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2007/08 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company's 20th Anniversary Season Announced!
Celebrating twenty years of great stories

June 18, 2007

Philadelphia, PA - Arden Theatre Company announced its 20th anniversary season comprised of five mainstage productions that bring to life great stories by great storytellers. The Arden's 20th Anniversary Season is proudly sponsored by PNC Bank. Arden Theatre Company's children theatre series features two productions for families with children ages five and older and will be announced later this summer.

The Arden's 2007/08 mainstage season showcases productions that tell tales of celebrity, appetites, salvation, heritage and community. We will also offer the public an opportunity to share their stores as we celebrate our place in the Philadelphia region as a premiere venue for both experiencing and sharing meaningful narratives. Visit us online at to share your story!

Join us at our award-winning theatre in the heart of vibrant, historic Old City Philadelphia and find out why Arden Theatre Company commanded six wins in the 2005 Barrymore Awards for Excellence and eight in 2006 – more than any other theatre company in the Philadelphia region. The Arden has also won 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.


September 13 - October 21, 2007
By Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
On the Haas Stage
A story of celebrity

Part vaudeville extravaganza, part exposé and wholly electrifying, Assassins reveals uneasy truths about the American Dream. Winner of five Tony® Awards, it investigates the personalities behind nine individuals who attempted to assassinate a President of the United States. Hugely resonant in today's celebrity-obsessed society, the story is peopled with desperate characters intent on making their mark. Don't miss this unforgettable musical exploring the thoughts, motives and madness of want-to-be killers.

An all-star cast of actors including Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble, Scott Greer, Josh Lamon, Mary Martello, Christopher Patrick Mullen, Jay Pierce and James Sugg join forces and collectively bring thirty-seven Barrymore nominations, ten Barrymore wins, and three F. Otto Haas Emerging Artist Award winners to our stage.

The Arden's producing artistic director, Terrence J. Nolen, is a renowned interpreter of Sondheim and "the preeminent producer of my work in Philadelphia" according to Sondheim himself! Assassins will mark the tenth Sondheim musical directed by Nolen who commented, "I am continually drawn to Sondheim because he pushes the boundaries of the American musical art form."

Assassins was made possible in part by a grant from the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts. The production sponsor of Assassins is Harmelin Media.

An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf
By Michael Hollinger
October 11 - December 9, 2007
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin
On the Arcadia Stage
A story of appetites

It's 1961 and Victor is a wealthy American expatriate living in Paris. He owns the fabulous Café du Grand Boeuf – the world's greatest restaurant reserved solely for his private use. He arrives one summer evening after a trip to Madrid in a very bleak mood. As his fastidiously French staff fusses over him, he announces his decision to starve himself to death! This all-new production of Michael Hollinger's first play at the Arden is a delicious, dark comedy celebrating the joys of cooking, sex, bullfighting and the collected works of Ernest Hemingway.

The Arden's ongoing collaboration with Philadelphia playwright Michael Hollinger has yielded six world premieres: Opus, Tooth and Claw, Red Herring, Tiny Island, Incorruptible, and Empty Plate. Opus won The Independence Foundation New Play Award as part of the 2006 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre and is being produced at Primary Stages in New York City from July 24 through September 1, 2007. Michael Hollinger is one of two playwrights to win a citation in 2006 from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust/American Theatre Critics Association for his play Opus.

By David Davalos
January 17 - March 16, 2008
On the Arcadia Stage
A story of salvation

Set during late October of 1517, this smart, sprightly and audacious battle of wits features university colleagues Dr. Faustus (a man of appetites), Martin Luther (a man of faith), and their student Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (a youth struggling not only with his beliefs but also with his tennis game). Playwright David Davalos brings us the story behind the stories in a highly entertaining and accessible exploration of reason versus faith, starring Scott Greer as Faustus and Greg Wood as Luther.

Wittenberg marks the 28th world premiere at Arden Theatre Company and is part of our ongoing commitment to new work under the auspices of The Independence Foundation New Play Showcase.

The Piano Lesson
By August Wilson
March 6 - April 6, 2008
Directed by Walter Dallas
On the Haas Stage
A story of heritage

Walter Dallas, Freedom Theatre's Artistic Director, helms this moving production set in Pittsburgh in 1936. Boy Willie battles his sister Berniece over the future of a treasured heirloom: a piano, carved with African-style portraits by their grandfather, an enslaved plantation carpenter. He wants to sell it to buy land. She insists that the instrument carries too much family history to cast aside. In a home haunted by the ghosts of the past, the family piano is much more than a musical instrument. The issue of whether or not to sell it cuts deeply and raises questions about honoring the legacy we inherit.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson died in 2005 after completing ten plays chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century, decade by decade. Arden Theatre Company presented Wilson's play Fences (set during the 1950s) as part of our 2004/2005 season.

Our Town
in Old City
By Thornton Wilder
May 22 - June 22, 2008
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
On the Haas Stage and in Christ Church
A story of community

The finale of our 20th Anniversary season is an unprecedented event celebrating community as we bring to life Wilder's beloved masterpiece chronicling the simple beauty and fragile elegance of daily life.

Act I will be played at the Arden's Haas Stage. At intermission, the audience will walk next door through the churchyard to Christ Church where we will stage the wedding of Act II. We will then return to the Arden for Act III.

To further involve our Philadelphia community, we will bring together different musical groups – one night a boys choir, the next a gospel choir, the next perhaps a string quartet? Each night we will have special community guests as part of the production.

As we culminate our 20th Anniversary season, we want to feature what makes this city remarkable – its incredible historical legacy, its rich cultural diversity and vitality, and the individuals that make our town a truly rewarding place to live and work.

2007/08 season subscriptions are now available. Subscribers enjoy significant savings on tickets, the best choice of seats, and a liberal ticket exchange policy. Five-show and three-show subscriptions range in price from $69-$195.

Single ticket prices to Arden Theatre Company's mainstage shows are $27-$45 depending on the performances chosen, with discounts available for seniors and students. Groups of 10+ enjoy significant discounts.

The Arden is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122. Captioned performances for people who are hard of hearing are also available.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, visit us online at, or stop by the Box Office. Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 N. 2nd Street in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Old City Philadelphia.

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©2009 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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