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2011/12 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company announces first playwright for The Writers’ Room
Wendy MacLeod will take up residence in New Play Development Program
February 21, 2012

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company proudly announces Wendy MacLeod as the first playwright to take up residence in The Writers’ Room, an innovative new play program funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative and the Independence Foundation through its New Theatre Works Initiative. McLeod’s unique residency will begin in April 2012 and over a four month period, she will write and rehearse a new play which will run on the Arden’s stage July 5-15, 2012.

Wendy MacLeod’s play The House of Yes became an award-winning Miramax film starring Parker Posey, and was produced by many theaters including The Magic Theater, Soho Rep, The Washington Shakespeare Company, The Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin, and The Gate Theater in London. Her other works for the stage include Sin and Schoolgirl Figure, both of which premiered at The Goodman, Juvenilia and The Water Children, both of which premiered at Playwrights Horizons, and Things Being What They Are, which premiered at Seattle Repertory Theatre and had an extended run at Steppenwolf in Chicago. Her new play Find and Sign premiered in January at the Pioneer Theater where it was called “both entertaining and thought-provoking” by the Salt Lake Tribune. Hers was one of the plays in STANDING ON CEREMONY: The Gay Marriage Plays at the Minetta Lane in NYC. Her prose has appeared in Salon, POETRY magazine, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, The Awl and on All Things Considered. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, she is the James E. Michael Playwright-in-Residence at Kenyon College.

The Writers’ Room, led by Arden Associate Artistic Director Edward Sobel, is designed to allow the writer to stay in closer contact with her original creative impulse and have a more wholesome relationship with the larger institution than most new play development processes currently allow. MacLeod’s orientation to the Arden and the Philadelphia theatre community at large is facilitated by The Writers’ Room Artistic Circle, comprised of playwright Michael Hollinger, actors Grace Gonglewski and Melanye Finister, and designers Thom Weaver and Jorge Cousineau. These artists who live and work in the Philadelphia area will provide insight and support throughout MacLeod’s residency, from sharing meals and theatre outings, to testing ideas and reading scripts in process.

With The Writers’ Room, Arden audiences will have an unusual opportunity to participate in the new play development process. A limited number of the public will purchase “Inside the Writers’ Room” passes, entitling them to access throughout the writing, rehearsal, and performance process of the new play. Pass holders will engage in conversation around the work, becoming personally invested in the play. No other play development program in the Philadelphia region provides such a holistic experience for both writers and audience members. Inside the Writers’ Room passes will be on sale March 19, 2012. Tickets to the full production in July will be on sale in early May.

For interviews and details on The Writers’ Room, press should contact Leigh Goldenberg at, 215.922.8900 x43.

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

The Arden’s 2011/12 season includes:
  • Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris – January 26-March 25, 2012
  • Cyrano by Edmond Rostand, Translated by Michael Hollinger, Adapted by Michael Hollinger and Aaron Posner - March 8-April 15, 2012
  • Robin Hood by Greg Banks – April 25-June 17, 2012
  • Tulipomania a new musical by Michael Ogborn – May 24-July 1, 2012

Subscriptions for the 2011/12 season 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, or visit the box office.

Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. 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 272 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.
©2012 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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