Painted Bride Announces Late Fall/Winter Programs






Featuring a World Premiere by Hannibal Lokumbe, a Germantown Story Project With Ursula Rucker, and Creative Explorations By Emerging Artists

PHILADELPHIA, PA—(November 20, 2019)– The Painted Bride Art Center builds on its 50-year legacy by presenting upcoming works by internationally-celebrated and emerging Philadelphia artists over the next several months.  Forging ahead with our new vision of presenting programs in neighborhoods beyond Old City, the Bride offers two dynamic partnerships:

  • Legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Hannibal Lokumbe will premiere First Breath, Last Sigh: The Journey Called Life along with Children of the Fire at The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral on December 7; and
  • Philadelphia’s own Ursula Rucker will create a new community-inspired art/story project in Germantown, Block to Block (We. Are. Still. Here.), which will conclude with a public sharing in January 2020.

The Bride continues its essential work of supporting artists, fostering diversity and inclusivity, and providing a safe and welcoming environment for artists, audiences and communities to explore the human experience with our Solstice Series.  Giving voice to a variety of Philadelphia-based visual, performing and mixed-media artists, the Solstice Series will take place at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street in Philadelphia.  For tickets and information visit

WELCOME TO THE BRIDE’S VISION: A Series of Off-Site Events

First Breath, Last Sigh: The Journey Called Life (World Premiere) and Children of the Fire
Music and Libretto by Hannibal Lokumbe
Saturday, December 7  |  6:30pm
The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S. 38th Street, Philadelphia
Free with registration

In partnership with The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, the Bride will present the World Premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s First Breath, Last Sigh: A Journey Called Life and the tribute performance of Children of the Fire in honor of Kim Phuc PHAN THI at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral in West Philadelphia. Performed with the Play on Philly Symphony Orchestra and CAPA Choir of The Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Notes from the Artist, Hannibal Lokumbe, about these pieces:

Children of the Fire was composed immediately after viewing a televised news segment of a young Vietnamese girl running naked on a road outside her village. She was in obvious agony from the napalm attack, which burned her skin. Children of The Fire was my immediate music and human response to that horrific sight.

First Breath Last Sigh: A Journey Called Life is a composition in three veils, the first of which is dedicated to young Kevon, a superb singer with the great Morgan State University Choir. As is too often the case, he was gunned down in the streets of Baltimore, MD. The work is the symbolism of a force used to clear all obstacles which would hinder the return passage of Kevon’s spirit its original source.

 Related programing presented by The National Constitution Center:

The Girl in the Picture: Remembering Vietnam
Friday, December 6  |  12pm
The National Constitution Center

Join Kim Phúc PHAN THI, as she discusses her firsthand experience, and classical composer and jazz trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbefor a unique discussion about the Vietnam War and its impact. A special performance by Lokumbe will precede the discussion.

Ursula Rucker’s Block to Block (We. Are. Still. Here.)
January 2020 (exact date and time TBD)
Public sharing at Germantown Espresso |  Germantown, Philadelphia

A peoples’ story. A neighborhood story. An ode to Germantown.

Philadelphia’s own celebrated “voice” Ursula Rucker will be the field guide for a new community-inspired art/story project in Germantown.  She will work with a small group of Germantown residents over a short period of time to tell, share, collect and create individual and collective stories.

A huge fan of field recording, Ursula will be incorporating field recording into the story building process/journey. The sounds of Germantown, as it were. At the project’s conclusion in January 2020, there will be a public sharing of the stories at Germantown Espresso.

As the blocks and corners and neighborhoods shift and change and go through growing pains, the magic of this sacred place remains. Philly. Our stories and voices and ways will be recorded and exalted during this time of swift change. We need to hear and see ourselves in honest beautiful lasting ways…in the midst of change…BLOCK to BLOCK. We. Are. Still. Here.  Evolving into the now…out of a rich and unique past…forward to an all-inclusive interesting future. A Philly dream come true.


Cami Pileggi’s Dreams and Delusions
Friday, December 6  |  7pm – 9:30pm
$10 advance tickets | $15 at the door

Don’t miss this one-night-only performance extravaganza showcasing the work of more than, 20 artists featuring visual, multi-media, and performance art in every form imaginable. Under the theme of an altered sense of reality, a walk-through experience, in which viewers can see live performances, installations, and galleries, and buy pieces of work from local artists and vendors. Audiences are welcome to come and go from 7pm to 9:30pm.

Briyana D. Clarel’s Saved You A Plate and Brown Girls Squared’s woebegone
Monday, December 9  | 8pm
$10 advance tickets |  $15 at the door
Arrive early for a Queer Cheer Holiday Fair starting at 6:30pm, featuring vendors, activities, and festive cuteness!

ACT ONE: Saved You A Plate is a new piece about black queer connection and care, intimacy and interdependence, ruptures and repairs, fulfilling food and friendship . . . what nourishes us and what makes us feel whole. Directed by Briyana D. Clarel, this work-in-progress is devised by the ensemble and co-produced by The Starfruit Project.

ACT TWO: woebegone by Cianon Jones,A   A birthday hits with the wake-up call of a lifetime. Killers, thieves, addicts, cannibals, gurus, and scientists–all these people together in one late-night bakery with serendipity at the helm of it all. Oh, how we end up at the brink.  A precipice of every way life could go onward through the stories we live only in our own minds.

Jawny Chuckles’ The Jawny Chuckles Show! and Rodney Murray’s I am their zookeeper
Monday, December 16  | 8pm
$10 advance tickets  |  $15 at the door

ACT ONE: The Jawny Chuckles Show! Imagine a world where Philly’s DIY comedy scene was represented like the Muppets. This piece discusses laughter, sadness, and laughing through sadness with a series of sketches, stand-up, and music. Written by the ensemble, this is a workshopped comedy piece structured as a children’s program, following Jawny on his journey to find his chuckle. Rated PG-13 featuring Jawny Chuckles’ members Bella Main, Mary Callahan, Lucky Marvel, Mackenzie Maula, Phenon Murphy, and more.

ACT TWO: I am ther zookeeper.. With the “Look of a half-dead Brady Bunch” and the “Stage presence of a poorly cut line of coke,” the Wetherbee family is officially touring, and their first stop is The Painted Bride! Come indulge your deepest parental traumas and share your favorite coping mechanism. i am ther zookeeper is a new solo work created by Rodney Murray in collaboration with a creative team. Premiered at The University of The Arts, Fall 2019. *Please note that the work contains themes of violence, sex, BDSM, and full nudity*

The Makers’ Ensemble’s While We Are Young
Wednesday, December 18  |  7pm
$10 advance tickets |  $15 at the door

While We Are Young, devised and directed by The Makers’ Ensemble, is a new musical about youth. It’s a musical about love and it’s multiple relationships to relationships. Long days. Smoke breaks. Late nights. Youngsters working jobs nobody feels like working. Too many drinks after work. Too many hits out back. Too many broken promises in the morning. First Impressions. First loves. First time seeing your life flash before your eyes. Do we ever get a step ahead? Will we ever stop crying? Will we ever stop laughing? When are we going to start living, like for real, for real? Why not, while we are young?

The Makers’ Ensemble is an evolving grassroots ensemble of emerging artists showcasing new, original, and classical works of theater, and focused on telling stories that create bridges between the art and the audience and ignite engaging conversations among intersectional communities.

Beginning as a seed of an idea inspired by Founding Artistic Director Dante Green’s ensemble-driven arts upbringing, the Makers’ Ensemble was intentionally formed by artists of various backgrounds. From previous undergraduate collaborators to newly-formed partnerships, this group was selected based on the principle of creating a space that is both radical in performance and radical in artistic practice.

The Lizard of Oz |  Written by Eric Jaffe and Foster Longo
Friday & Saturday, February 7 & 8 | 8pm
Sunday, February 9 |  7pm
Friday & Saturday, February 14 & 15  | 8pm
Sunday, February 16 | 7pm
$25 General Admission  |  $20 Students and Seniors

Good News! She’s dead! The Witch of West Philly is dead!  Join Smelpdaba and Linda as they journey to meet the Lizard of Oz. But will they arrive before Dorothy, Scarecrow-No-She-Better-Don’t, The Tin Non-binary person, and Rum Tum Tugger?! Drag queens and Lizards and Bears, oh my Who will ease on down the road to the Emerald Titty?  Click your platform heels three times and don’t miss the Lizard of Oz, brought to you by the queens of Gay Mis and Thweeney Todd: The Flaming Barber of fleek Street.


Jamal Jones and Philly Composer’s League’s Jazz Composers Showcase
Saturday, February 1  |  8pm
$15 General Admission | $10 Students

Composer, arranger and trumpet player Jamal Jones brings his Composers League of Philadelphia’s debut performance, “Jazz Composers Showcase,” to the Bride, featuring the orchestral works of Marcell Bellinger, Jake Kaplan, Jack St. Claire and Wilhem Echavarria. His orchestra features the finest young jazz musicians in the Philadelphia region.

The Composers League of Philadelphia was started in June 2019 with the full support and partnership of the Painted Bride Art Center. Jones and his Composers League look forward to continued growth in this art-form and feel that this partnership with the Bride is for the betterment of our music scene and the city at large.