Thursday, September 3, 2009

A familiar story retold in the Bushwick Starr's 'Rocky Philly'

By Tiffany Yannetta

Get ready to search for your inner Rocky.

Beginning September 9, The Bushwick Starr and Van Cougar theater company will present “Rocky Philly,” a 90-minute play that interweaves the classic story of the “Rocky” films with testimonials of everyday experiences from Philadelphia residents.

The Bushwick Starr is a not-for-profit performance venue that was created in 2001 for the theater company Fovea Floods. By 2004, the space was converted into a full black-box venue. In the following years, as Bushwick began to develop as a creative hot spot, the venue opened its doors for other performance artists and theater companies to introduce new types of experimental performance to the growing Bushwick community.

“Rocky Philly” will be presented at the Bushwick Starr by the Van Cougar theater company, founded in 2007. Since then, it has been the company’s objective to remind people of the importance or oral storytelling. To do this, they aim to create an internet database of stories recorded and collected by people of all ages, genders, races and locations.

The performance of Rocky Philly will be no exception, as it is largely composed of stories from Philadelphia citizens. Their goal is also to compare the relationship between personal, intimate storytelling, and facets of modern entertainment, such as television and movies.

During the play, the cast will retell the story of Rocky, as well as recite recorded stories of Philadelphia residents. The stories are woven together, while keeping the theme of the Rocky films intact, to provide insight into the development of a story, from beginning to end.

The play features Rebecca Lingafelter as a female Rocky, Noel Allain as Adrian, and Marty Brown as Mick. Mark Sitko will be directing the performance, with dramaturg Erica Rippy coordinating the stories.

Opening night of the performance is September 9 at 8 p.m., and will run till September 12, picking back up from September 17-21, with a special Monday night showing for industry audience. The last leg will run from September 23-26. There will be an early curtain the last night of the performance, followed by a closing night reception.

Tickets, which are $10, are available at

For additional information, visit and


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