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2008/09 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents The Seafarer
By Conor McPherson - Directed by David O'Connor - May 14 - June 14, 2009 - F. Otto Haas Stage
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April 22, 2009

Philadelphia, PA - Arden Theatre Company presents The Seafarer by Conor McPherson May 14 through June 14, 2009. Broadway's recent Tony Awarding-winning hit features a collection of misfits playing poker on Christmas Eve in Ireland. A group of men, tied loosely together by their affiliation with misfortune, spend a boozy night playing poker. As the evening progresses, the game playing takes a sinister turn and the stakes rise higher then anyone could have expected. This expert comedy and chilling ghost story ups the ante on anyone running from their past. The honorary producers for this show are Fred and Emily Anton. Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia. For tickets, call 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.

Conor McPherson is considered one of the best contemporary Irish playwrights. His plays include The Weir (Laurence Olivier Award, Best New Play) produced at the Arden in 2000 and Shining City (nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Play). The Seafarer opened at the National Theatre in London in 2006. The production was nominated for both the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play and was described as "succinct, startling, funny and eerie" by The Observer. In October 2007 The Seafarer opened on Broadway and received four Tony Award nominations, including Best Play. McPherson was lauded as "quite possibly the finest playwright of his generation" by Ben Brantley of The New York Times.

"Conor McPherson is a magnificent writer who combines a keen sense of character with an extraordinary facility with language," says Arden's Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen. "He's a man who clearly understands the demons that we battle and the camaraderie that comforts us. And he knows how to tell a wicked good story. The Seafarer is a remarkable new play, and we're excited to share it with Philadelphia audiences."

The men in Arden's production are played by an all-star cast featuring William Zielinski as Sharky, Anthony Lawton as Ivan, Brian Russell as Richard, Joe Hickey as Nicky and Greg Wood as Mr. Lockhart.

Greg Wood plays the mysterious Mr. Lockhart. Greg was recently seen at the Arden in Our Town and Wittenberg and more recently in Born Yesterday at Walnut Street Theatre. His film and television credits include The Sixth Sense, Signs, Ed, Hack, and many others.

William Zielinski, last appeared at the Arden in Winesburg, Ohio, and has worked extensively in regional theatre (Baltimore Centerstage, Virginia Stage Company, Walnut Street Theatre, The Wilma Theater, etc.). His television credits include The HBO Series The Wire and Hack.

Anthony Lawton appeared at the Arden in many productions including A Prayer for Owen Meany and Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He also has appeared in starring roles at many other Philadelphia theatres.

Brian Russell is appearing for the first time at the Arden and, in addition to extensive regional theatre work, has appeared on Broadway in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial and The Farnsworth Invention. He was also on national tours for Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Graduate and On Golden Pond. His television and film credits include 30 Rock, Rescue Me, Law & Order and Paper Man.

Joe Hickey is also appearing for the first time at the Arden and has appeared regionally at theatres including Baltimore Centerstage, Virginia Stage Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Seattle Repertory Theatre and Cleveland Playh House. He also has a recurring role on the television show Gossip Girl and was recently featured on the HBO series John Adams.

David O'Connor, a Barrymore award nominated director and lighting designer, will direct The Seafarer, his first for the Arden. Regionally, he has directed at Lantern Theater Company and Hedgerow Theatre, among others. He is also an adjunct professor at Temple University.

The final dress rehearsal of The Seafarer on Wednesday, May 13 at 8pm is open to the public as a Pay What You Can performance, with all proceeds collected donated to ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships. ASAP's mission is to keep Philadelphia's youth safe and active by facilitating supervised enrichment activities in the dangerous after school hours. All seats are general admission, first come, first served for this performance.

The Seafarer previews begin on Thursday, May 14. Preview performances run May 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19. Opening night is 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 20. Tickets are $29-48, with discounts available for seniors, students, military and educators. Groups of 10+ enjoy significant discounts; please inquire about group rates. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org or visit the box office.

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's Box Office at 215.922.1122.

WHAT:
The Seafarer
By Conor McPherson
Directed by David O'Connor
Honorary Producers: Fred and Emily Anton

SUMMARY:
Broadway's recent smash hit features a collection of misfits on Christmas Eve in Ireland. A group of men, tied loosely together by their affiliation with misfortune, spend a boozy night playing poker. As the evening progresses, the game playing takes a sinister turn and the stakes rise higher than anyone could have expected. Don't miss this expert comedy and chilling ghost story that ups the ante on anyone running from their past.

Recommended for 11th grade students and older

WHERE:
Arden Theatre Company
F. Otto Haas Stage
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia

WHEN:
May 14 - June 14, 2009
Pay What You Can final dress rehearsal May 13
Preview performances: May 14 May 19
Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, May, 20
Reviewing members of the press are invited to attend opening night and may reserve tickets by contacting Janine Zappone at jzappone@ardentheatre.org.

TICKETS:
$29-$48 for adults depending on the performance chosen
Group discounts available for 10+
Student Rush tickets at the door only five minutes before curtain for $5 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org

CAST:
Joe Hickey (resident of New York, NY) - Nicky Giblin
Anthony Lawton (resident of Phialdelphia, PA) - Ivan Curry
Brian Russell (resident of New York, NY) - Richard Harkin
Greg Wood (resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Mr. Lockhart
William Zielinski (resident of Amsterdam) - James "Sharky" Harkin

ARTISTIC STAFF:
David O'Connor - Director
David P. Gordon - Set Designer
John Stephen Hoey - Lighting Designer
Alison Roberts - Costume Designer
Jeff Lorenz - Sound Designer
Katharine M. Hanley - Stage Manager

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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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