The Way Out

The Way Out- new circus-theater in the 2020 Philly Fringe

Philadelphia’s aerial storytellers present The Way Out — an immersive, 100% socially distanced performance for a drive-through audience, as part of the 2020 Fringe Festival. This unique site-specific show unspools across 78 acres of Laurel Hill Cemetery on Thursday October 1 through Saturday October 3. The Way Out is an evening of performance made for the pandemic — capturing a world inside a bubble, a meditation on time and history, and pockets of memory illuminated by flame.

Wheels spin, worlds turn, and the past loops into the present. Dancers hold tension from six feet apart, and aerialists are caught between earth and sky. Tangle’s acrobats navigate a complexly woven circus-theater story in this unusual show designed with all COVID-19 precautions in mind. Audiences flow along Laurel Hill’s gently winding roads to experience the show at a series of separate performance stations located across the historic cemetery, including dancers, live flameworking, kinetic sculptures, live music, and aerial artists. One carload or group of bicycles at a time, the audience parks to view each performance before continuing along the path.

The Way Out speaks to a central dynamic of the pandemic — we’re trapped in our houses, in our responsibilities, in our bodies, in our fear. Yet we’re released from some of our typical roles, from our normal experience of time, from usual social expectations,” says Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith. “The show’s unusual format of a rolling, immersive performance mirrors this sense of movement inside a maze, with answers in unexpected places.”

The Way Out is fully safe and socially distanced for all audience members, performers, and crew, and complies with the City of Philadelphia’s guidelines for outdoor performance during COVID-19. For more information, read our COVID-19 FAQ, or contact with any additional questions.

Tangle Movement Arts is a circus arts company with a contemporary twist, whose performances mix traditional circus like trapeze and aerial silks with dance, theater, and live music to tell a multi-dimensional story. Tangle’s work places an emphasis on queer and female experiences, and is devised collaboratively by its all-female ensemble. Based in Philadelphia, Tangle has been a Philly FringeArts Festival favorite since its inception in 2011. Philadelphia Weekly says Tangle “blends circus-style acrobatics with a smart theatrical spin.”

WHERE: Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132).
WHEN: Thursday October 1, Friday October 2, and Saturday October 3. All performance times are rolling (7pm-8:30pm). Rain date Sunday October 4.
TICKETS: $100 tickets are per car, not per audience member. $25 tickets for individuals on bicycle may be announced in September if COVID-19 safety permits.
FAQ: Ticket prices are per car, not per audience member. Box office is contact-free; upon arrival, audience members will be checked in via phone call. Audiences will stay in their vehicles the entire time, and there is no restroom access on site. Please read our COVID-19 Info Page for more information. The performance is family-friendly, although not oriented towards children. Contact or call 215-266-6215 with questions.

Tickets available via FringeArts!

PA Council on the ArtsFor the creation of The Way Out, Tangle received state arts funding support through a grant from The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.