PEP | Performers Exchange Project

Latest Blog Post

Hey Friends! We did it!

Hey Friends!

We did it!

We had a tremendous month doing our work in Edinburgh.

We had some amazing experiences. We saw some work from other performers that was inspiring and affirming. We got so much out of the opportunity to perform and run our show so many times in a row. We can’t overstate the value of that work. If we are honest, we also had some dips. It is a struggle to get an audience in a festival as competitive as the the Edinburgh Fringe. As expected we had to tell ourselves to keep our chins up a time or two, but overall this has been a tremendous success.

We are reflecting on the year long job of producing a show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Our budget got it’s final once over and we are pleased to say we balanced up nicely, all expenses covered, all collaborators paid for their work. We received some nice and thoughtful reviews of our work that we know will serve us as we continue our work on the show, and as affirmation of the work we have already done.

We have gotten more as performers, and creators, and producers out of this year of work than we could ever express and it wouldn’t have been possible without you.

We will be re-working The Convolution of Pip and Twig using lessons and new inspirations from our run at the fringe and plan to perform the show again in Charlottesville in the fall of 2017.
Again, thank you so much for your support.


Siân and Kara

Pip and Twig at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

Pip and Twig are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Aug 5-27! Space Triplex Venue 38 –6:40pm BUY TICKETS HERE

Please visit for all details.

“The performances are very good…the choreography is impressive…well thought out movements helps develop the relationship between the two characters, even where dialogue is lacking. With singing, dancing and DIY props this is an entertaining 50 minutes…” – THREE WEEKS EDINBURGH (full review)

“In the clown-inspired performances that use the full expressive palette of the actors, there is a playfulness at the centre of the relationship, even at its most acrimonious. This playfulness extends to the production itself, which relishes the visual potential of the theatre: the ocean scenes are a real treat…the characters are brought to vivid, charming life throughout.” -THE LIST (full review)


Photos by Doug Berndt

Send-off Performances of The Convolution of Pip and Twig in Charlottesville July 21 and 22

Come see The Convolution of Pip and Twig before it packs up for Edinburgh

Thursday July 21
Friday July 22

6:40pm* (50 min running time)

Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC)
Maxwell Theatre, V. Earl Dickinson Bldg
501 College Dr,  Charlottesville VA 22902

Tickets $20
General admission
Tickets available at all 
Mudhouse locations
For out-of-towners only, please call 434-466-5272 to reserve

* Why the odd start time? We will be performing this play for a 3-week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August.  All 313 venues at the Fringe will have a steady rotation of shows running all day, every day. We have a limited time in the venue each night to get the show set up, performed, and packed away, and this part needs to be staged and rehearsed with everything else. We will be ending our week of technical rehearsals at PVCC with these performances and running them just like they will be in Edinburgh. A super quick set up, 6:40pm performance time, 50 minute running time, and a super quick load out.

We would love to see your face before we go!

Thank you for all your support,

-Siân and Kara

Exciting new year announcements!

Happy New Year everybody!

We hope your 2016 is looking bright. Did you make any resolutions? We didn’t either, but we did set some goals.


We are thrilled to announce that Pip and Twig have set their sights on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe! Sian and Kara will be packing up and heading over to the WORLD’S BIGGEST ARTS FESTIVAL for a 3-week run of their original play The Convolution of Pip and Twig this August.  Hamner Theater is once again presenting the show as the umbrella organization and Matt Joslyn is joining the adventure as co-producer. We will update you on upcoming performance information on both sides of the ocean, and keep you updated on the progress of our crack Fringe team!  (photo by Will Kerner)

But wait, there’s more exciting news: Jennifer has begun rehearsals for NO WAKE, an original site-specific performance and community collaboration that is the culmination of her Public Artist residency at the Bridge PAI. NO WAKE is an adaptation of Jennifer’s play of the same title. She is collaborating with PEP members Sian on actor training and Martha on script adaptation. The performances will take place in downtown Charlottesville, VA, from March 17 to April 16, 2016. More details to come! (photo by Lisa Eller: Sydney Wynn and Deandra Irving in rehearsal)

File_001 6.42.08 PM

A Staged Reading of Jennifer’s new play

Jennifer’s new play NO WAKE has been chosen for the Hollins Playwrights Festival at Mill Mountain Theater this summer! It will receive a staged reading with badass theater artists from all over in town to give feedback.

Sunday July 26, 2015
2:00pm – 3:45pm
Free (limited seating)

Mill Mountain Theatre’s Waldron Stage
20 Church Ave SE
Roanoke, Virginia 24011

“Each year, our New Works Advisory Board reads between 50 and 100 plays taken from the cumulative body of work of student playwrights who will be coming for the current summer session. These plays are ranked and vetted, and ten are selected for staged readings in collaboration with directors associated with our program–Certificate students, visiting faculty and guest artists. These readings are presented free to the public, but there is limited seating. We also bring in more than a dozen guest responders who are active working theatre professionals from across the country. Many of our festival readings have gone on to be published, produced and won major awards. Come see tomorrow’s stars today! Our festival is presented in collaboration with Mill Mountain Theatre on their Waldron Stage.”  – Hollins Playwright Lab

Tickets now on sale for The Convolution of Pip and Twig!

You can now purchase tickets to our upcoming show through the Live Arts box office.

Tickets are now available ONLINE HERE,​ or by phone at 434.977.4177 x123. ($1.50 credit card fees apply). You can also pay with check or cash by visiting the Live Arts box office in person at 123 East Water St, Charlottesville, VA.

*Pay-what-you-can tickets will also be available (for cash only) at the door opening night.

February 25 – March 1, 2015
Founders’ Theater
Presented by PEP in conjunction with The Hamner Theater

● Wed Feb 25 – 8pm*
● Thur Feb 26 – 8pm
● Fri Feb 27 –8pm
● Sat Feb 28 –8pm
● Sun Mar 1 – 2pm & 8pm

$20/Adults $15/Children under 12 General Admission

Click here for more details about The Convolution of Pip and Twig

Save the date — Pip and Twig at Live Arts

Pip and Twig take Live Arts! Mark your calendars…

Thank you to all who came to see the debut of this new work in December and for all the feedback. We learned a lot and are looking forward to getting back on stage with Pip and Twig for our next run:

The Convolution of Pip and Twig
Founders Theater at Live Arts
February 25 – March 1, 2015

Presented by PEP in conjunction with The Hamner Theater

Wed Feb 25 – 8pm*
Thur Feb 26 – 8pm
Fri Feb 27 – 8pm
Sat Feb 28 – 8pm
Sun Mar 1st – 2pm & 8pm

Tickets on sale soon through Live Arts box office.

$15/children under 12
*Pay-what-you-can tickets will also be available (for cash only) at the door opening night

We’ll be back in touch soon when tickets go on sale. Thanks for your support!
Convolution Hamner
(poster by Vu Nguyen)

Convolution of Pip and Twig – performance info

The Convolution of Pip and Twig is a story of twins navigating the light and the shadow of a complicated love, through well-worn routines, and epic adventure.

DECEMBER 10-14, 2014 8pm

Round Room Dance Studio
The Old Michie Building
609 East Market St, Suite 211
Charlottesville VA 22902
(Street parking on Market St or 7th, or in the Market St Parking Garage across the street)

$15  –  Cash and check at the door only
Email us here if you would like to reserve a spot
(tickets not claimed ten minutes prior to show time will be released for sale to others)
Wed 12/10 and Thurs 12/11 are currently FULL – if you cannot come another night, you may put your name on the waiting list in case there are cancellations
Appropriate for ages 10+


Presented by The Hamner Theater
Created and Performed by Siân Richards and Kara McLane Burke
Directed by Martha Mendenhall
Text contributed by Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell
Music and Lyrics by Jim Waive
Lights by Rowena Halpin
Sound Effects Hunted Down by Opal Lechmanski
Stage Managed by Opal Lechmanski
Lights and Sounds Operated by Opal Lechmanski
Set and Costume assistance by Jim Waive, Corey Lloyd, Laura Covert, Lisa Eller, Zap McConnell, Will May, Jennifer Tidwell
Hair by Leslie Morgan Lowry 
Graphic Design by Vu Nguyen with photo by Rich Tarbell (see attached image)
Box Office and general PEP Backup –  Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell and Doreen Bechtol

If you can’t make it to our December run of The Convolution of Pip and Twig, you will have another chance to see us in February 2015:

Live Arts Founders Theatre
Charlottesville VA
Details to come

Call 434-806-9506 for questions

Follow us on Facebook for info about performances, workshops and others PEP activities 


PEP has a new show on the horizon!

Convolution Hamner

Hi everyone, it’s Siân and Kara. For over a year now, we have been at times wandering and at times striding toward a two-person show of our own design. We are almost there.

The Convolution of Pip and Twig is a story of twins navigating the light and the shadow of a complicated love, through well-worn routines, and epic adventure. We are creating and performing this show with direction by Martha and text contributions from Jennifer. We are grateful to The Hamner Theater, who is giving us assistance as our presenter.

The play will have it’s inaugural run December 10-14 in the Round Room dance studio in the Old Michie Building in Charlottesville VA. Audience size will be very limited there, but the show will run again with room for a larger audience at Live Arts’ Founders Theater at the end of Feb 2015.

Keep an eye out here or follow us on Facebook for details and updates. We will be posting peeks into source material and our approach to play development, for those of you who like that sort of thing, and the wheres, whens and hows, for those of you who just want the facts. Thank you to Vu Nguyen for the groovy poster image above.

Now, we should probably get back to work!

Until next time,
Siân and Kara

Autumn Update

Hello Friends! It’s time to catch you up the current activities of our collective members here in Charlottesville and beyond:

Kara and Siân are in the process of creating a new (as-yet-unnamed) play with direction by Martha and text contributions by Jennifer. We will be posting more about this project here and on PEP’s Facebook Fan Page as the show moves toward performance in December 2014 and February 2015. We hope to see you there!

Jennifer has begun work on an MFA in Playwriting and has been working on her project, “While You Wait”, a “microgallery of mystery that is on an endless tour of our city. The Attendant asks you to spend 5 minutes alone with whatever is in the box”.
You can keep up with her here:

On the other side of the mountain, Doreen has been in the thick of teaching MFA students in the Shakespeare and Performance program at Mary Baldwin College.  She just finished directing a devised show with the students called Little Life. Based on three Shakespeare plays (Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and The Winter’s Tale) and one play by Thomas Middleton (A Chaste Maid in Cheapside) this original performance traced the lives of the four heroines, or “lost girls,” from birth to death.  Next up on her plate she’ll be directing, Metamorphoses, by Mary Zimmerman for the undergraduate drama department at Mary Baldwin College.

In other news, Martha has been working toward her MFA in screenwriting. We gathered with some friends recently to read through her screenplay, Artist of the Beautiful. It was a perfect reason to spend time with some of our favorite people, to quietly inaugurate a friend’s beautiful new studio space, Native Pond, and to give Martha a chance to hear all of her (many times revised) words out loud.

artistbeautiful1.jpg Artistbeautiful2.jpg
Thank you for your support!
Love, PEP