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707 Hazardous Moves

New Paradise Laboratories


Categories: Theater

Dates: September 27, 2023

Run Time: 60 mins

Venue: The Icebox Project Space


707 Hazardous Moves
Written and Performed by Whit MacLaughlin
Based on A Throw of Dice Will Never Abolish Chance by Stèphane Mallarmé. Premiered in 2021.

A veteran experimental theatre director takes to the stage with words, moves, and compulsive counting to expose his obsessive love affair with a poem that gives zero love in return. 

Whit MacLaughlin throws caution to the wind. He fell painfully in love with Stéphane Mallarmé’s puzzling poem A Throw of Dice Will Never Abolish Chance (1897) over a decade ago. Seeking answers to this mysterious affliction, he traveled to France to sit at the feet of enigmatic philosopher Quentin Meillassoux, invented an unpredictable sport crossing sumo with jousting, took a bullet in a street mugging, gave up theater, returned to theatre to create an audience hallucination in Turkey, and finally, after an OCD diagnosis, failed to stage the poem in multiple attempts. In 707 Hazardous Moves, MacLaughlin, all by himself and in his 70th year, details why he gives such an enduring f**k about such a strange old poem.

Updated with new anecdotes relating to the cosmic nature of chance.

Web app to accompany the show:

“Brilliant! A work of complex emotional depth that leaves nothing to chance, leaving me breathless.”
– Merilyn Jackson, Broad Street Review


Cannonball, produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, is the first and largest independent festival hub of the Philadelphia Fringe that presents risk-taking independent artists in back-to-back performances next to delicious lounge spaces, fostering creative collisions and community conversation.

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About the Artist

Whit MacLaughlin is the OBIE and Barrymore Award-winning Artistic Director of New Paradise Laboratories. He has conceived, directed, and designed 25 original performance works with the company since its inception in 1996, including the recent The Adults, O Monsters, and 707 Hazardous Moves. He has directed, written, and performed in over 150 professional theatre works, most created using the techniques of collaborative ensemble-based performance creation. MacLaughlin is also a long-time collaborator with the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, having directed 24 productions there over the past 20 years, including may of the innovative, multi-generational productions that are a beloved part of the Arden’s work. He has been the lead artist in immersion experiences installed at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Opera Philadelphia, and online, with his ground-breaking internet performance works FATEBOOK and EXTREMELY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF PRIVACY, which have been studied and reviewed, nationally and internationally. He recently collaborated on How To Get To The River for the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University. He is a recipient of a Pew Fellowship for Performance Art.

MacLaughlin’s work has been presented at the Ontological Theatre and PS 122 in NYC, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, in Ankara, Turkey, and Sauve, France, as well as at residencies in colleges and universities all over the country. He has been commissioned by the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, the Humana Festival of New American Plays, and the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. His work has been cited with “Best of the Year” designations by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, Philadelphia Weekly and the Minneapolis City Pages. For his online work, he was nominated for a BigThink Humanizing Technology Award.


  • Whit MacLaughlinWriter
  • Performer
  • Jessica RizzoDramaturg
  • Bhob RaineyComposer
  • Thom WeaverLighting Designer (Premiere)
  • Camilla DelyCostume Designer (Premiere)
  • Pete AngevineNPL Creative Producer
  • Rohan HejmadiWeb App Developer
  • Cinco PlacensiaNPL Producing Fellow

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