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Posted on April 04, 2019

For a PDF version of this press release, click here. 

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.@ManualCinema takes shadow puppetry and film to awe-inspiring new levels in “Ada/Ava” at the @KimmelCenter on 5/18. More info @


Press Contact:

Lauren Woodard                                                             



Jessica Christopher






MAY 18, 2019


“An unclassifiable story of spectral beauty.” – The New York Times


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, April 4, 2019) – The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus is excited to welcome back Manual Cinema with ADA/AVA and a brand new adaptation for organ premiering in the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.  This incredible performance collective combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive stories for stage and screen. The collective will be joined by special guest Aaron David Miller on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. The Kimmel Center first partnered with Manual Cinema and The Barnes Foundation on a sold-out engagement during PIFA 2016.


“Manual Cinema masterfully combines various artistic elements to craft performances that are as imaginative as they are impactful,” said Anne Ewers, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “ADA/AVA utilizes an imaginative story of the fantastic and supernatural to explore deeper universal themes, accompanied by the ‘King of Instruments’ in Verizon Hall. This is Manual Cinema’s premiere performance with organ – such an honor for us and a wonderful addition to our Kimmel Center Organ Series!”


Touted by The New Yorker as “theatrical magic” and by The Guardian as “an exquisitely precise piece of visual storytelling”, ADA/AVA explores mourning and melancholy, self and other. Set in a landscape of the New England gothic, the show follows septuagenarian Ada. Bereaved of her twin sister Ava, Ada solitarily marks time in the patterns of a life built for two. However, a traveling carnival and a trip to a mirror maze plunges her into a journey across the thresholds of life and death.


Manual Cinema is a performance collective, design studio, and film/video production company founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the cinema and imbues it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality.


Their unique methods have resulted in their work being showcased in top venues worldwide including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Kennedy Center. In addition to winning an Emmy® Award, they have been Peabody finalists and received honors from The New York Times, Time Out, and the National Puppet Festival, among others.


Other featured upcoming performances at the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus include: Brit Floyd: Another Brick in the Wall 2019 (May 7, 2019, Merriam Theater), Polly Mope (May 9-11, 2019, SEI Innovation Studio), and The Illusionists – Live From Broadway (May 10-11, 2019, Merriam Theater).


Manuel Cinema ADA/AVA

With Special Guest Aaron David Miller on organ

Verizon Hall

May 18, 2019, 8:00 p.m.



Tickets are on sale now starting at $29.00. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883. See for more information.


The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, our mission is to engage the region’s diverse communities with art through performance and education. Our Cultural Campus serves more than 1 million guests per year and includes the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy of Music, and the Merriam Theater- representing more than 160 years of rich history for the performing arts along Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. We are home to eight esteemed Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, we are the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. Our Cultural Campus serves as a preeminent and inclusive place to enjoy exceptional experiences that reflect the spirit of our region by cultivating a creative and socially-responsible environment where our community shares experiences that are delivered with pride, integrity, and respect. As a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization, we collaborate on, present, and produce a broad range of relevant and meaningful events, we serve as an active gathering space for social and community events, we educate the region’s young people through access to quality arts experiences, and we provide support to artists in the creation of new work. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is our proud sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2018-2019 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit


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For a PDF version of this press release, click here. 

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