Philly’s hometown Absurdists bring Ionesco to the Fringe

     Tina Brock portrays Old Woman in Eugene Ionesco's

    Tina Brock portrays Old Woman in Eugene Ionesco's "The Chairs" now playing at the Fringe Festival. (Johanna Austin/Austin Arts)

    In the midst of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival’s abundance of new work for theater, dance and music, one local troupe has turned to an experimental work — from the 1950s.

    Eugene Ionesco was a proponent of the Theatre of the Absurd, along with Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet. Their plays portrayed what happens when human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down, in fact alerting their audiences to pursue the opposite.

    Philadelphia’s own purveyors of Theatre of the Absurd, the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, is staging Ionesco’s “The Chairs.”  The play concerns two characters, known as Old Man and Old Woman, preparing chairs for guests who are coming to hear the Old Man’s discovery, which is possibly the meaning of life. The guests, however, are invisible, suggesting this is a post-apocalyptic world.

    Tina Brock and Bob Schmidt portray the Old Woman and the Old Man. They visited WHYY to offer a taste of the performance.

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