Human Interest Feature

By Caroline Willems, BABCPHL Coordinator and Junior at Temple University, Fox School of Business

This winter and spring, the BABCPHL will be especially involved with our creative and performing arts members. Throughout the next few months, we will partner with Inis Nua, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Tiny Dynamite to deliver events that are sure to enrich and entertain you. Each organization contributes to the Philadelphia region by hosting unique cultural events and opportunities for the community. These groups provide historic and current projects linking the US and the UK.

Inis Nua Theatre Company is a theatre company that connects the US and UK by performing British contemporary, provocative plays in Center City, Philadelphia. These plays demonstrate the modern culture of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England while being performed in the US. Inis Nua translates from Gaelic to mean new island. Inis Nua performed its first play in 2004 and has continued to grow each year since, showing 13 American premieres. Inis Nua distinguishes itself by taking new plays and combining the culture and traditions of Europe with modern and contemporary ideas. The company specializes in contemporary plays; reading series’; and “Pop Up Play in a Pub,” an exciting evening of Irish pie, beer, and a play in a pub. This year, the BABCPHL and Inis Nua are partnering for a special “Theatre Night” on February 22, 2018. Alan Harris’ production of Love, Lies & Taxidermy is a romantic comedy about growing up in small town Wales. The event will include a viewing of the play with food and drink. Afterward, the playwright will host a discussion. Click here to register.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) is internationally known for their collection of sculptures, painting, and works on paper. PAFA is also an exclusive art school. PAFA aims to “promote the transformative power of art and art making.” This spring, artist and Philadelphia-native Benjamin West is being honored for forming connections between PAFA and the Royal Academy of Arts. West traveled to London at the age of 21 to study painting. While in England, he achieved many accomplishments including being a founding father and the second president of the Royal Academy of Arts as well as being the court painter to George III. PAFA was founded in 1805 during which time West was the first Honorary Academician of the museum. To honor West’s contribution to education and art, the museum is exploring his impact on PAFA and RA. This spring, PAFA will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (RA) with art influenced by West. The exhibit will feature more than 60 pieces and explore eighteenth and nineteenth century artwork. Click here for more information about the exhibit.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the most renowned orchestras in the world. Yannick Nézet-Séguin who serves as the eighth music director was appointed in the 2012 season and continues to conduct this season. The Orchestra is “committed to excellence, innovation, and creativity, onstage and off, and serves its many communities at home and abroad by performing music, encouraging music-making, and improving the quality of life.” This season, the Orchestra is bringing British music to the United States for a very special British themed three week concert series. The concerts will feature several composures including Handel, Britten, Bruch and Mendelssohn. To celebrate the completion of the series, the Orchestra will conclude with a performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. 104. On January 18, 2018 we are partnering with the Philadelphia Orchestra to provide members and friends with the exclusive opportunity to enjoy a “British Isles” concert series featuring British composers and music. This special event will also include a behind the scenes tour of the Kimmel Center, a meet and greet with musicians, and VIP seating for the performance. Click here to register.

Tiny Dynamite is a Philadelphia-based theatre company specializing in British plays. The company was founded in 2008 and performed its first play in February 2009. The goal of the organization is to give artists, performers, and community members a new way to create, perform, and embrace British-themed plays. Tiny Dynamite is recognized for their “A Play, A Pie & A Pint” (PPP) signature evenings. PPP started in 2004 in Scotland to attract a broader audience to support writers and actors. Tickets are less expensive and the shows are usually performed in the off-hours. Located inside a Philadelphia pub, the evening begins with cabaret seating where guests are able to socialize, connect, and enjoy live music before the play begins. The play runs about an hour long, during which time pizza and beer (or nonalcoholic alternatives) are served while guests enjoy the play. After the production, there is active dialogue between the artists and guests. The event is a “brilliantly casual” evening where guests can relax and enjoy a play, a pie, and a pint. Coincidently, Inis Nua has performed several plays with Tiny Dynamite during the PPP evenings. The companies often join together to create a unique European evening for the community. Click here for more information.

The BABCPHL would like to thank Inis Nua, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Tiny Dynamite for partnering with us to deliver outstanding UK cultural events for our members and friends. These organizations are dedicated to using art, plays, and music to connect us to the rest of the world. They provide education about the UK through exciting, sensory driven programs. They also examine and inform the Philadelphia community about UK traditions and culture while comparing it to modern and relevant ideas in the US. These organizations must be applauded for providing countless charitable hours to help Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley citizens become more involved in the arts.

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