Love Letters


Bricolage, an experimental theater company, was formed in 1975 in a loft on the east side of 3rd St. between Arch and Race. From 1975 to 1987 the company performed over fifteen original works developed through improvisational workshops, in addition to scripted works by Sam Shepard and Harold Pinter. Rotating project directors and a collectivist mindset informed the company ethos. Typically working without an originating script, each work had a loose and mutable structure that could change from performance to performance. Company members included artists, actors and dancers, all of which was reflected in the works’ aesthetic character. 

Throughout its’ history Bricolage was headquartered in various Old City lofts and had deep connections to the neighborhood. Many works were performed at the Painted Bride Art Center, Etage and Bread St. Studios. In the mid 70s, Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, a Bricolage reimagining of the Chinese Cultural Revolution opera, was the culminating piece of Old City Arts Wear White at Night festival. Other performance venues included The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Yellow Springs Institute, The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh and various academic institutions, theaters and galleries in New York and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Bricolage was commissioned by the ICA to develop an original work and received funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Fels Fund and as many as ten project grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. 

Members included, Daphne Nichols, Gerry Nichols, Robert Younger, Charles Guarino, Lydia Hunn, Garry Grissom, Barbara Dufty, Richard Flood, Midge Valdes, Cathy Stoops and Mark Campbell. Guest Performers included Peter Rose, Anthony Gorny, Tom Perry, Lynn Denton, Aaron Goldschnider, Amy Vogel and Katy Schimert. 

An incomplete list of performances include:

Operation Sidewinder

Two X Two


Violence Monologues

Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy

I Was Thinking

Tail of Two Cities

Night Marks

Apollo and Daphne

Amazing Grace

Hand To Hand Fighting

Toxic Shock

The Pinter Project

Labor Value

No One Was Killed


The research for the OCA History Project is ongoing...

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