“I come from a broken home, where chaos, domestic abuse, and fighting was a daily routine. I firmly believe that stories like this need to be told, and they need to happen now. This is how I’m choosing to use my voice in an era where sexism, bullying, and abuse is rampant. Bad things happen and they don’t have to define you. This is for the underdogs, the underheard, and the improbable.”
Those are the words of Nicole Burgio, multidisciplinary artist and creator of Almanac Dance Circus Theatre’s new production, xoxo moongirl. The autobiographical-inspired circus fantasia, which runs June 26 through 28, 2018 at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American Street, Philadelphia, PA), incorporates breathtaking aerials and acrobatics to tell the story of a girl in a troubled home and her flight to the moon to escape…and prevail. Press are invited to Tuesday, June 26 show at 7PM, or any show afterwards.
The autobiography of its creator, multidisciplinary artist Nicole Burgio, inspires this one-hour production. During the solo performance, Burgio will share stories from her childhood and draw in audience volunteers to play various parts in the play. As she tells her stories, Burgio will infuse the virtuosic performance languages of aerial circus arts, dance, hand balancing, and a little bit of magic to tell her tale.
“As I watch the news, talk to friends, and listen to the outside world, I am starting to believe it is incredibly important to share my story of abuse,” said Burgio. “It is important to talk about growing up in a house where my dad screamed and where my little sister slept with a telephone under her pillow in case she had to call the cops to save us.”
xoxo moongirl represents Almanac’s goal of amplifying the female voice in theatre, while also bringing awareness to domestic violence and abuse. Burgio, a long-time company collaborator, brought the idea to Almanac as part of a vision to take her isolated experience of abuse and open it unto the larger community. It is Almanac’s hope to use the performance model of a solo show, and the design of this one in particular, to demonstrate the strength of the individual.
Not only is she a renowned circus performer, Burgio also holds a Masters Degree in Clinical and Counseling Health Psychology from the Philadelphia School of Osteopathic Medicine, making her the perfect fit to attentively craft an intelligent show that is sensitive to its challenging and traumatic content. Almanac’s Co-Founding Artistic Director Ben Grinberg will direct and contribute to the show’s book. Production design is by Robin Stamey and Evelyn Langley, two of Almanac’s members.
Tickets to xoxo moongirl are currently on sale by visiting thealmanac.us. Performance schedule is below. Tickets are $20, $15 for students and industry. As with all Almanac shows, no one will be turned away should they be unable to pay for the performance.
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre presents xoxo moongirl
Christ Church Neighborhood House
June 26, 2018 at 7PM
June 27, 2018 at 7PM and 9PM
June 28, 2018 at 8PM
$20, $15 for students/industry
ABOUT ALMANAC DANCE CIRCUS THEATRE: Called “the little dance theatre troupe that could” by Philadelphia’s City Paper, Almanac was founded in 2013 by Nick Gillette and Ben Grinberg, graduates of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training, with Adam Kerbel, a graduate of the Headlong Performance Institute. The company pursues present performance at the edge of what is possible, through playful honesty. Since its founding, Almanac has performed for tens of thousands across eleven states and in Mexico, from street fairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, elementary school assemblies to private parties and events. They were selected as 2013-2014 Fresh Tracks Artists at New York Live Arts, were the first resident company at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and are artists-in-residence at Mascher Space Co-Op. Their work has been presented by FringeArts, NYU Skirball Center/Circus Now!, Trinity Rep, the International Festival of Contemporary Dance of Mexico City, the Faux/Real Festival, Colgate University, Reading Terminal Market, Bearnstow, Pig Iron Theatre Company, the University City District, Automatic Arts, and New York Live Arts, among others. Serving communities and offering educational experiences are as important to Almanac as creating works. The company is a roster artist with Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern PA and develops educational programming for k-12 as well as college students. Since 2014, the company has offered a free, open ensemble circus gymnasium called AlmanAcro, which allows anyone with interest to play and train with Almanac. Biannually, the Harvest/Sowing series offers a platform for artists to explore and present new ideas alongside our own performance research. Full-length productions include Fronteras: An Homage to Whatshername and Fronteras: A Door in the Desert (2017), Exile 2588 (2016), Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes (2015), The Fleecing (2015), Nightfall (2014), and Communitas (2014). Find out more at thealmanac.us.