Written and Performed by Dan Fishback
Co-sponsored by: Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies at Penn, Penn Theater Arts Program, Kelly Writers House, Penn LGBT Center, QPenn, and The Rotunda
Dan Fishback is as old as AIDS. In his acclaimed, moving and quirky solo performance, thirtynothing, Fishback juxtaposes tales from the terrifying dawn of the AIDS epidemic with stories from his own more innocent childhood in those same years. As he unearths forgotten work by gay artists who died in the 80s and 90s, Fishback weaves stories from his own life through stories from theirs. Searching for role models and father figures amongst artists like Mark Morrisroe, David Wojnarowicz, David B. Feinberg, Essex Hemphill and many more, Fishback interacts with their work, dramatizing the generation gap between older and younger gay men. With insight, wit, and his characteristic dark, neurotic humor, Fishback tears open issues of sexual intimacy, mass death and cultural memory, creating an abstract theatrical landscape where the living and the dead can co-mingle and collaborate. thirtynothing premiered at Dixon Place in New York City in 2011; Fishback is currently adapting it into book form as part of the ArtsEdge Residency at the University of Pennsylvania.
Trailer for thirtynothing:
"Dan Fishback seems so much like a nerdy close friend... that audience members, whom Fishback occasionally engages in conversation, have to restrain themselves from responding." - THE NEW YORKER
"Fishback has a Kushnerian sense for the complexities of historical memory." - THE VILLAGE VOICE
"thirtynothing is essential as a memorial, ensuring the younger gay community learns its own history and the bold legacy of those they never knew." - FLAVORPILL
"Since I moved to NYC, I can't tell you how many times I've heard about the Dan Fishback 'experience,' and now, having experienced it first hand, it's sort of like the Beyonce experience. Except, with Dan, neuroses replace the wigs, glitz and glamour." - GAYLETTER
"thirtynothing is one of the most powerful performance pieces I have ever seen." - KIMYA DAWSON
Dan Fishback has been writing and performing in New York City since 2003. Major works include The Material World (2012), thirtynothing (2011) and You Will Experience Silence (2009), all directed by Stephen Brackett at Dixon Place. Time Out New York called The Material World "the best downtown musical" in years, and named it one of the top ten plays of 2013. Fishback has received grants from the Franklin Furnace Fund (2010) and the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists (2007-2009). He is a resident artist at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics at NYU (2012), and has enjoyed previous residencies at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange (2010-2012), Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Previous works include No Direction Homo (P.S. 122, 2006), Please Let Me Love You (Dixon Place, 2006),Waiting for Barbara(Galapagos Art Space, 2006), boi with an i (Collective: Unconscious, 2004), and Assholes Speak Louder Than Words (Sidewalk Cafe, 2004). Fishback curates and hosts the queer theater series La MaMa's SQUIRTS.
Also a performing songwriter, Fishback began his music career in West Philadelphia before migrating to the East Village's anti-folk scene. His band, Cheese On Bread, has toured Europe and North America in support of their two full-length albums, "Maybe Maybe Maybe Baby" (2004) and "The Search for Colonel Mustard" (2007), the latter of which was re-issued in Japan in 2010 on Moor Works Records. As a solo artist, Fishback has released several recordings, including "Sweet Chastity" (2005, produced by César Alvarez of The Lisps), and his latest, "The Mammal Years" (2012). He was a member of the movement troupe Underthrust, which collaborated with songwriter Kimya Dawson on several performances and videos. Fishback's essay, "Times Are Changing, Reb Tevye," was featured in the anthology "Mentsh: On Being Jewish & Queer" (Alyson Books, 2004). His visual installation, "Pen Pals," was featured in the 2011 Soho exhibition of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, for which he later served on the Selection Committee. Fishback frequently teaches workshops on performance composition and queer performance culture. He blogs at thematerialworld.tumblr.com, and his real website is www.danfishback.com
Admission is FREE