Preparations for Departure at the Philly Fringe

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Preparations for Departure is a show like no other - unless, that is, you happened to catch last semester's performance of Macbeth. Like Macbeth, the show requires the audience to position themselves in relationship to the characters. The performance space has no clear stage, and while the action is often centered on one scene, the other characters were often spread throughout the space, still acting, allowing the audience to explore various characters and interactions at their leisure.

This similarity with Macbeth is not without reason; Matchbox Theater Company, the group behind Preparations, consists of Swarthmore '09 grads (Colin Aarons, Jessie Bear, Dan Perelstein, Sasha Shahidi, and Jackie Vitale) and Emma Ferguson (class of 2010), all of whom worked on or acted in Macbeth last May. (Full disclosure: This writer played in the MacBeth music ensemble.)

While it is never explicitly present - at least, this writer never found an explicit reference in the show or in the rich collection of papers and objects that decorated the space - the aesthetic of The Little Prince runs through Preparations for Departure as it tells the story of a real immigrant family, and expounds on that family in the realm of the maybe-magical.
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