Rowan dance piece moves to Philly's FringeArts festival

Rowan dance piece moves to Philly's FringeArts festival

Rowan's version of 'Kill Me Now' presented as part of Philadelphia's FringeArts festival

The fast-paced, immersive dance piece Kill Me Now: Rowan Edition, which was first presented at the university in December 2012, moves to Philadelphia's FringeArts festival in September, presented by Rowan University's Department of Theatre & Dance and College of Performing Arts.

Performances are September 6, 7 & 8 and 12, 13 & 14 at 8 pm and 10 pm at the Latvian Society, 531 North 7th Street in Philadelphia. Check out for more details.

The piece invites audience participation in a live dance competition show modeled after such popular TV reality series as "Dancing with the Stars," "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dance Wars." A recognizable, if extreme, game morphs into a rigorous and ruthless self-examination; stripping-away the performer's personas until a judge confronts the contestants and the real battle begins. Kill Me Now questions and exposes people's willingness and even desire to be judged and to compete for some ultimate "prize" while, at the same time, they relentlessly judge and condemn others.

"The exciting interactive atmosphere seduces the audience in a satiric journey that leads to the ultimate destruction of the contestants, whose lust for fame is weighed against their will to live," notes director/choreographer Melanie Stewart.

Originally premiered by Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre at the 2008 Live Arts Festival, this edition incorporates creative contributions from the Rowan company and features a dance chorus choreographed by Paule Turner.

Conceived and directed by Stewart, the show is written by John Clancy. The creative team includes Joseph Napolitano (set design), Stephanie Nichols (costume design), Robert Thorpe (lighting design), David Cimetta (sound design), Joe Grasso (photography/videography), Anthony Hostetter (dramaturge), John Michael- Esposito (production manager) and Mary Rossiter (stage manager).

The company includes Chris Halasz as Hanz Deekengrabben, Katie Knoblock as Cassie Graham, Joe Grasso as Ezekiel, Joe Napolitano as Cesar Oswald Hurst/Sydney Palmer, Dane Eissler as Donald Belch/Ygor Chopsky, Claire Kane as Amma Antonov/Stella Staples, Heather Arroyo as Chanellica Betencourt/Rae Carmen, Allyn Merida as Katarzyna Putyrski/Marina Vitamina, Andy Spinosi as Danny O'Brien/Jonathan Barnes, Kaitlin Kemp as Stacie Marie Hawke/Belinda Barnes and Dana Orange as Justin Murphy/Thomas Scott. The "Fly Dancers" (under the Turner's direction) are Brittany Griffiths, Kelbie Brown, DJ Abel, La'nise Ambrose, Alicia H., Katie Kiessling and Amy Iannuzzi.

General admission tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Walk up and phone sales are available starting August 29 at the Festival Box Office, 120 North 3rd Street in Philadelphia. Discounts are available for Festival Members, groups and students. More information on the festival is available at

FringeArts (formerly Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe) exists to commission, develop and present a range of high-quality contemporary performing and visual arts. Every September the Fringe Festival features boundary-breaking work created by some of the most renowned contemporary artists from the region and around the world, and serves as a collective home for artists to bring their artistic visions to audiences without any curatorial barriers. The community is enriched as art takes over neighborhoods, animating spaces in the city - from traditional theaters to corner bars and vacant storefronts.