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Arden Theatre Company launches Old City Arts and Culture Weekends
Theatre, tourism initiative aims to draw Central Pennsylvanians to Old City Philly in October

August 3, 2006

Philadelphia, PA - Arden Theatre Company (www.ardentheatre.org), the award-winning theatre located in the heart of Old City Philadelphia, has teamed up with the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (www.gophila.com) to promote a new initiative entitled Old City Arts and Culture Weekends. The goal of the project is to attract visitors from Central Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Valley (York, Harrisburg and Lancaster) to Philadelphia's vibrant, historic Old City neighborhood for a weekend getaway during the month of October 2006. The weekend includes a performance of Arden Theatre Company's A Prayer for Owen Meany and/or Crime and Punishment and discounted rates at the Arden's premier hotel partners in Old City.

Join Arden Theatre Company - a six-time Philadelphia magazine "Best of Philly" winner - for an unforgettable production during Old City Arts and Culture Weekends! Arden Theatre Company will offer two extraordinary Philadelphia premieres in October: A Prayer for Owen Meany and Crime and Punishment. Theatre performances are Friday evenings at 8pm, Saturdays at 2 and 8pm and Sundays at 2 and 7pm. Tickets range from $27 to $45.

During the weekend, Central Pennsylvania visitors can also explore Old City's extraordinary historic and cultural attractions. Old City is a vibrant Philadelphia neighborhood called "America's most historic square mile." Independence Hall, Independence Visitor's Center, the National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell Center, and Elfreth's Alley (the nation's oldest residential street and a National Historic Landmark) are but a few of the countless historical attractions Old City has to offer. Today, the neighborhood's cobblestone streets are brimming with brand-new boutiques, galleries, upscale restaurants, outdoor cafes, and art-house movie theaters. First Friday (October 6) is the neighborhood's festive monthly event, when Old City galleries throw open their doors from 5 to 9 pm for art lovers to browse.

Arden Theatre Company will kick off the 2006/07 season with A Prayer for Owen Meany, adapted from the beloved, international bestseller by celebrated author John Irving (The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules). Owen Meany is an unusually small child with a striking voice who considers himself an instrument of God. When he accidentally kills his friend's mother in 1950s New Hampshire, the two boys are forever linked as they search for truth in a powerful, thought-provoking dark comedy of love, faith and destiny. Doug Hara - seen on Broadway in The Boys of Winter and Metamorphoses - will bring to life the indelible character of Owen Meany and joins a cast of Philadelphia's most distinguished actors. The show is directed by Arden Theatre Company's Producing Artistic Director and co-founder, Terrence J. Nolen.

Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky's classic tale of motive and murder - is perhaps the greatest and most insightful crime story of all time. Presented on the Arden's intimate Arcadia stage, this three-actor, 90-minute electrifying adaptation will keep you on the edge of your seat! The play was acclaimed by the Chicago Sun Times as "stunningly lean, taut and emotionally searing." Arden's award-winning Resident Director and co-founder Aaron Posner returns to the Arden after directing nationally at such institutions as the Folger Shakespeare Theatre. Three actors portray all the major roles throughout this psychological, philosophical, and spiritual whodunit, taking the audience on a heart-racing journey into the mind of a criminal.

As part of Old City Arts and Culture Weekends, guests enjoy discounted rates at the Arden's premier hotel partners: the Penn's View Hotel and the Historic Independence Park Inn, two elegant, intimate hotels within easy walking distance of the theatre and the best of Old City's attractions.

  • The Penn's View Hotel is an intimate, independently owned European-style boutique hotel that is part of the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel features luxurious rooms with balconies, Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces plus free wireless internet access. Located within the hotel are Ristorante Panorama and acclaimed IL BAR wine bar. Discounted room rates range from $120 - $202 and include a full breakfast.

  • Established in 1856, the Historic Independence Park Inn is a 36-room lavish European style boutique inn providing warm hospitality while capturing the culture of Old World Philadelphia. This registered Historic Landmark Hotel provides an atmosphere where 19th century charm co-exists with 21st century convenience (including wireless and hardware internet access in all rooms). Rooms range from $120 - $209 and include a full breakfast with make-your-own Belgian waffles.

Old City Philadelphia is located within reasonable driving distance of Central Pennsylvania and provides a safe destination where visitors can simply park their cars and walk to various attractions over the course of the weekend (thus alleviating city driving anxieties).

Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life the greatest stories by the greatest storytellers of all time. Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company has become one of Philadelphia's most celebrated art institutions and has received numerous awards, including six Philadelphia magazine "Best of Philly" Awards, four "Theatre Company of the Year" citations from The Philadelphia Inquirer and four Philadelphia City Paper Reader's Choice Awards. Located in the heart of Old City Philadelphia, Arden Theatre Company lies just north of the historic Christ Church and stands on the original site of Benjamin Franklin's famous bookstore.

Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City Philadelphia. To begin your Old City Arts and Culture Weekend getaway, call the Arden box office at 215-922-1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org for information.

MEMBERS OF THE PRESS: FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, INTERVIEWS OR PHOTOS CONTACT KAREN GROSS, PUBLIC RELATIONS ASSOCIATE 215-922-8900 x49 kgross@ardentheatre.org

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