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Francesca Montanile Lyons


Categories: Theater, Comedy & Improv

Dates: September 7, 2023 - September 15, 2023

Run Time: 50 mins

Venue: MAAS Building Studio


Francesca Montanile Lyons brings you a kaleidoscopic solo performance that rides the line between pleasure and disgust, where clown and buffon hold a funhouse mirror to the artist’s self. Here, the laughter is tinged with nausea, and the nausea is tinged with relief. If you’ve ever hated yourself and/or everyone in the world, welcome.

Vile is composed of highly physical performance states that are deeply pleasurable to perform in part because they are born from the most unpleasant parts of the artist. Lightly inspired by modern interpretations of the seven deadly sins, ingredients include: the decay of late stage capitalism, a skewering of rape culture, the hilarity of depression, plus greasy toes, a balloon penis, and extra cheese. Maybe a dash of sincerity.

Francesca creates work that is personal and intimate in an effort to reveal broader truths and reckonings, and create connection through vulnerability. She makes invitations to herself and audiences to laugh themselves out of rigidity, to marvel at how simultaneously silly and tragic and stunning it is to be alive and have a body, so we can remember we are not alone and try to accept ourselves and each other with compassion.

She aspires for Vile to be as pleasurable as it is terrifying- both to make and to witness.

Collaborative support and design by Alicia Crosby.

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

Francesca Montanile Lyons (she/her) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Philadelphia: a performer, director, visual artist, and educator. She conceived of, wrote, and directed 'Dear Diary LOL'- a play made with the words of real-life diaries of teenage girls in the late 90s/early 2000s- which premiered in the 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, followed by a run at FringeArts and the New Ohio in NYC in 2018 to rave reviews (“…we absolutely need more theater like this.” - Exuent NYC 2019). She was a member of 'Girl Poop' (2018-2021), a “delightfully weird” femme foursome specializing in Pussy Pop Rock: short, high-octane ditties inspired by first-person experience set to simple and catchy beats. She also makes cheeky visual art that is often literally cheeky: drawings, embroideries, and animations that celebrate sensuality and eroticism. Across mediums, her work seeks to disempower shame and taboo through playful honesty & voyeuristic delight. Other credits include co-creating/directing 'Rough & Tumble' (Canonball Fest in PHL Fringe), 'Legal Tender' (PHL Fringe & AntFest), 'Fourth Quarter' (FPA Fest), co-creating/performing 'The Hopefuls' (2015-2106), and directing 'All 100 Fires' by Donna Oblongata (Panorama), 'Die, Dumping, Die!' (MuralArts/D3), and 'Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea' (Arts Bank). She has served as Co-Artistic Director of Antigravity Performance Project. Francesca's teaching artistry has ranged from dramatic story times for infants and their caregivers to adjunct teaching at Temple University & UArts, with plenty in between: visiting school classrooms for theater curriculum with various organizations, bilingual arts and literacy classes with the Barnes Foundation/Puentes a las Artes, and sexuality education with Yes to Consent/Puentes de Salud. MFA in Devised Performance from UArts/Pig Iron School (2016). BA in Theatre Arts & Performance Studies from Brown U (2011).


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