Jefe's House

Tag: philly fringe festival

Philly Daily News commands thee to Beautiful Zion

by on Sep.02, 2011, under The Press, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

At the Fringe Festival, there are edgy venues that grip an audience

by Molly Eichel

“ONE OF THE most exciting aspects of the Fringe Festival — the unjuried, anything-goes companion to the Live Arts Festival — is when it draws audiences to places they’ve never been before and might never have a chance to go again, whether it’s a room in an unknown mansion or in the depths of a possibly haunted grotto.

The Blue Grotto

After the demise of a close relative who drank himself to death, Jeffrey Stanley became obsessed with communicating with the dead through Ouija boards.

Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead is a “real dark comedy” about the years he spent trying to talk to the other side. But how could all that eeriness (and humor) be conveyed in a traditional theater space? So the New York expat looked for a stage appropriate for the macabre elements of his decidedly funny show. He found the Blue Grotto in West Philly’s Community Education Center. It’s decked out in thousands of blue lights on light fixtures by artist Randy Dalton. Stanley equates it to a mad scientist’s laboratory. ‘It’s visually stunning, it’s creepy as hell, it’s in the cellar of an old building and it might be haunted,’ Stanley said, ticking off the reasons that the Blue Grotto is perfect for his piece.”

The Blue Grotto at the Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Ave., 8 p.m. Sept. 7-17, $20.”  Tickets and more info here.

Philly Daily News article cont’d HERE->>

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Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe ready to buy its own building

by on Aug.28, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre


[reposted from]

by Howard Shapiro

“The actors are setting up shop, as are the dancers, comics, acrobats, clowns, musicians, and uncategorizable others — some from around America, others from across the sea, many from zip codes all over the area.  Every Philadelphia performance space is taken — as well as spaces not normally used for performance…It’s all in preparation for one of the nation’s powerhouse arts festivals…The Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe — 16 days and nights of sometimes experimental and risky, sometimes outré and bizarre, and frequently striking work — opens Friday…For all its constant growth in audience-building, fund-raising, and mentoring performers, Live Arts/Philly Fringe – now a $2.6 million annual operation known to just about everybody as, simply, the Fringe…”  CONT’D AT PHILLY.COM>>

Tickets are onsale now for Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead.

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Jesus Christ, Satan, Mark Twain, Jimi Hendrix

by on Aug.26, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

And those are just the confirmed guest performers.

Unconfirmed guests include Jay-Z, Beyonce, Dave Groll, the Black Eyed Peas and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Do not miss this show.

Opens 9/7 in Philadelphia.

Only 8 performances.

Seating is extremely limited.

$20 tickets available now.

Shiva3 Productions presents Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead.


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An Authentic Message From Beautiful Zion

by on Aug.18, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre


“I have here a 1917 original William Fuld Ouija Board and planchette. I have consulted polarity practitioners and radionics experts from around the world. They have examined the entire Community Education Center, and they have determined that there are, shall we say, certain presences in the Blue Grotto. And that these presences have a vortex, as it were. A gateway, if you will.  An entrance to Hell, if I may.  And that entrance is right over there.  Tonight it contains a small table and two chairs. Who’s in? Shall we put all I’ve told you tonight to the test? I need 3 incredibly cool, incredibly brave, bold, fearless volunteers to help me reach across to Beautiful Zion and bring his ass back.”

$20.00 tickets to this intimate, action-packed, supernatural event are onsale now. Only 8 performances. Only 16 seats per show. Order now. Advance online orders only — no tickets will be sold at the door.





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Beautiful Zion: The Interview

by on Aug.11, 2011, under The Press, The Sixth Boro, Theatre


Interviewer Kristen Scatton of Rep Radio in Philadelphia wound up deftly getting me to talk about some things that weren’t even on my agenda, like my feelings about NYU Tisch School of the Arts, being taught and strongly encouraged by David Ives, my adventures with Tesla, Ouija Boards, death and why everything is not going to be okay, reflecting on why I never moved to LA, and a call-to-arms to Philadelphia filmmakers.  Oh and there’s also my upcoming Philly Fringe show Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead directed by Dan Student. 

Many thanks to Kristen for joining me in the Blue Grotto for the interview during a rehearsal break. Listen now.


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Call Me Swag

by on Aug.05, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Photo by Iggy Rocketboy.

In order to promote my show I’m changing my name to Swag for the next week and using the royal we.  Below, a clip of us at our first rehearsal in the Blue Grotto.  Our director Dan Student has been in China but before he left he did much work with us in the 3rd floor studio at Plays & Players, pretending it had the Blue Grotto’s layout to the extent possible. This was our first attempt to try things out for real.

This is not a rehearsal video but a quick walk-through to show Dan what I’d come up with. I slapped it up on Youtube (unlisted at first) for him to take a look at from China, forgetting that they block Youtube there.  So much for cybercollaboration across political ideologies.

No worries, we’ll be working together soon enough and resume formal rehearsals in the Blue Grotto thanks to CEC artist-in-residence Randy Dalton‘s generosity and support for the show.

Enjoy guerrilla theatre as it develops:

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What happens in Beautiful Zion stays in Beautiful Zion

by on Jul.29, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

“Flash forward 16 years. By the time I was a teenager I had begun to get suspicious. It was the 1980s. A time of suspicion.”

“I mean it. I was starting to realize that the government could be lying to me sometimes. Nicaragura. The expose of the brutally cruel CIA training manual. Then it got worse. Not only could the government lie to me. Religion could also lie to me. When I was 16 years old I was sitting in a church with my mom and the deacon came out into the congregation during an altar call and dragged us both down front to get saved. They tried to cast Satan out of me.

Don’t worry. It didn’t take.

But I did start reaching out to the netherworld. I was at my friend’s New Year’s Eve party with a bunch of people. We were all sitting around a candle-lit kitchen table in the dark. The mood was right for the conversation to turn toward seances. Instinctively I knew what to do. Before the night was over Jimi Hendrix had possessed a kitten and the Christmas tree was on fire.”

Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead.  September, 2011. Philadelphia. Tickets are now available.

While you’re here enjoy the official jingle of Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead.

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Philly Fringe Haiku: “Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead”

by on Jul.09, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Posted By : Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe

Photo by Iggy Rocketboy.

“Playwright Jeffrey Stanley writes in with this haiku about his 2011 Philly Fringe show, Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead.

homemade ouija boards
work well but store-bought is more
convenient onstage

In my favorite CCD [Confraternity of Christian Doctrine] class growing up, our instructor totally had us make a ouija board out of a pizza box and play with it in class. I can’t remember what the point was, but we had to promise not to tell anybody. See what this show is making me confess?!

Jeffrey promises multiple endings, ghost visitations, audience invovlement in his occultish activity, and the secret to human happiness. I think the secret is Michter’s bourbon, but I can only confirm that with a visit to Jeffrey’s one-man show at West Philly’s Community Education Center, in the Blue Grotto room. If the secret’s not Michter’s, my weltanshauung will be upset.

Jeffrey’s Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead runs for eight performances from September 7 to September 17 at the Community Education Center, 35th and Lancaster, West Philadelphia. 8:00 pm, $20. Tickets on sale soon!”

Nicholas Gilewicz

[reposted from]


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We’re Marching Upward to Zion

by on Jun.23, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre



Rehearsals are underway and Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead, a real dark comedy, is locking and loading for a world premiere in the Philly Fringe on 9/7/11 (that’s our official ad up top).  The Fringe Festival Guide will be out soon and our initial press release has gone out from Shiva3 Productions, Philly’s bold, rich, flavorful, nascent theatre company.

More on my amazing director Dan Student here.

More on Randy Dalton’s haunting Blue Grotto here.

More later.

Let’s roll.


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