by Charlotte Jones

September 8-24

Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5

Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2017 

About Airswimming

Set in 1920's Ireland, Airswimming is based on the true story of two women imprisoned in a mental hospital for daring to challenge society's definition of womanhood. Forgotten by the world, Dora and Persephone come together for one hour each day to clean and find connection. Through sheer force of will, friendship, and a penchant for Doris Day, they redefine their world and resist confinement for over 50 years. 

Airswimming explores female identity & friendship at a time in Irish history when mental health and women’s issues converged. Jones takes the imagined circumstances of two real imprisoned women and asks:

How do we express and accept ourselves when our freedoms have been taken away?

How can finding connection with another person help us better understand ourselves?

What does Doris Day have to do with any of this?

Airswimming speaks to the desire in all of us to be free from societal constraints, to dance and be weird and wacky with our best friends, and to find meaning in the most unexpected of places. 

About the Playwright

Charlotte Jones had a meteoric rise to success as a playwright. She won the Critics’ Circle Most Promising Playwright award in 1999 for “In Flame” and “Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis”. Her fourth stage play “Humble Boy” premiered at the National Theatre in 2001, and was awarded the Critics’ Circle Best New Play Award, the People’s Choice Best New Play Award and was nominated for an Olivier award. It transferred to the West End and ran for nine months before opening at the Manhattan Theatre club in New York and being nominated for a Drama desk award. In 2015 Charlotte was made an Honourary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, for her services to the Arts. Her plays are published by Faber and Faber and have enjoyed productions all over the world. She also writes extensively for TV, radio and film. Airswimming was her first play.

About the Philadelphia Fringe Festival

FringeArts is Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, presenting progressive, world-class art that stretches the imagination and boldly defies expectation. As the city’s lead experimenter in the arts, FringeArts exposes audiences to unpredictable dance, theater and music performances by accomplished and emerging innovators who are pushing the boundaries of art-making and redefining the artistic landscape worldwide.


Preview of the Show