September 9, 2017. A group of two dozen or so gathered at 11 am at Washington Avenue Green Park. Several were wearing white. Some had cameras. Others weren't sure what was going to happen.

The group wearing white were representatives ot the Quiet Circus—men and women of various ages comprising a weekly performing residency. The group has been concentrating on Washington Avenue Green as their venue for 23 weeks with planning that started last summer.

On Saturday, September 2nd, Quiet Circus invited the public to their first community experience. There is no set program for the performances, and some props were used (folding chairs, picture frames, randomly placed blue rocks). At noon a male Quiet Circus member silently dragged a large blue rope through the Park and onto the end of Pier 53, which was designated as 'the island'. He then climbed down from the paved surface and placed the coiled rope atop one of the rocks that jutted from among the original wooden pilings.

It's hoped that through the fall the crowd will grow larger, and that the improvisations will become more adventurous.The props will vary from week to week. Participants are encouraged to add and move objects among the various tableaux.



These outdoor events invite any person to experience, witness, and perform three interlocking scores of stillness, contemplation, landscape, and community.  

The weather on September 9 was perfect—a warm, sunny day with a hint of the cumulus clouds typical of late summer and early fall. The Quiet Circus plans to be present at Washington Avenue Green every Saturday from now until November 22, from 11 am to 1 pm., and they promise to be there rain or shine until Thanksgiving weekend. The only exception will be made in case of weather conditions involving lightning which is considered too dangerous for outdoor events.

To learn more visit their website:

Photo of sign at right is by Kathy Martin.
All other photos by Susan McAninley.

Ongoing at Washington Avenue Green is the Pier 53 Project—a historical study of the immigrants who arrived at the Pier from 1876 to the 1920's, their stories, and the stories of their descendants. Each story is part of a mosaic that contributes to the history of Philadelphia and its waterfront, and ultimately to the history of immigration in the United States.

Here's the link to the Pier 53 Project page on this site. Pier 53 Project .