Nice and Fresh: November


Tickets only $7 /

November 15 at 6pm + 8pm November 16 at 6pm + 8pm


New Creations by

Alex Dremann
Megan Flynn (Saturday only)
Josh McIlvain
Shannon Murphy
Teresa VanDenend Sorge (Friday only)

Moving Arts of Mount Airy 
Greene Street and Carpenter Lane
(across from Weavers Way Co-Op in beautiful Mount Airy), Philadelphia, PA.

Art for the price of a sandwich!

Photo by Bill Hebert.

Photo by Bill Hebert.

Nice and Fresh


Nice and Fresh_Lanston Darby and Jonathan Steadman_Photo by Said Johnson

Pop-up Performances of New Theater and Dance

Thanks for coming out to Nice and Fresh October!

Art for the price of a sandwich!

New work by

Awful DJ (comedy troupe from NYC); dance by Barbara Tait; dance by Katie C. Sopoci Drake (from Washington D.C.); theater by Josh McIlvain of SmokeyScout Productions.

Each piece is 10–15 minutes long, entire show is 65 minutes.

Moving Arts of Mount Airy 
Greene Street and Carpenter Lane
(across from Weavers Way Co-Op in beautiful Mount Airy), Philadelphia, PA.

nice and fresh postcard front

The Nice and Fresh series is dedicated to the idea that artists need to create, performers need to perform, and audiences need to see new work.



S  L  I  D  E  SHOW

created and performed by Josh McIlvain, just finished its run at the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the slideshow was a staple of American life. SLIDESHOW drops audiences back in the time of Kodachrome colors, weaving a fictional family history around strangers’ real slides of long ago vacations. A bizarre, funny, and disturbing work that brings the past into the present.

“The punchy-colored slides and humorous yet heartfelt prose McIlvain recites is as uncanny and nostalgic as some of our own family scrapbooks.” Read the City Paper review!

“Ingenious travel down memory lane!” Read the Stage Magazine Review!

75 minutes

SLIDESHOW will be back and on tour in 2014/15! Check back for details and opportunities to host a SLIDESHOW performance in your living room!

Here’s some more press:




Slideshow_Josh McIlvain_photo by Deborah Crocker_1



smokeyscout productions presents


a trio of one acts about dogs, neighbors and bosses

Directed by
Chris Czyz and Josh McIlvain

Written by
Josh McIlvian

Thomas DeMarcus
Josh Lay
Paul McElwee
Ed Miller
Valerie O’Hara
Anna Watson

April 3-5 at 8pm

JUNK Performance Space
2040 Christian Street
(South) Philadelphia, PA

Read the article in the Philadelphia Inquirer!

Read the interview in


American Wisdom includes . . .

The world premiere of a skewed morality tale about a neighbor whose plant has just died, a neighbor whose cone is missing, and a neighbor who just wants everyone to get along.

For The Dogs
Debt, dogs, and love demand a complicated balance in the search for a decent life in this humorous one-woman play.

Waiting For The Boss
A tense, comedic drama about the intimate revelations between day laborers who care nothing for each other.



Founded in 2008, SmokeyScout Productions creates work that brings the absurdity of contemporary life to the stage with brilliant acting, bold humor, inventive staging, and a respect for audience intelligence. Based in Philadelphia, the company’s production of American Wisdom is their first New York City show since 2008, and features performers from both cities.

“Brings on the funny, tinged with an urban edge.” –Philadelphia City Paper

waiting for boss

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SmokeyScout Productions presents

Nice and Fresh: Winter Series

love joy diver_low res

Pop up Performances of New Theater and Dance and Circus Arts

Hosted by the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in Germantown

Featuring Amazing New Creations


Megan Mazarick and Les Rivera

Kendra Greaves and Cole Della-Zucca

Josh McIlvain of SmokeyScout Productions

John Rosenberg of Hella Fresh Theater

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
5900 Greene Street (entrance on Rittenhouse St), Germantown, Philadelphia

Nice and Fresh: Winter Series

kendra cole

“We find an exciting partner in Josh McIlvain and SmokeyScout Productions’ commitment to curating a cross section of Philly’s performing arts community. Circus is often overlooked as a distinct art form, and we are looking forward to presenting work alongside the dancers, movers, playwrights and art-makers that populate this series.” –Marc Miller, managing director of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts

“I’m interested in the many artistic forms that constitute performance and yet exist separately: theater versus dance versus multimedia and all the subgroups within artistic disciplines, which tend to isolate themselves from each other. I like putting these different forms side-by-side in one show. For audiences, it’s a snapshot of the directions various artists and disciplines are stretching themselves—and for me, it’s fun to see all this wildly different work in one place.”—Josh McIlvain, series curator and contributor, director of SmokeyScout Productions


2013 was a fantabulous year at SmokeyScout Productions.

Nice and Fresh: fall performing arts series of pop up performances of new theater and dance works

Nice and Fresh_promo

Return of Confessions of a Plate and Shoe




BROTHER HOUSE (staged reading)

Chris and Ed

SmokeyScout Productions presents

Nice and Fresh: Fall Performing Arts Series of Pop-up Performances of New Theater and Dance Works

Annie Wilson and Jenna Horton in Lovertits

Every First Weekend (Fri./Sat.) October through December, 2013.

Moving Arts of Mount Airy

6819 Greene Street, Greene and Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119.

December 6 at 7pm and 9pm

December 7 at 7pm and 9pm



Lovertits, conceived and choreographed by Annie Wilson, featuring Christina Gesualdi, Jenna Horton, Ilse Zoerb (dance)


Jesus and the Sister-in-law by Josh McIlvain/SmokeyScout, featuring Emily L. Gibson (theater)

let it snowden

Let it Snowden written and by John Rosenberg/Hella Fresh Theater, featuring Josh McIlvain and Francesca Piccioni (theater)

discreet holy

Discreet Holy Landspan by Eleanor Goudie-Averill/Stone Depot Dance Lab, featuring  Melissa Chisena, Scott McPheeters and Eleanor Goudie-Averill (dance)

All works are between 10 and 20 minutes. Entire show is 70 minutes.


newspaper photo


NICE AND FRESH November (SmokeyScout): Get punched in the face by art at SmokeyScout Productions’ NICE AND FRESH

November 4, 2013 – Julius Ferraro

SmokeyScout is named after artistic director Josh McIlvain’s cats: Smokey and Scout. The program of the November NICE AND FRESH thanks them, along with Moving Arts of Mount Airy (MAMA), the intimate, neutral space in which the variety show—or “Pop-Up Performance of New Theater and Dance Works”—is being presented.

Each of the four pieces in the November program is about ten minutes, and there’s a five-minute breather in the middle, making your $7 ticket go far while keeping your legs from cramping up.

Emily L. Gibson and Steve Lippe in MAKING the WORLD a BETTER PLACE through MURALS.

Emily L. Gibson and Steve Lippe in MAKING the WORLD a BETTER PLACE through MURALS.

Program opener THE CHASE is a wordless action-clowning farce in the precise style of GDP Productions’ recent Do Not Push. Nick Gillette, playing an over-exuberant, ticket-punch wielding SEPTA employee, pursues truant passenger Ben Grinberg across land, sky and sea. Ben and Nick bend space, climbing train cars, creating motorcycles and airplanes, and dangling from cliffs, all in an approximately 5×10 foot, unadorned patch of floor.

McIlvain’s own short play, MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE THROUGH MURALS, is a titillating denouncement of an unnamed Philadelphia mural-producing program. In it, a veteran mural-maker (played by both Steve Lippe and Emily L. Gibson) goes rogue after losing faith in the belief that a painting of happy multicultural people standing in a garden can improve a neighborhood. The plentiful chuckles in McIlvain’s irreverent script have a guilty tinge to them, reminding us how much stock we place in the massive arts programs of our city.

“You’d never put one of those in an uplifted neighborhood. An uplifted neighborhood would say ‘don’t put that shitty mural here’”

The other talky-piece is by John Rosenberg of Kensington-based Hella Fresh Productions, who has worked with McIlvain on multiple productions in the past—and whose theater company is similar to SmokeyScout in that both are run by Philly-based playwrights self-producing in areas outside the usual theatergoer’s path. PLOT: SECTION 46 LOT 366-11 GRID O/P-22.5 (whew!) treads the well-worn short-play path of mismatched strangers meeting and swapping philosophical ponderations. Rosenberg’s idiosyncratic voice comes out in the cynical twist: one’s a war widow (Francesca Piccioni) fiercely bitter about not being in TIME Magazine, and the other’s a sad old man (Rosenberg) picking up chicks in Arlington National Cemetery.

The weird highlight of the night is CITY BIRD SINGS THE CAR ALARM, a dance choreographed and performed by Shannon Murphy of idiosynCrazy productions (the company which created Private Places for the 2012 FringeArts Presented Festival). Outrageous, posturing, and irreverent, Murphy’s physical vocabulary borrows from overt seduction, self-conscious grooming, childish acrobatics, and drunken provocation, all within the balletic framework of a bird rising from its nest, singing and dancing, and then returning. The result is an exploration of a sassy, messy femininity larger and more complex than societal expectations. The music, designed by Steve Surgalski, mixes Annie Lenox’s 90s pop hit “Little Bird” with car alarms and other city noises. Murphy effectively mixes vulnerability with truculence. Her persona is much larger than the little space, and manages to intimidate more than a few audience members while telling her story.

“Fresh” is a good word for this pugnacious collection; each short piece manages to make a definitive twist to its respective medium. “Nice,” maybe less so; someone’s bound to be offended eventually, but that’s all part of the fun. The downside is its out-of-the-way location; though it’s only a twenty-minute train ride, audiences balk at leaving familiar pastures. But the radius of the arts is expanding in Philly, and if McIlvain continues to cultivate work of this quality and coolness, he might lure broader audiences out of center city.November 1+2, 2013 (subsequent events December 6 + 7, 2013)


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