The Arden was transformed when we moved to our home in Old City in 1995. The renovation of our two-theatre complex was a catalyst for the creation of Arden Children’s Theatre, which has reached half a million kids and their families. This led to the launch of Arden for All, our educational outreach program that serves 5,500 students each year, and to Arden Drama School, which offers classes and camps to kids of all ages.
During this time, we also launched the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase, supporting the development of new work, and instituted the Playwrights’ Fund, commissioning new plays and musicals. We expanded our efforts with the addition of The Writers’ Room, a playwright-in-residence program that offers unprecedented behind-the-scenes access for our audiences. The Arden has become a hotbed for new play development. We have produced 34 world premieres that have received subsequent productions across the country and throughout the world.
Each season, we produce 7 shows resulting in over 450 performances that are seen by more than 100,000 people. Open in the fall of 2013, the new Hamilton Family Arts Center is our home for process, where we will rehearse plays, build sets, develop new work and foster the creativity of kids in our region through Arden Drama School.