Archedream for Humankind Friend-raiser Kicks Off a New Workspace

Photography by Tristen ‘Dubz’ Waters
Check out all of Tristen’s Archedream for Humankind photos here!

On Tuesday, March 20th, Archedream for Humankind wow­­­­­ed people once again. Vegan almond treats, coffee, tea, chicken wings, pigs-in-a-blanket, soft pretzels and black-light reactive archetypal masks filled their new workshop at 1324 Mifflin Street in South Philadelphia. The event was their Friend-Raiser, christening the new art space with good food, friends, music and, of course, black-light reactive theater.

Archedream for Humankind started in 2000 when, through the help of Jacquelynn Tichenor  and Glenn Weikert , co-founder Alan Bell was able to turn his love of ancient cultures into a theater

company. Their performances are centered on the use of archetypal masks which Bell hand paints. At the Friend-raiser, Bell explained Archedream beautifully. “The masks are the opposite of nature. They reveal the spirit inside human life. Everything that’s real to a human being is invisible. And the true language of life is the movement of the body. There is enormous power in masks. They make the invisible realm tangible. Then communication begins. All you need to do is learn how to communicate.” Archedream uses an eclectic combination of puppetry, dance, music, masks, costumes and black-lights to tell deep stories.

Since 2000, Archedream has traveled internationally performing at the Fringe Festival, Lollapalooza, Burning Man, Alex Grey’s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, Dream Community in Taiwan and even detention centers. While Archedream often tours around-the-world, they are lesser-known in their hometown of Philadelphia. The goal of the Tuesday night, friend-raiser was to promote community involvement in South Philly.

The recent fundraiser featured vignettes of many Archedream classics such as Big Blue, Jessica’s Story and Inside Out followed by a Q&A and cast meet & greet. These performances have been tirelessly rehearsed by the small core-crew of Archedream. The cast meet each Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday for 3-4 hours where they practice and create. They function like a family, pouring their hearts into this art. Costumes, masks, and music are all produced by Archedream or their close community friends. Currently, the troupe is looking for new crew members with a passion for the theater. They are also in need of invested and driven board members, an exectutive director and a company manager. The crew will not be making it out to playa this year due to the ticket lottery and general price of tickets for 10+ members. However, if you’re interested in becoming a part of the Archedream team feel free to contact them at

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