Lightning Rod Special, creators of Obie-Award winning UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME, present their newest work, THE APPOINTMENT, this March

The dark satire with original music explores the misogyny, hypocrisy, and absurdity surrounding the abortion debate in America.

Limited engagement runs March 20-31, 2019 at FringeArts, part of its High Pressure Fire Service Festival.

Original performance company Lightning Rod Special (LRS) is reaching the culmination of a three year effort as it premieres its newest theater work, THE APPOINTMENT, at FringeArts (140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia), running for a limited engagement March 20 through 31, 2019.  The piece, which examines the contemporary abortion debate in America, will serve as the centerpiece of the FringeArts High Pressure Fire Service Festival, dedicated to promoting the next generation of vital theatre coming from Philadelphia.


A dark satire co-created and performed by Lead Artist Alice Yorke with Scott Sheppard, Katie Gould, Brett Robinson, Jaime Maseda, Bren Thomas, and Lee Minora, with original music written by Alex Bechtel, THE APPOINTMENT examines the misogyny, hypocrisy, and absurdity of the contemporary abortion debate in America.  The work, directed by Eva Steinmetz with music direction by Amanda Morton, unpacks the economic, societal, and political systems that disempower groups of people from making informed reproductive decisions.


A first draft of the work was presented in 2017 (formerly titled “Unformed Consent”). Tickets for the workshop were free with a suggested donation solicited at the door for Lightning Rod Special’s partner organizations, Women’s Medical Fund and Philadelphia Women’s Center, who facilitated post-show conversations and assisted with the development of THE APPOINTMENT. With the audience’s help, the workshop performances raised $4,818 for compassionate reproductive health services. For the March 2019 engagement, Lightning Rod Special will once again partner with Women’s Medical Fund to feature presentations about reproductive justice, direct action opportunities for audiences to get involved, seminars on adult sex education, and listening sessions with people who are on the ground fighting for reproductive rights.


Tickets to THE APPOINTMENT are currently on sale.  General admission is $31; student/artist tickets are $15. The show is part of FringeArts’ new “High Pressure Fire Service” Festival and patrons can save if they buy a season subscription via FringeArts or are members of FringeArts.


Lighting Rod Special presents


March 20-31, 2019

FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA

Part of FringeArts’ “High Pressure Fire Service” Festival

$31; $15 for students/artists

To buy tickets:
Facebook event:


Presented with support of in part by grants from Network of Ensemble Theaters, Wyncote Foundation, FringeArts, Puffin Foundation, Project Stream, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and a residency at Orchard Project.


Lead artist: Alice Yorke
Director: Eva Steinmetz
Composer: Alex Bechtel
Performer/creators: Scott Sheppard, Katie Gould, Brett Robinson, Jaime Maseda, Bren Thomas, Lee Minora

Production designer: Oona Curley
Lighting designer: Masha Tsimring
Costume designer: Jill Keys
Sound designer: Liz Atkinson
Music director: Amanda Morton
Choreographer: Melanie Cotton
Community engagement coordinator: Cat Ramirez
Stage manager: Sara Marinich
Co-creative producer: Meredith Sonnen


About Lighting Rod Special: Lightning Rod Special is a Philadelphia-based original performance company that creates raucous and contemplative works to ask questions of ourselves, our audience, and the world at large. Our work engages a highly collaborative, actor-driven approach. Exploding complex questions with precision and play, Lightning Rod Special makes live performance from the ground up.  Since 2012, we have made six full-length works, touring our work to 11 US cities and internationally. Our work has received a Bonaly Award and three Lucille Lortel nominations (including Best Play); UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME won the 2017 OBIE for Best New American Theater Work and was listed among the New York Times’ 25 best plays of the last 25 years.


About the Lead Artist: Alice Yorke is a Philadelphia-based actor, creator, director, and producer. She is a Co-Director of Lightning Rod Special, with whom she created and performed in Hackles, Let the Dog See the Rabbit, and Sans Everything. She recently directed White Feminist by Lee Minora, a scorching indictment of white women’s participation in feminism, the hit of the 2018 Fringe Festival. Her performance in The Gap at Azuka Theatre was recognized with a Bonaly Award for excellent performance and a Barrymore nomination for outstanding supporting performance. For five years she has been seen across music venues in Philly and New York at the wild dancer Candy Scrapple of Red 40 and the Last Groovement. She is a proud graduate of the inaugural class of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training.

Photos by Johanna Austin

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