollination between media is the most immediately engaging and best-suited means to pose urgent questions. These questions concern what belongs to the realm of art and what to the realm of popular culture, intersecting with issues of identity, class, gender, global economy, censorship and the environment. From “high” to “low,” we are interested in culture jamming.

We choose to work pseudonymously because names serve as a jumping-off point conceptually, and further our exploration of identity, brand, name and biography, and how these elements frame the performance and/or art.

But what is the work? Is it performance? Conceptual art? Installation? Spectacle? Critical commentary on capitalism and desire? Yes, all of these.

It’s Cooler than the Fringe

10+ shows under one tent
“Recalling the days of the original fringe performance…
the American Sideshow and the Ten-in-One Show.”

September 2 through 10, 2005

[contact: ben@]


Friday, Sep. 2
5:00 pm - Fridgefest opening reception with Wild Mother Medicine
6:30 pm - DIVA DIVAN
7:15 pm - Tumbling Tumbleweed
8:00 pm - Misshapen Jack, the Nebraskan Hunchback
9:00 pm - StorySLAM!
10:30 pm - Automat

Saturday, Sep. 3
2:00 pm - Chosen Dance Company
2:30 pm - Tumbling Tumbleweed
3:00 pm - Intolerance
4:00 pm - Misshapen Jack, the Nebraskan Hunchback

Saturday, Sep. 10
6:30 pm - Interlude with Kurt Weill
7:30 pm - MY SIN
9:00 pm - Fly By Night plus Death Plays
Check for updates

Spirit Wind Performance Space
213 New Street (behind the Painted Bride), Philadelphia

One admission price: $15
Ticket reserves seat for one show. Ticket stub then serves as rush ticket
for free admission to all other shows, beginning 10 minutes prior to curtain.

INFORMATION: or 215-888-0723

Ben Trovato 215-888-0723

(for full descriptions, go to

Misshapen Jack, the Nebraskan Hunchback [contact: travsd1965@y] -- A carnival hawker in top hat, cutaway, patriotic tie, and square black mustache presents his case against all hunchbacks in Nebraska names Jack. His premise is simple, He's been done wrong three times by three such people, others like them can be no better, and he means to eradicate them all. He begins with a "hunch that things aren't quite right," moves on to a couple of songs, fills in with a limp lecture on the spine, and comes full circle when he discovers that to kill all of the hunchbacks in Nebraska named Jack he might also have to murder the one person who more than once saved his life. Writer/performer Trav S.D. (Travis Stewart) has published over 200 articles in such publications as The Village Voice, American Theatre, Time Out NY, Reason and many others. Two dozen of his plays have been produced at nearly every venue south of 14th Street in NYC and in half a dozen American cities.

Chosen Dance Company [contact: clive@chose] -- Chosen will present some new works in it's repertory that offer the high caliber dancing that Hip-Hop is known for as well as some older ones that highlight the focus and discipline of movement including the "Egyptian Ballet", which premiered at the Fringe Festival under the Bumpin' Big Top in 03' and received a standing ovation. Chosen Dance Company is a Christian based Hip-Hop dance company whose mission is to present concert works with Love in mind. Generally Hip-Hop is known for it's gangsta mentality, clever yet offensive lyrical content and thumpin' beats. Now imagine that you were a Hip-Hop artist performing for an audience that idolized and imitated what you did. Put simply, Chosen is Hip-Hop with a conscience. We focus on the dance that is Hip-Hop and use it in a way audiences of all ages, ethnicities, genders and culture can feel comfortable.

Intolerance [contact: tadkato@] -- In his improvisational dance, West Virginia resident, Japan nativeTadashi Kato mixes modern dance, Middle Eastern and Persian dance, African dance, Butoh and mime movements. The theme is the suffering and pain associated with world problems that include, but are not limited to, environmental destruction, exploitation of people in weaker position, and war. Tadashi Kato is a contemporary dancer who has studied, among other disciplines, Japanese sword dance, traditional style swordsmanship, Ballet, Modern Dance, Break Dance, Central Asian Dance, Persian Dance, Middle Eastern Dance, Butoh, Eurythmy, Mime, and various forms of martial arts.

Interlude with Kurt Weill [contact: hazelkate67@] -- Favorites by Kurt Weill in English, French and German, interpreted by two lovely sopranos and a one-woman orchestra, starring Kate Quinn, Nancy Patton and Bea Howlett.

MY SIN [contact: TTtutu@] -- Inspired by Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht’s exploration of the seven deadly sins, MY SIN probes alarming parallels between early 1930’s Germany and George Bush’s America, employing original and pirated texts, live music and cheap wigs. Provoked by the current obsession with “family values,” MY SIN delves into the ways that morality is defined for political as well as religious ends. The Lovely and Talented Miss Toni Silver is a performance artist, member of the multi-media collective Temporary/Industrial Arts. Her collaborations with T/IA include PATRIOT ACT and TIME-O-RAMA and solo works include BOOBY TRAPS EVERYWHERE, LEAVE HER TO BEAVER, and A CAB IS CHEAPER THAN A FUNERAL, which premiered at the 1999 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Toni’s work has been presented in such venues as the American Livingroom series at HERE, 45 Bleecker, St. Mark’s Theatre, and Chashama in New York, and the Brick Playhouse, Adrienne Theater and Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia.

Fly By Night [contact: nick@] -- The 24-hour play-producing marathon: 6 writers, 6 directors, 18 actors, 24 hours and it’s showtime!

Tumbling Tumbleweed [contact: remrem@ -- If a tumbleweed rolled into a cowboy’s shirt and pants, and the wind blew a hat on top of it and that assembled cowboy were to manage its way down the street, get into a fight, fall in love or maybe die… A dance piece by Irem Calikusu and John Schneider, music by Pete List.

StorySLAM! [contact: wildmoth@or 215-525-1252] -- A competitive storytelling event, like a poetry slam only with stories, as conceived by New York’s Nyorican Poet’s Cafe. Theme: Refrigerator Moments. If we are what we eat then the refrigerator is the grand repository of our dreams of who we will become. Every fridge is the mini museum of natural history of those who use it. Refrigerators are a subject that goes straight to the heart (and stomach) of the human condition. Share with us your stories about your relationship with your refrigerator and the food that is or isn't inside. First prize: $25 gift certificate from Whole Foods.

Automat [contact: ben@] w/ DJ Operant77. An evening of new and classic car crash music (post punk, new wave, electro, tech).