The concept launched eight years ago in Glasgow, Scotland, as a response to cuts in arts funding: a series of short plays performed at lunchtime in the basement of a pub, with a pie (the savory British Isles kind, not the American dessert kind) and a beer included in the ticket price. Having witnessed PPP’s success firsthand, U.K. expat Emma Gibson adapted it for Philadelphia audiences with her company, Tiny Dynamite. Pie became pizza and lunch became dinner, but the plays remain brilliantly quirky gems. Tiny Dynamite won a Knight Arts Challenge grant in 2011 and scored more funding, plus a loyal following, after two successful four-play, month-long PPP “seasons.” A champion of the often-overlooked one-act form, Gibson showcases new and rarely seen short plays (usually less than an hour long), mainly from the U.K. She invites some of the area’s most inventive small companies to co-produce; PPP’s third “season” has already presented Inis Nua Theatre Company’s staging of Too Much of Nothing (starring Dublin actors Mark O’Halloran and David Wilmot and directed by Tom Reing) and Iron Age Theatre Company’s version of David Vazdauskas’ A Brilliant Noise, directed by John Doyle. Azuka Theatre Company’s Allison Heishman delivers this week’s Spacewang, three comic shorts by Tom Wells. Next week, Tiny Dynamite presents David Greig’s Kyoto, a sort-of sequel to last spring’s hit Being Norwegian, with actors Kittson O’Neill and Kevin Bergen reprising their sublime performances as intimate strangers, directed by Paul Meshejian. A Play, A Pie, and A Pint proves that theater needn’t be a full-evening formal occasion. Drop in for a quick one, you won’t be sorry.
Spacewang, March 21 and 24; Kyoto, March 26-28, 6:30 p.m., $15, Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. Eighth St., 800-838-3006, tinydynamite.org.