Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge
comes to South Philly for the summer of 2015

Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge is a community-based experimental urban platform that uses play, games and performance to reveal, share and celebrate local knowledge produced in South Philadelphia, an area known for its rich cultural and ethnic diversity. A project by Cohabitation Strategies (CohStra), Playgrounds seeks the restructuring of urban spaces by promoting new social relations across cultural and economic divides, with the objective of generating just and sustainable forms of collective inhabiting to confront the pressures of accelerated urban development.

From May through September 2015, Playgrounds will occupy a lot at 632 Jackson Street, creating a temporary hub space where the demands of daily life are interrupted through play to inspire new spatial imaginaries and political subjectivities. Here CohStra, a cooperative of socio-spatial research, is collaborating with a variety of neighborhood partners in a participatory pilot project that activates playful ways of critically thinking of land occupation, gentrification, environmental restoration and housing through participatory design, while inspiring cross-cultural communication by generating knowledge exchange through performance, construction and dialogue.

Philadelphia Theatre of the Oppressed will be part of Playgrounds' events on June 29 (rescheduled from July 27), July 18, and September 19 as well as other happenings in the neighborhood. Interested in being involved? Contact T.O. Philly via ""

A Show Called CONES

Early in 2015, T.O. Philly and the Medium Theatre Company offered a series of workshops and explorations around the ideas of blindness, seeing and the spectrum in between. More than 50 people offered creative insights, which T.O. practitioner Morgan FitzPatrick Andrews and performer-creator Mason Rosenthal (both of whom are visually impaired) have incorporated into "CONES, a solo show about vampires, vision loss and ice cream."

At the heart of the piece is the notion of passing in the context of dis/ability: some people with dis/abilities may try to "pass" as more able-bodied to avoid stigma, or as less able-bodied to access services. The performance of passing is more widely discussed in regards to race and gender, but less frequently in the area of dis/ability. Part of CONES' objective is to ignite that conversation.

CONES debuts on June 19, 22 and 23, 2015, with 8PM shows at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. in Philadelphia. Show runs 60 minutes, and is a $5-10 suggested donation that includes refreshments. People can also support the project by reserving advance tickets or donating at the Medium Theatre Company's website.

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