About the Grant

$23,000 to support This Town Is a Mystery (MAP 2011), a series of intimate dinner theater performances by Headlong Dance Theater.

About the Project

Come over to my house. I have a show to perform in my living room. Then we’ll have dinner.

In This Town Is a Mystery, Headlong Dance Theater will work with four households in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, using the homes as theaters and the residents as performers. Audiences will travel to a home, perhaps far from their own. The residents perform, and then everyone eats dinner together. In-home dinner theater. Citizen dances. Every home is a mystery. Who really lives in Philadelphia? What mysteries reside in these houses, these bodies? And what conversations might happen if we open our doors?

In this project, Headlong Dance Theater will work with a diverse range of Philadelphia households whose occupants don’t identify themselves as artists or contemporary-art enthusiasts—households who belong to different cultural worlds than artist, performers, and productions typically inhabit. Working with a team of people from within and outside our discipline, we’ll find these households and explore issues this work raises aesthetically, logistically, and politically.

Because the stories, lives, and homes of real Philadelphians are often invisible in Philadelphia’s art institutions. Because Philadelphia has beautiful mysteries on every block. Because breaking bread with someone often annihilates stereotypes.

Related Websites

Headlong Dance Company


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