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2007/08 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company kicks off its 20th Anniversary Season with Assassins
September 13 - October 21, 2007 • Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim • Book by John Weidman • Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
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August 9, 2007

Philadelphia, PA - Arden Theatre Company kicks off its 20th Anniversary Season with Assassins, the socially provocative musical by Stephen Sondheim. The Arden's 20th Anniversary Season is proudly sponsored by PNC Bank. Harmelin Media is the production sponsor for Assassins.

The Arden's 2007/08 season showcases stories of celebrity, appetites, salvation, heritage and community. We invite the public to share their stories as we celebrate 20 years in the Philadelphia region as a premiere venue for both experiencing and sharing meaningful narratives. Visit us online at www.ardentheatre.org to share your story!

The Arden's mission is to tell great stories and Assassins weaves the intriguing tale of some of the most infamous characters from American history. Winner of five Tony Awards, it investigates the personalities behind nine individuals who attempted to assassinate a President of the United States. Assassins is part vaudeville extravaganza, part exposé and wholly electrifying, with an incredible score that reveals uneasy truths about the American Dream. Hugely resonant in today's celebrity-obsessed society, the story is peopled with desperate characters intent on making their indelible mark. This socially and politically charged story has grown in relevance since its 1991 premiere. Here in Philadelphia, we live in a wonderful American city riddled almost daily with gun violence. On a national level, we exist in one of the most socially and politically polarized societies in history. Globally, we've witnessed the power of the American Presidency to change the course of life both domestically and for the entire international community.

The power of Assassins lies in its exploration of the human condition. Society celebrates its national heroes. However more thoughtful self-reflection is required when contemplating our cultural identity by an examination of our society's most damaged individuals. Americans are proud that anyone in the United States can grow up to become President. Likewise, anyone can grow up and kill a President.

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. The work of Sondheim opened my eyes to all that musical theatre can do. It touches my soul. I return to Sondheim's stories because their audacity never cease to surprise and inspire me."

An all-star cast of actors including Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble, Scott Greer, Mary Martello, Christopher Patrick Mullen, Jay Pierce and James Sugg join forces and collectively bring 39 Barrymore nominations, nine Barrymore wins, and three F. Otto Haas Emerging Artist Award winners to the Arden's Haas stage. In fact, Jeff, Mary, Ben, Scott and James have collectively appeared in over 20 Sondheim roles, 16 of those here at the Arden.

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 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 hearing impaired are scheduled for Saturday, October 13 at 8pm and Sunday, October 14 at 2pm.

Only 60% of Arden's annual operating budget is covered by ticket revenue. The remaining 40% must be secured through individual, corporate and foundation giving. The Arden has been presented with an exciting challenge grant. If the Arden can raise $150,000 in new or increased gifts by December 31, 2007, the 1976 Foundation Fund will award the Arden $100,000. Visit the Arden online and help us hit our target!

Assassins' final dress rehearsal on Wednesday, September 12 at 8pm is open to the public as a Pay-What-You-Can performance, with all proceeds applied to the 1976 Foundation Fund challenge grant. Doors open at 7pm and all seats are general admission with a Pay What You Can price, first come, first served.

Assassins' previews run Thursday, September 13 through September 18. Opening night is set for 7pm Wednesday, September 19. Assassins then plays through Sunday, October 21, 2007. (a one week extension already due to demand!)

Subscription tickets are on sale, with five and three - show packages available. Subscriptions range in price from $69 - $195 depending on performances chosen. Discounts are available for students and seniors. All subscribers enjoy the best choice of seats, convenient ticket exchange policies and discounts at Arden's restaurant and parking lot partners.

Single tickets go on sale Monday, August 20 and are $27- $45 depending on the performance chosen, with group discounts available for 10 or more people. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, visit www.ardentheatre.org or stop by our box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia.

WHAT:
Assassins
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr.
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen

WHERE:
Arden Theatre Company
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia

WHEN:
September 13 - October 21, 2007
Pay What You Can final dress rehearsal September 12
Preview performances: September 13 - September 18
Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, September 19

TICKETS:
$27-$45 for adults depending on the performance chosen
Group discounts available for 10+
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.

PRESS:
Reviewing members of the press are invited to attend the opening night performance on Wednesday, September 19 at 7pm. Please schedule tickets through Beth Yeagle, at 215.922.8900 x22 or byeagle@ardentheatre.org

WHO:
Terrence J. Nolen - Director
David P. Gordon - Set Design
Alison Roberts - Costume Design
John Stephen Hoey - Lighting Design
Jorge Cousineau - Sound Design
Jorge Cousineau - Projection Design
Eric Ebbenga - Music Director

CAST:
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme - Erin Brueggemann (from Brooklyn, NY)
John Wilkes Booth - Jeffrey Coon (from Springfield, PA)
Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald - Ben Dibble (from Malvern, PA)
Samuel Byck - Scott Greer (from South Philadelphia, PA)
John Hinckley - Timothy Hill (from Miami, FL)
Sara Jane Moore/Emma Goldman - Mary Martello (from Princeton, NJ)
Leon Czolgosz - Christopher Patrick Mullen (from Hellertown, PA)
The Proprietor - Jay Pierce (from Brooklyn, NY)
Giuseppe Zangara - Jim Poulos (from New York, NY)
Charles Guiteau - James Sugg (from South Philadelphia, PA)

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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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