A Celebration of Black History In Norristown
On June 16th Iron Age Theatre and the Norristown NAACP will celebrate the freeing of the slaves in a theatrically dynamic way. The fifth Norristown Juneteenth event will take guests on a walking tour of downtown Norristown with a series of stops where professional actors from the region will present scenes, monologues or historical documents accenting the theme of freedom and slavery.
The hour long tours begin at Five Saints Distillery at 129 E. Main Street in Norristown from 10:00 am to 3:40 pm with a tour leaving every 20 minutes. This free event will include a walking tour led by members of the Norristown NAACP. Along the tour route, NAACP guides will highlight additional prominent locations of culture, history, and community that are not directly part of the tour. It is recommended that visitors reserve a time slot.
Figures like Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Ida B. Wells, and Sekou Sundiata will be brought to life. The production has met with audience and critical acclaim each year.
Check Out or Past VIRTUAL Juneteenth Tours
TO MY UNBORN CHILD:
A LOVE LETTER FROM FRED HAMPTON
by Richard Bradford
featuring Richard Bradford as Fred Hampton
Directed by John Doyle
AVAILABLE FOR TOURS
On the eve of the 48th anniversary of Fred Hampton's murder by Chicago Police, Iron Age Theatre remounts the acclaimed 2017 Fringe production of Richard Bradford's To My Unborn Child, A Love Letter from Fred Hampton. Then one man show freezes time on the horrible morning of December 4, 1969 and gives Chairman Fred an hour to share his ideas, passion and dreams with a contemporary audience.
Join us on December 3, to remember the founder of the Rainbow Coalition, a revolutionary and dreamer who stood for all of the people power ideals of the Black Panther Party.
Fred Hampton, Black Panther, Founder of the Rainbow Coalition and victim of police violence. Hampton was murdered at 21 in his home by Chicago police as he lay next to his pregnant lover. Iron Age Theatre freezes a moment in time so that Hampton can share his unique vision, his hope-filled dreams and his brilliant analysis of American issues of race, economic justice, and human dignity with his son. This play is part of the Iron Age Theatre Radical Thinkers stable of original works. Written by Iron Age Theatre core member, this world premiere will challenge and inspire.
/ 75 minutes /
Community Education Center 3500 Lancaster Ave Philadelphia
OUR THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Iron Age Theatre is daring to go theatrically where no one else will.
Iron Age Theatre has built their reputation the old fashioned way: hard work, great plays, dazzling risks. Defying the odds on both new theatrical venues and new and underappreciated classic scripts, the company consistently receives critical praise for their work.
Iron Age Theatre is entering its second decade and we'd like to invite you to journey with us as we embark on an ambitious growth plan while staying true to the vision that has drawn so many people excited about our unique brand of theatre.
The plays we choose challenge actors and audiences emotionally and intellectually. The company's commitment to high production values, daring direction and top quality actors create powerful, profound, life-changing theatre in an arts world that often plays it safe.
With non-profit status, we can now offer you more than just a potent experience as an audience member. You can actively help the company�s mission to create life-altering art, enhancing not only your experience, but other people's as well.
If you are interested, please contact us to get a copy of our brochure detailing donor levels all of which offer federal tax benefits.
Our Mission and Vision
Iron Age Theatre makes sense of history in context and provides a safe space for audience and actor to encounter radical ideas. Iron Age dedicates itself to work created collaboratively and organically focused on the human condition and social justice.
Iron Age Theatre focuses on four main facets of the theatrical experience.
Organic, improvisational based acting
Theatrical production values
Iron Age Theater in a collaborative company. John Doyle and Randall Wise act as a directing team. They exchange ideas, compare intentions and each explore facets of the production. Both assign improvs and both construct and design the set and lights. The actors, composers, the tech crew and trusted members of the iron age community all participate in the development of the play. Ultimately these sometimes disparate ideas are focused through the two directors.
Like all theater, production begins with a read through. The actors each read their parts in a continuous fashion that the directors can get an image of the performers in their roles. This usually includes a short discussion of some of the major thematic issues of the play and some basic character descriptions.
Ultimately one of the core values of Iron Age Theatre is an in-depth analysis of the script. This is done both with the simple attempt to understand author intention but ultimately that is only partially valuable. Considering Rosenblatts Transactional approach to reading permits a director to expand the theatrical potential of any play. The Transactional approach to reading stated that a novel truly exists between the actual written word and the perception or experience of that word by the reader. This makes it possible for different people to have vastly different experiences of a novel in a deeply persona way. It broadens the parameters of the written word but do not destroy all boundaries.
Obviously this applies to theater. All productions in fact almost the entire rehearsal process is a relationship between the actor, the text and the "audience" even if that audience if simply the director. This permits the actors to explore character and idea with great freedom. It also provides the directors more latitude to explore oddities in the text. As directors, Iron Age Theater delves into the words on the page trying to discover the way the puzzle fits together. Often a single word as in "bourbon" in Simpatico or an empty box in Seventy Scenes of Halloween can provide new and dynamic understandings of the script. Even the experience of the actors and their reading of the text colors the overall understanding. Just as any performance can be recreated by the audience and actors and tech so can any discovery in the rehearsal process.
There is usually a week gap between the read through and the first rehearsal during which the directors fine tune their ideas and look for the most fitting way to direct the actors in the play.
The early rehearsal process is entirely improv based. Using a variety of techniques the directors create prior history for the actors, develop emotional or physical attributes for the characters, develop relationships between the actors and their characters, and delve into the subtext of the play. In many cases the actors are forced to be flexible enough to adjust to drastically new direction rapidly.
Each of these rehearsals concludes with some work on the text to bring the improvs to a manifest place.
This improv-based work begins to wane after two or three weeks at which time the scenes are blocked and the play begins to run. There is a focus here on working the scenes for specific purposes, both internally for the actor and externally for the productions needs. Eventually the play is run.
During this time, the production elements that have been developed are integrated into the rehearsals. Usually this includes, an intensive sound plot, music and sound effects, special lighting and set. Props from the improv process may be integrated into costumes of the set. tech weekend for Iron Age is more like final Dress rehearsal. the lights, set and sound are usually in place at that time. they have been slowly and painlessly integrated throughout the last two weeks of rehearsal. Since Iron Age does most of these technical jobs themselves, the reality of the process in brought to life by their own hands.
2016-2017 Featuring: A Runaway, A Soldier, and a Snowball Fight, 2016 Poe Festival
2015-2016 Featuring: A Great War, Dogfall
2014-2015 Hiatus Year
2013-2014 Featuring: Found Fringe, A Lesson Before Dying, Up From the Ashes, Buried Child, The Toughest Boy in Philadelphia
2012-2013 Featuring: Voices of a People's History, Fringe Wraiths, Mana, Moby Dick Rehearsed, and A Brilliant Noise
2011-2012 Featuring: Maroons, Fool for Love, Christie in Love, Mainac Magee Day, Buridan's Ass
2010-2011 Featuring: Molumby's Million, The Emperor Jones and Red Emma
2009-2010 Featuring: The Life and John Henry and The Rear Column
2008-2009 Featuring: Waiting for the Ship from Delos, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Citizen Paine and Birdy
2007-2008 Featuring: Waiting for Godot and Lonesome West
2006-2007 Featuring: Cripple of Innishmaan and Fathers and Sons
2005-2006 Featuring: Shakesploitation, Boys in Autumn and A Skull in Connemara
2004-2005 Featuring: Elephant Man, Sky Girls, Marx in Soho, and The Interrogation of Nathan Hale
2003-2004 Featuring: Diviners and Moon for the Misbegotten
2002-2003 Featuring: Dutchman, Of Mice and Men and Terra Nova
2001-2002 Featuring: Coming of the Hurricane and Curse of the Starving Class
2000-2001 Featuring: Luther and Night of the Iguana
1999-2000 Featuring: Heaven Can Wait and Seventy Scenes of Halloween
1998-1999 Featuring: Simpatico and One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
1997-1998 Featuring: Sound of a Voice, Requiem for a Heavyweight and The Interrogation of Nathan Hale
1995-1997 Featuring: The Speed of Darkness and TUNNEL
Early Work Featuring: The Tooth of Crime, Wedding on the Eiffel Tower, and Storytraveler