Performance Artist John Kelly Brings “The Escape Artist” to Bryn Mawr College

Posted December 13th, 2013 at 10:58 am.

The 2013-14 season of the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series continues in the New Year with The Escape Artist from Bessie and Obie Award-winning performance artist, musician and actor John Kelly. The New York Times said of the piece: “You realize what you’re watching isn’t so much an artist inventing himself as inevitably discovering the true self within.”

The performance takes place Friday, January 24, 2014 at 8 p.m. in Goodhart Hall, Bryn Mawr College.

In The Escape Artist, John Kelly is a stressed-out performer who has a catastrophic trapeze accident while rehearsing a theater piece based on the life of the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. Confined to a hospital gurney, he finds refuge in Caravaggio’s images of sinners and saints, prostitutes and gods. The work is Kelly’s most recent collection of original songs in collaboration with Carol Lipnik and depicts Kelly’s signature blend of wit and darkness. It is regarded as one of Kelly’s most impressive performances not only because he combines a diverse range of topics in his surreal yet humorous narrative, but he also manages to very energetically sing the entire piece lying flat on his back.

Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series Coordinator Lisa Kraus notes, “John Kelly is a performance artist with a cult following who appeals to a broader audience because his work is highly visual, deeply musical and altogether moving. He often takes inspiration from the genius of other artists and, in The Escape Artist, zooms in on Caravaggio. Kelly-meets-Caravaggio will be a rich feast.”

Ticket Info:
Free tickets to all Performing Arts Series events are available for students, faculty, and staff of Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore colleges.

For all others:
Tickets to individual events in the Bryn Mawr Performing Arts Series cost $20, $18 for seniors, $10 for students with ID, and $5 for children under 12. Tickets are $10 for Dance Pass holders. Season subscriptions are $75 for seniors, $90 general. Tickets and are available through Brown Paper Tickets or by calling the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210.


Since 1984 the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has presented great artists and performances to audiences in the Philadelphia area, creating an environment in which the value of the arts is recognized and celebrated. Talks and workshops provided free to the public help develop arts awareness and literacy. The Series works to lower barriers to arts access through its partnership with Art-Reach, a nonprofit dedicated to improving arts accessibility for people of all ages and circumstances, and through its low ticket prices. Partnering in recent seasons with such organizations as the Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has presented performances and enriching events by such luminaries and visionaries as Meredith Monk, John Waters, Il Fondamento, the Khmer Arts Ensemble of Cambodia and Urban Bush Women.

The Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series gratefully acknowledges support from The Miriam Schultz Grunfeld ’69 Fund, established by Carl Grunfeld, M.D., friends, and family members in memory of Miriam Schultz Grunfeld ’69. Since 1996, the Grunfeld Fund has enriched student life by supporting art history, the arts and literature.

The Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series gratefully acknowledges support for its 2013-14 season from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Filed under: Theater Tags: , by mgray

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