Your view of Philadelphia may vary widely depending on what neighborhood you live in, how much money you make, whether you are black, white, Latino, Asian, or a combination, on the street or in a mansion, single or married, divorced or widowed. The city means radically different things to different people because of how they experience it—beliefs, politics, concerns are often the results of people's isolated experiences. Everyone knows there are others who differ radically from themselves—they can read the statistics. But what happens when those "statistics" share a stage together? What happens when those hot button issues are addressed live to 100 true representatives of the cross section of the city? What side of the pie chart would you walk to? Who will stand apart? Who will fall back into the majority?
In a world bombarded with ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ this cross-section of the society could tell the truth of modern Philadelphia’s life in a way graphs or pie-charts never could. Spreading throughout the city over five months, 100% Philadelphia began with the casting of one member who had to recruit another in 24 hours, who then recruited another and so on – all according to specific criteria of age, gender, household type, geography and ethnicity mirroring the demographic make-up the ‘birthplace of America’.
100% Philadelphia - a gathering that is a city, a group just beginning to experience itself, a choir that has never practiced, an impossible entity with many faces – assembled into ever-changing new group pictures: group pictures as replacement for family – as fleeting portraits of belonging. Who is missing? Who thinks they might give answers on stage that are different from the ones they’d give in response to a telephone survey or in the voting booth? And what have the statistics failed to record? Who thinks that this city is different because they are a part of it?
Concept: Rimini Protokoll (Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi, Daniel Wetzel)
Direction: Helgard Haug, Daniel Wetzel
Stage design: Mascha Mazur, Wolfram Sanders
Technical director/ Lighting and projection design: Wolfram Sanders
Research and Casting: Sarah Gladwin Camp