Live Arts Contemporary PAC


Funding Received: 2011
Philadelphia, PA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
November 5, 2011

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival is thrilled to announce its upcoming US premiere presentation and the only American showing of FOOD COURT, a production by Geelong Australia’s Back to Back Theatre. Back to Back has a 23-year history of creating works by and for an ensemble of actors perceived to have intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism. This presentation will take place as part of the 16th annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival for 3 performances at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater on September 20, 21, and 22, 2012. FOOD COURT is a visually and aurally arresting meditation and exploration of power and torment that examines questions, conceptions, and prejudices surrounding difference in our society.

The original score is performed live by Australian experimental jazz band The Necks who are known for their ambient, improvisational, experimental jazz music.

Alison Croggen summarized the effect of FOOD COURT in The Australian saying “A work of devastating honesty and, ultimately, extraordinary beauty that confirms Back to Back as a key player in contemporary theatre.”

Artistic Director Bruce Gladwin and Back to Back cast members will participate in pre- and post-show public discussions about their process as a group of performers with disabilities. They will also conduct a two-hour workshop during the Festival with a small group of members of the Philadelphia theater community who live and perform with a variety of disabilities.

Tickets to FOOD COURT will become available in July, 2012 at

FOOD COURT has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative.