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2010/11 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents The Borrowers
Adapted for the stage by Charles Way, based on the beloved children’s novels by Mary Norton, Directed by Whit MacLaughlin On the F. Otto Haas Stage, December 1, 2010 – January 30, 2011
November 4, 2010

Philadelphia, PA As part of Arden Children’s Theatre, Arden Theatre Company presents The Borrowers, an adaptation of the beloved children’s novel by Mary Norton, who also penned the classic story Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The Borrowers will be on stage December 1, 2010-January 30, 2011.

The Borrowers follows Arietty Clock, a typical tween yearning to experience the grownup world. Only difference? She and her tiny family live on doll house furniture under the floorboards. When their home is discovered, they are forced into the giant universe outside and Arrietty gets a bigger adventure than she bargained for. Children of all ages will relate to Arietty’s struggle between parents and independence, safety and discovery. The play also explores the definition of home, as the Clocks’ story parallels those of displaced families bravely making a new life in an unfamiliar setting.

”Arden Children’s Theatre has become a cornerstone of our programming,” says Terrence J. Nolen, Arden’s producing artistic director. “We are thrilled thousands of families have made the Arden a treasured holiday tradition. Like many of these past productions, The Borrowers is based on a beloved series of children’s books, bringing to life the Arden’s mission to tell great stories by great storytellers – for all ages.”

In creating Ghost-Writer, Hollinger asks the question: where do ideas come from? “This story hits close to home because I am a writer,” Hollinger says. “I’ve found that the most important work often happens unconsciously, so I was intrigued by the act of creation and the mystical aspects of the process. With each of my plays, I’ve tried to explore new theatrical forms, themes and time periods, something my long-term artistic relationship with the Arden has allowed me to do.”

Whit MacLaughlin, director of The Borrowers, has directed multiple award-winning Arden Children’s Theatre shows, most recently, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, which was nominated for four 2010 Barrymore Awards. The Borrowers presents a new theatrical challenge, which excites MacLaughlin. “We’re attempting to make the big and small coexist on the stage for this adventure story,” he says. “The script demands we shift the scale back and forth, and we’ll use a variety of techniques –shadows, puppets, an ominous musical score – to make the audience feel what it is to be tiny in a massive world.” Both MacLaughlin’s productions of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Roald Dahl’s The BFG experimented with scale, and the design team for The Borrowers will work with MacLaughlin to represent a world for characters just five inches tall.

The Arden commits the same resources to theatre productions for families as their main stage work, especially by hiring the same designers and actors. The creative team tasked with creating a world both big and small includes set designer Lewis Folden (2003 Barrymore nomination for The Boxcar Children), lighting designer Drew Billiau (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), costume designer Rosemarie E. McKelvey (2010 Barrymore nomination for Sunday in the Park with George, 2009 Barrymore Award for Something Intangible), and sound designer Nathan A. Roberts (Ferdinand the Bull) and puppet designer Aaron Cromie (The BFG, A Prayer for Owen Meany).

Philadelphia theatre veterans comprise the cast, playing both the tiny Clock family and the human beings they encounter, including Bi Jean Ngo as the adventurous Arietty (The Threepenny Opera, Peter Pan) and her parents played by Scott Boulware and Catherine Slusar (The BFG, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Syringa Tree). Other cast members include Steve Pacek (2010 Barrymore nomination for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), Marcia Saunders (Barrymore nomination for Sideways Stories from Wayside School), and Delanté G. Keys (One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest at People’s Light, Fatebook at New Paradise Laboratories).

Recommended for families with children ages five and older, every performance of The Borrowers includes a post-show question and answer session with the cast, an opportunity to meet the actors in the lobby after the performance, and a free commemorative show poster for all kids. This production is sponsored by PECO.

The Borrowers begins performances on Wednesday, December 1, with previews through December 5. Opening night is set for 7pm Saturday, December 5. Closing is set for Sunday, January 30, 2011.

Single ticket prices are $16-$32, with discounted ticket prices for kids and teens. Groups of 20+ enjoy significant discounts, with additional resources and classes available for teachers; please inquire for rates. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.

Arden Theatre Company also offers Arden Drama School, a wide array of classes and day camps for pre-school through high school aged children. Classes focused on The Borrowers include:
  • The Borrowers Acting Class on Monday, December 27. Grades K-2 from 9:30am-noon; Grades 3-5 from 1-3:30pm
  • The Borrowers Costume Design class on Tuesday, December 28. Grades K-5 from 10-11:30am
Details for all classes can be found online at www.ardendramaschool.org.

Families are also invited to attend The Borrowers Family Fun Day on either Tuesday, December 28 or Saturday, January 15 from 2-3pm. This exclusive backstage event takes adults and children behind the scenes where they can take an all access tour of the Arden, explore the set, meet their favorite actors, and learn how the Arden creates special effects. The event is best enjoyed by those that have previously seen the production. Refreshments will be served. Tickets are $25 for a family of four and can be purchased by calling the box office at 215.922.1122.

To further enhance the performance experience, kids ages seven and older are invited to join the Family Usher Network (FUN) with their adult chaperones. FUN gives kids a behind-the-scenes peek at how plays are created, instills the value of community involvement and teaches valuable social skills. FUN ushers receive an exclusive backstage tour, hand out programs, tear tickets, seat patrons and help straighten up the theatre after the show. For information call the box office at 215.922.1122.

The Arden is proud to announce the Target 2 for 1 Family Series, a ticket discount program generously sponsored by Target. This program offers two tickets for the price of one during selected performances of The Borrowers. Please refer to the show calendars at www.ardentheatre.org for the designated performances. There is a limit of four discounted orders (8 tickets) per transaction, available while supplies last.

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. ASL interpreted performances will be held Saturday, January 15 at 12pm and Tuesday, January 25 at 10:30am.

WHAT:
The Borrowers
By Mary Norton
Adapted for the stage by Charles Way
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin

SUMMARY:
Meet Arrietty. She’s your typical tween yearning to experience the grown-up world. Only difference? She and her tiny family live on doll house furniture under the floorboards. When their home is discovered, they are forced into the giant universe outside and Arrietty gets a bigger adventure than she bargained for.

WHERE:
Arden Theatre Company
F. Otto Haas Stage
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia 19106

WHEN:
December 1, 2010 – January 30, 2011
Preview performances: December 1 – December 5, 2010
Opening night: 7pm Saturday, December 4, 2010

TICKETS:
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org

Weekday Performances (Tuesday – Friday, including Friday nights)
Adults: $30; Teens (13-17 yrs): $20; Kids (12 yrs and under): $16

Weekend Performances (Saturdays and Sundays)
Adults: $32; Teens (13-17 yrs): $22; Kids (12 yrs and under): $18

Groups discounts for 20 or more tickets. Weekdays: $12/ticket; Weekends $16/ticket

Arden Children’s Theatre subscriptions are available for $26 – $40, which includes tickets to both The Borrowers and The Flea and the Professor.


CAST:
Delanté G. Keys (Resident of Herndon, VA) - The Boy/Uncle Hendreary
Bi Jean Ngo (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Arrietty
Steve Pacek (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Crampfurl, Spiller, Gypsy, Boy, Eggletina
Marcia Saunders (Resident of Chester Springs, PA) - Mrs. Driver, Aunt Lupy
Catharine Slusar (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Homily
William Zelinkski (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Pod


ARTISTIC STAFF:
Whit MacLaughlin - Director Lewis Folden - Set Designer Rosemarie E. McKelvey - Costume Designer Drew Billiau - Lighting Designer Nathan A. Roberts - Sound Designer Aaron Cromie - Puppet Designer Stephanie Cook - Stage Manager

PRODUCTION SPONSOR: PECO
COMMUNITY PARTNER: Target
OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS: Harmelin Media, Catering By Design, Franklin Fountain, Hatboro Beverages, Whipped Bakeshop

# # #
Reviewing members of the press are invited to all opening nights and may reserve tickets through Leigh Goldenberg at lgoldenberg@ardentheatre.org.

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

The Arden’s 2010/11 season includes:
  • Ghost-Writer, a world premiere by Michael Hollinger: September 9 – November 7, 2010
  • The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill: September 30 – November 7, 2010
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton, adapted by Charles Way: December 1, 2010 – January 30, 2011
  • A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill: January 6 – February 27, 2011
  • Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts: March 3 – April 3, 2011
  • Wanamaker’s Pursuit, a world premiere by Rogelio Martinez, part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, inspired by the Kimmel Center: March 31 – May 22, 2011
  • The Flea and the Professor, a world premiere musical by Jordan Harrison with music by Richard Gray, based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen: May 4 – June 12, 2011
Two play subscriptions to Arden Children’s Theatre are now available. Subscribers enjoy significant savings on tickets, the best choice of seats and a liberal ticket exchange policy. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at wwww.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office.

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 seven 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, 53 awards and 250 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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