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2009/10 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company to stage Seurat painting live in Old City
Georges Seurat’s masterpiece Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte to be recreated on Filbert Street
May 24, 2010

Philadelphia, PA - In conjunction with its presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George, Arden Theatre Company will stage a live version of Georges Seurat’s masterpiece Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte on Friday, June 4, from 6-7pm on Filbert Street, adjacent to the company’s Old City location at 40 N. 2nd Street. Sunday in the Park with George, which imagines Seurat’s process of creating the painting, will be on stage from May 27 through July 4 and is the final show of the Arden’s 2009/2010 season.

As Seurat’s painting inspired Sondheim to write his musical, the Arden has been inspired by Sunday in the Park with George to create this living tableau. Presenting a contemporary interpretation of the painting, a team of volunteers will portray the characters in Seurat’s painting wearing modern dress. The tableau will occur at intervals between 6-7pm and participants will strike the iconic poses for five minutes per staging. This event coincides with Old City’s First Friday festivities, in which the Arden provides creative projects and behind-the-scenes insight to audience members.

This living tableau reflects Arden’s commitment to deepen its audience’s engagement, not only with its production of Sunday in the Park with George but all of its programming. In addition to the living tableau, audiences who see the musical and are inspired to create a work of art—as Sondheim was inspired by Seurat—are encouraged to submit original works, from songs and photographs to paintings and poems, to be displayed during a special exhibition at the Arden’s First Friday event on September 3.

Sunday in the Park with George
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
Production conceived by Jorge Cousineau and Terrence J. Nolen
On the Arden’s F. Otto Haas Stage
May 27-July 4, 2010
Sunday in the Park with George celebrates the power of creation. Jeffrey Coon (Seurat) and Kristine Fraelich (Dot) star in this passionate production featuring Sondheim's full orchestrations and a commanding ensemble of 15. Tickets and information is available online at or by calling 215.922.1122

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Members of the press may plan to document the living painting by contacting Leigh Goldenberg, Marketing Associate, at 215.922.8900 x43 or

Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 North 2nd Street in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.

Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life the greatest stories by the greatest storytellers of all time. We stage five productions each season as part of our mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children’s Theatre, the city’s first resident professional children’s theatre program. We create and produce new work through our new-work development program, the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden Professional Apprentice program trains future theatre leaders, and our theatre classes through Arden Drama School teach children and teens about the craft of making plays. Our access program, Arden for All, makes our work available to the entire community through subsidized tickets and books for economically disadvantaged young people. We also offer sign language-interpreted, captioned and audio described performances and Pay-What-You-Can final dress rehearsals that benefit other nonprofits.

The Arden has received six Philadelphia Magazine “Best of Philly” Awards, the Arts and Business Council’s Arts Excellence Award, five City Paper “Reader’s Choice” Awards, four Philadelphia Inquirer “Theatre Company of the Year citations, 52 awards and 234 nominations from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia’s Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, and was named “Best Theatre Company” by Philadelphia Weekly in 2009.
©2009 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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