Arts + Culture

3 Philly Performance Artists You Need to Know

You may have noticed that Philly’s performance art scene is thriving these days. With schools like Pig Iron, Headlong and UArts churning out multi-faceted artists and Philly’s relative affordability, it’s no wonder we’ve become a mecca for artists and performers who want to cross disciplines with their work.

Beths performance art comes from a practice in fine art and is very heavily influenced by internet culture.

These three local performance artists all root their work in different artistic genres and are worth keeping an eye on:

Annie Wilson: UArts and Headlong grad Annie Wilsons background is in dance, which she combines with narration, burlesque, and stand-up comedy in her work. Her very provocative FringeArts ’14 hit blended these genres exquisitely and can be seen again this winter. Annie also engages the audience-performer relationship in her work (read: audience participation), like by giving an audience member a glittery hug in “At Home with the Humorless Bastard.”

Annie Wilson's Hipster Shaman.

Annie Wilson’s Hipster Shaman. Photo: Kate Raines/Plate 3 Photography

Kevin Meehan: You might have also caught that hug during Kevin Meehan’s salon series 4 Weeks in January, where Annie showed an in-progress version of that piece. Kevin comes to performance art from a traditional theater training, but you’ll find him engaged in projects in many genres. His work lately has been very curation focused: curating that salon, curating an all-female choreographed focus group of a performance, and curating your home by rearranging a room within it as a Solow Fest performance.

Kevin Meehan.

Kevin Meehan. Photo: Susanne Collins

Beth Heinly: Beths performance art comes from a practice in fine art and is very heavily influenced by internet culture. Her work is often performed in public spaces both physical and virtual. She’s been organizing Open Call Guerilla Outdoor Performance Festival, which so far has taken over Wissahickon Park and City Hall’s Underground Concourse for hours at a stretch with performances from an olio of artists.

Beth Heinley Blogger Cosplay: Photo by Tara White

Beth Heinly Blogger Cosplay: Photo by Tara White

If you’re interested in exploring Philly’s performance art scene beyond these three artists, look for events happening at Mascher Space, Little Berlin, and Aux Performance Space.

Amanda Chudnow

Amanda Chudnow

Amanda Chudnow spends her days working in the Development Office at Bryn Mawr College and her weekends and evenings navigating Philadelphia's robust arts and culture scene. She saw 135 performances in the last year and will likely reach 150 this year. Photo: Neah Monteiro VIEW ALL POSTS