All the room’s a stage: SoLow Festival offers intimate theater

Theater performers producing work with little or no money are using the cheapest venues they can find. This week, the SoLow theater festival takes place in the actors’ own homes.

Festival co-founder Thomas Choinacky is also a performer, using his tiny South Philadelphia apartment as a performance space. At about 200 square feet and crammed with furniture, his one-man show can accommodate only five people at a time.

Other artists in other homes are dancing in their kitchens, acting in their beds, and bivouacking in their basements.

The name of the SoLow Festival is a pun–it presents a handful of solo works with budgets “so low” they hardly exist at all.

Choinacky’s piece about a fictional artist having a domestic breakdown is cramped, messy and intimate. The apartment adds to that.

“Solo work is really intense at times–it’s all on you to create what you’re doing,” said Choinacky. “Adding the element of in-your-home gives it an intimate feel automatically, that you are a part of this person’s life for these moments.”

Choinacky will perform the piece five times during the festival. At five audience members per show, he hopes to sell out.

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