Found Theater Company was born back in 2009 at Temple University after Felipe Vergara challenged some undergraduates to create a play based around the concept of myth. Originally a nameless apparition, the group produced “The Myth Project.” Inspired by the work, the students continued the project into the summer and by the summer of 2010, the band of performers had dubbed themselves the “Found Theater Company.”
Since establishing themselves as a group, Found Theater has produced a number of conceptual performances in Philadelphia – specifically for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, a Knight Arts grantee. The first production they completed in their present manifestation was entitled “Tales” which explored the importance of and reasons for storytelling. “Tales” premiered as part of the 2010 Fringe Festival at the Bookspace venue in Fishtown.
After the end of “Tales,” Vergara had completed his coursework and returned to his native Colombia, thrusting the future of Found Theater into uncertainty. Vergara continues to communicate with the members, although at the time they faced the possibility that the company could come to an end. Alison Hoban and assistant director Sean Lally took the helm and continued with a further production of “Event End,” an act of defiance in the face of global tension and the challenge of potentially losing their own group. Pressing on with another play, “Event End” marked their participation in the 2011 Fringe Fest.
Currently Found Theater is in the process of working on the performance “Electric Jungle” for premiere in September. This show, directed by Phoebe Schaub, is almost as much musical composition as it is experimental narrative. The group has recently performed previews of “Electric Jungle,” which seems not unlike a Pink Floyd concert in its demeanor and sound. Musical elements are a major facet of the production, and the actors double as musicians, playing pot-and-pan percussion, jostling distorted microphones and responding to pre-recorded musical interludes.
The accompanying album is now available for purchase in advance of the 2012 Fringe Festival. Copies are available for $5 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All of the tracks are original compositions with poetic and theatrical direction, further blurring the boundaries between music and theater. Come see them on stage live for the full effect this September.
Follow Found Theater Company on Twitter @foundtheater or visit their Facebook page for details and upcoming announcements.