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Sonso, Simians and Pierrot
Community Education Center
Philadelphia, PA
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Sonso, Simians and Pierrot
A mischievous, Signing chimpanzee decides to play matchmaker for the most unlikely couple: Pierrot, the famed clown, and Sonso, an ambitious Primatologist. Two improbable lovers spin a web of stunning dance, (mis)communication  and the impossible task of living in the boundary between fact and fiction.

Marcel Williams Foster, who won critical acclaim for his co-production of "The Jane Goodall: Experience," will debut 'Sonso, Simians and Pierrot.' This play is a further investigation of and flirtation with the world of science and his experiences as a chimpanzee researcher with the Jane Goodall Institute.

Sonso, Simians and Pierrot is part of the Community Education Center's (CEC) 2011 Residency Program. Former residents include Nichole Canuso, Headlong Dance Theater, Tania Isaac, and Meredith Rainey (former soloist of the Pennsylvania Ballet), among many others.

This absurd tale, which incorporates original music by Aya Nishina, dance and audience interaction, hopes to ask audience members what love (here between two interracial, intercultural men) really means in a world obsessed with information and scientific facts.

"As a composer and a long-time friend of Marcel I feel fortunate to take part in Sonso, Simians and Pierrot, an experience which conveys a peerless dialogue between science, theatrical textures and human emotions," says Aya Nishina, the composer of the original music for the piece. Nishina and Wiliams Foster are both thrilled to be a part of this culminating performance, which was first workshopped (and sold out) as Sonso and Pierrot Meet in the 2009 Philadelphia LGBT Artists Festival.

Featuring: Matteo Scammell, Brandon Sloan, Jenna Horton and Gigi Naglak

Aya Nishina, a New York City based composer/environmental sound artist, was born in Sendai, Japan. Internationally acclaimed pianist Steven Osborne premiered her work when she was just fifteen, and since that time she has worked with prestigious venues and ensembles around the world including UNICEF, California Academy of Sciences, Canadian Opera Company, Electronic Music Foundation, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Spoleto Festival USA, VocalEssence, The Stone, and others. She has collaborated with some of the world's most inspired musical artists, such as John Zorn, Cyro Baptista, Greg Osby, Ned Rothenberg, and Ikue Mori. She has received awards and recognitions from the Neil Rabaut Foundation, VocalEssence/American Composers Forum and the International Alliance for Women in Music, and is now completing her debut album commissioned under Tzadik Records' Composers Series.

Marcel Williams Foster was described as a "comic delight" by the Art Blog for his "uncanny [drag] impersonation" in The Jane Goodall: Experience. He most recently choreographed A New Brain with the Plays and Players Theater, and has previously performed/collaborated with Pig Iron Theater, The Guthrie Theater, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and Simba Theater International, Tanzania. In addition to his numerous performance accolades, Williams Foster was a chimpanzee researcher with the Jane Goodall Institute in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, and has published scientific articles on great ape behavior with the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago that appeared in American Journal of Primatology, Theater Topics Journal and Nature.


Community Education Center
3500 Lancaster Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States


Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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