Strange Attractor and Groundswell in Providence

Strange Attractor and Groundswell in Providence

Rebecca Noon

This is Groundswell in Providence working with Strange Attractor Theatre Company at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. Mason and Scott spent the week workshopping Sans Everything, an original play that imagines a futuristic world where Shakespeare has been forgotten. Sans Everything will be collaboratively created between Groundswell and Strange Attractor. We hope to take the next phase of development to Junea, Alaska in 2015! Keep your ear to the ground as the project evolves.

Underground Railroad Gets Fantastic Review in NOLA, RV plays are rogue favorites!

Underground Railroad sex games

Check out this link to read a review of Underground Railroad Game in the NOLA Defender. Thanks to Sarah Sanford for her amazing artistic consultation, Alex Bechtel for his sound design support, and Tamara Reichberg for her amazing photos of the show (above).

Check out to see recap of the entire No Sleep ‘Til NOLA  tour, photos, blog entries, and more information on the rvplays: Nobody’s Home, À Table, and The Axeman. If you are interested in hosting a showing of Nobody’s Home in your home, contact Mason Rosenthal at

No Sleep Till NOLA Tour!!!!


Come November, Groundswell is stuffing its cacophonous creations into a RESIDENTIAL VEHICLE and shoving off for the Bayou! The New Orleans Fringe Festival runs from November 20-24, and we will be migrating down for every mad second of it! Featured shows from the Galloping Groundswell RV  will include A La Table, created by Alice Yorke, Nobody’s Home, created by Mason Rosenthal, and a mystery offering created by Katie Gould. And when I mean “from the RV,” I mean these shows will be performed in the RV! We take our site specific work seriously, folks. Also check out Underground Railroad Game, created by Jenn Kidwell and Scott Sheppard, which was selected to be part of the presented fringe at Den of Muses in the Bywater district. For all of you sedentary Philadelphians, keep an eye out for a pre-trip performance of this material in mid November in Philly. For New Orleans details check us out on the New Orleans Fringe Festival site.

Groundswell Reaches Kickstarter Goal and Earns $10,000 Grant From Wyncote Foundation for Go Long Big Softie

Photo Credit: Kate Raines

Photo Credit: Kate Raines

Artistic Director of Groundswell, Scott Sheppard, goes head to head with 2013 FringeArts LAB Fellow, Mason Rosenthal, in Go Long Big Softie, a new devised theatre piece that tackles the hard and soft questions of contemporary masculinity. Under the assistance of Charlotte Ford, who delighted audiences in 2012 with BANG, a clown show about female sexuality, Go Long Big Softie enters the world of defunct 1980’s mens’ groups, taking audiences on a mythopoetic journey to heal the wounds of the male psyche.

The site specific piece takes place at the Torrent Collective, a dilapidated architectural palimpsest in the Italian Market District. Rosenthal explains, “This building has been a 7UP bottling factory, a boxing club, and a Vietnamese cultural center. Now it is a space for fire spinners, DJ’s, martial artists, and rappers. It’s gone through its own masculine identity crisis and it’s falling apart. It’s the perfect place to investigate the past, present, and future of male identity.”

In an age where young people are liberated by the popular paradigm that gender is merely a set of social performances that exist on a spectrum, they also face a dearth of models and mentors in the wilderness of gender identity. How do contemporary “men” walk the tightrope of being vulnerable, strong, feministic, authentic, and happy? Robert Bly, a major figure in the mythopoetic men’s movement of the 80’s and 90’s controversially claims, “Every modern male has, lying at the bottom of his psyche, a large, primitive being covered with hair down to his feet. Making contact with this Wild Man is the step the Eighties male or the Nineties male has yet to take. That bucketing-out process has yet to begin in our contemporary culture.” Go Long Big Softie asks, what can an antiquated men’s group obsessed with the power of myth teach us about becoming a man today?

The project was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Wyncote Foundation and achieved its $3,500 Kickstarter goal. With this generous support, Groundswell will have the ability to try and do things it never has before. Groundswell would like to thank everyone who is making this exciting piece of experimental theatre a reality.

Kickstarter Launched for Go Long Big Softie

Go Long Big Softie 2

In collaboration with Philadelphia theatremakers Charlotte Ford and Mason Rosenthal, Groundswell unravels American masculinity. Donate now!

The Groundswell Players are fundraising $3500.00 to create, produce and perform an original show for the 2013 Philly Fringe Festival. Debuting on September 6th and running through September 21st, Go Long Big Softie will appear at the Torrent Collective in South Philadelphia. Formerly a South Philly boxing gym and 7UP bottling plant, the space will soon be home to Groundswell’s latest invention.

Check Out Pig Iron School Showings This Week


Join Scott and his Pig Iron School classmates for their end-of-trimester showings this week! This eclectic evening of short pieces will venture into the worlds of bouffon, grotesque, and tragedy. What happens when the pariahs, the deformed, the loathsome, and the damned are given their moment on stage? Will you laugh uproariously or sob uncontrollably? Come find out; their pustules are brimming, their broken-tooth smiles are widening, and they are giddy for a chance to plop a few truths in your lap. Dates are March 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm at the Latvian Society (7th and Spring Garden) and tickets are free. Email to reserve a spot.

The Story behind “Hackles” Cast and Crew

Hackles Artist Bios 

Scott Sheppard (Creator/Performer/Artistic Director of Groundswell Players) – Scott Sheppard is a current student at the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training. He was a collaborator and performer in past Groundswell Productions: How to Solve a Bear; Little Plates, Big Tapas; and The Speed of Surprise!

Nick Gillette (Creator/Performer) – Nick Gillette is a student in the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training. He was been working in Philadelphia for the past 6 years performing with BCKSEET productions, Action Arts, Brat Productions, Cabaret Red Light, and the Philly Improv Theater.

Martha Stuckey (Creator/Producer) – Martha is a singer, actor, writer, and director who hails from New Ulm, Minnesota but has performed in Minneapolis to Spain and on stages inbetween. Martha studied physical theatre with Nathan Keepers of the Moving Company in Minneapolis, MN (formerly the Jeune Lune) and Ghanaian music and dance at the University of Accra with Koo Nimo. She has a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from St. Olaf College. “Hackles” marks Martha’s debut in Philadelphia after her first year studying at Pig Iron Theatre’s Advanced Performance Training.

Alice Yorke (Creator/Producer) – Alice Yorke is a recent Philly transplant and student with Pig Iron Theatre’s Advanced Performance Training. Formerly of New York City, she has performed with Hudson Shakespeare Company, the LaMama Moves! Dance Festival, the Bushwick Open Studios Festival, and the Midtown International Theatre Festival. She has studied and performed with Double Edge Theatre in the Berkshires and internationally with Friches Theatre Urbain in Paris. “Hackles” marks her Philadelphia debut.

Mason Rosenthal (Creator/Director) – Mason Rosenthal is an actor, director, and teacher from Skokie, Illinois. He holds a B.F.A. in drama from New York University where he studied with The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Mason joined the Atlantic’s faculty in 2007. In 2011 he moved from NYC to Philadelphia to be the Headlong Performance Institute’s first ever teaching fellow. In October Mason begins a nine-month residency as a 2013 LAB Fellow. In addition to directing “Hackles”, this Fringe season he will be performing in an original piece of dance theater co-created with Megan Mazarick entitled “Mining the Mine of the Mind for Minderals”.

TC Lind (Stage Manager) – T.C. is thrilled to start his first stage managing position in The Groundswell Player’s incredible production ofHackles. He is currently attending UArts to earn a BFA in Acting.  Recent credits include ensemble roles in Time Paradox and We Remember You: The Johnny Mercer Cabaret. Thanks to the cast and crew for a memorable and worthwhile experience.

Nate Schlegel (Lighting Designer) – Nathan Schlegel is the co-owner of Dynamic Video Lighting and Sound LLC. Recent projects include Chicago (Merriam Theater), Rally for Recreation (NFL Charity), Polaroid Stories (Philadelphia Fringe) Anton in Show Business, Dangerous Liaisons (Uarts), and Follies (Philadelphia Premier).

Jill Keys (Costume/Set Designer) – Jillian Keys is a costume designer/scenic artist/mask maker/crafty person/mac and cheese fanatic/etc, and is stoked to be working on her first devised show with Groundswell 

Alex Bechtel (Sound Designer) – Alex Bechtel (Composer/Sound Designer) is a Barrymore-Award Winning Philadelphia theatre artist.  As an actor, singer, composer, music director, and writer, Alex has worked with 1812 Productions, The Walnut Street Theatre, New Paradise Laboratories, Applied Mechanics, Act II Playhouse, Theatre Horizon, and The Philadelphia Orchestra.  He is a graduate of The University of the Arts and a member of the Inaugural Class of The Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training.