The Appointment by the Philly theater troupe Lightning Rod Special has its world premiere at FringeArts on March 20-31 as part of the High Pressure Fire Service series. True to the LRS brand, it’s an edgy examination of the abortion debate in America.

Now comes news that it will then immediately zip up the turnpike for an April 18-May 4 run at the Fourth Street Theatre in Manhattan.

If the name Lightning Rod Special rings a bell, that’s because it’s the outfit behind the Obie Award-winning Underground Railroad Game.

In other Philadelphia theater news, we have a case of ...

The incredible expanding play

Click makes its world debut at Simpatico Theatre March 27-April 14. Finally.

“This has been the longest-incubating, wildest ride of a play I’ve ever known,” says Philly playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger.

“It’s crazy,” she says. “It was conceived in 2014, during the early days of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, and when it started, it had five characters. But as the issues deepened and multiplied, the cast grew and grew.”

How big is it now? “Eleven or 12,” she says, adding, “I think.”

Playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger's "Click" makes its world premiere at Simpatico Theatre Company March 27-April 14.
Courtesy of the artist
Playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger's "Click" makes its world premiere at Simpatico Theatre Company March 27-April 14.

In this age of theaters saving money by booking one-, two-, and three-person plays, she has sometimes felt frustrated. “It’s limiting,” says Goldfinger, a Barrymore and Yale Drama Prize winner. Some shows, like this one, require more. “We’re addressing the nature of consent, friendship, technology, love — and we need a lot of different, diverse bodies on stage to get different conversations and different stories.”

Simpatico is partnering on Click with the University of the Arts. After Simpatico, it’s off to the Vortex in Austin, Texas, and then to other theaters for the 2020-21 season.

Falling in love with art

Christina Anderson’s much-praised How to Catch Creation hits the Philadelphia Theatre Company March 22-April 14. Creation is on the eminent Kilroys’ List, which promotes underproduced plays by women, trans, and nonbinary writers.

The idea of creation is all over the play — in art, in self-creation, and in bringing up children.

“All those are things that involve legacy, what you leave behind for other people,” Anderson says. “But that’s the thing. You can have ideas in a play, but they have to arise from the actions of people.”

And people can be a handful.

"I wanted these to be people you loved, but also people who sometimes you just had to say, `What are you doing!?' "

Playwright Christina Anderson's "How to Catch Creation" runs March 22-April 14 at the Philadelphia Theatre Company.
Courtesy of the artist
Playwright Christina Anderson's "How to Catch Creation" runs March 22-April 14 at the Philadelphia Theatre Company.

In the play, Stokes, an artist, discovers and falls in love with the work of G.K. Marche, an out-of-print (and fictional) queer black writer of the 1960s.

"I wanted to show how it feels to fall in love with art,” Anderson says, “how infectious that can be.”

Judging from reviews of its Chicago debut, How to Catch Creation is proving infections for audiences, too.

Can’t wait to see:

La Gringa, April 19-May 4, Teatro del Sol at the Latvian Society. This Obie-winner by Carmen Rivera features Maria Elena, too American for her Latinx friends, too Latina for her gringo friends. Where are you, identity?