August 25, 2011
Arden Theatre Company kicks off its 2011/12 main stage season with the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning August: Osage County
by Tracy Letts. Directed by the Arden’s Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen, this epic play will find its home on the Arden’s intimate F. Otto Haas stage from September 29-October 30, 2011.
The Arden continues its tradition of presenting great American family stories, like those of O’Neill, Miller and Williams, with this fiercely funny play by Tracy Letts. Describing his desire to direct August: Osage County
, Nolen says “If All my Sons
is a string quartet, then August: Osage County
is a symphony.” Today’s new plays often call for a minimalist set and small cast. August: Osage County
broke away from these trends when premiering in 2008, requiring a three story home to be constructed on stage, a classical three act structure, and a cast of thirteen.
Each of these characters is fully developed and alive, with his or her own transformative journey to take during the show. The play’s creation under the Steppenwolf Theatre model fed the success of August
, in which the actors who originated the roles had been collaborating with each other for years. Likewise, the all-star Philadelphia cast of the Arden’s production have worked together on an ongoing basis at the Arden and theatres across the region, developing strong relationships and deep trust in one another’s work.
The actors comprising the August: Osage County
ensemble are led by Carla Belver (All My Sons, Death of a Salesman
) as the matriarch Violet Weston and her daughters: Grace Gonglewski as Barbara (A Moon for the Misbegotten, Rabbit Hole
), Kathryn Petersen as Karen (Arden debut), and Corinna Burns as Ivy (A Prayer for Owen Meany
). Other actors returning to the Arden include David Howey (The History Boys
) Eric Hissom (A Moon for the Misbegotten, Our Town
), Anthony Lawton (The Threepenny Opera, Romeo and Juliet
), Mary Martello (The Threepenny Opera, Candide
), Paul L. Nolan (A Prayer for Owen Meany
) and Kevin Bergen (A Prayer for Owen Meany
). Appearing on the Arden stage for the first time are Philadelphia actor Charlie DelMarcelle as Little Charles, New York based actor Elena Araoz as Johnna, and Dylan Gelula, a current senior at Lower Merion High School as Jean.
Playwright Letts was introduced to Arden audiences this past spring with Superior Donuts
, in an acclaimed production directed by the Arden’s Associate Artistic Director Ed Sobel. Sobel served as the dramaturg on the original and Broadway productions of both Superior Donuts
and August: Osage County
, and returns as dramaturg on the Arden’s production. Past plays by Letts also seen in the Philadelphia area include Bug, Killer Joe
(both at Theatre Exile), and Man from Nebraska
(People’s Light and Theatre). Also a powerful actor, Letts has recently appeared onstage in American Buffalo
at McCarter Theatre and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
at Arena Stage in a production slated for a Broadway transfer this fall.
A major element of the Arden’s interpretation of the play is a sense of intimacy between the audience and the action that unfolds onstage. The play will be staged in a thrust configuration, so that the audience feels as though they are physically a part of the Weston household. The creative team tasked with this challenge includes Scenic Designer Dan Conway (My Name Is Asher Lev
), Lighting Designer Thom Weaver (Barrymore nomination for Blue Door
), Costume Designer Alison Roberts (Superior Donuts, A Moon for the Misbegotten
) and Sound Designer James Sugg (Romeo and Juliet, My Name Is Asher Lev
The final dress rehearsal of August: Osage County
on Wednesday, September 28 at 8pm is open to the public as a Pay-What-You-Can performance, with all proceeds collected donated to WHYY who serves the community by contributing to the quality of life through education, information, entertainment and inspiration.
August: Osage County
previews begin on Thursday, September 29. Preview performances run September 29, 30, October 1, 2 and 4. Opening night is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 5, 2011. Closing is set for Sunday, October 30, 2011.
Single ticket prices 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 at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.
The Arden is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. Open Captioned and Audio Described performances will take place on Friday, October 21 at 8pm and Saturday, October 22 at 2pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122.
August: Osage County
By Tracy Letts
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
A father disappears on a hot summer night. A pill-popping mother summons her grown daughters back home. Dinner is served, lies are told, and the battle commences. We continue our tradition of presenting great American family stories with this fiercely funny Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play. A vivid portrait of familial dysfunction brought to life by an all-star Philadelphia cast.
Arden Theatre Company
F. Otto Haas Stage
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia 19106
September 29-October 30, 2011
Preview performances: September 29-October 4
Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, October 5, 2011
$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
Elena Araoz (Resident of New York, NY) - Johnna Monevata
Carla Belver (Resident of Media, PA) - Violet Weston
Kevin Bergen (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Sheriff Deon Gilbeau
Corinna Burns (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Ivy Weston
Charlie DelMarcelle (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Little Charles Aiken
Dylan Gelula (Resident of Merion, PA) - Jean Fordham
Grace Gonglewski (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Barbara Fordham
Eric Hissom (Resident of Sarasota, FL) - Bill Fordham
David Howey (Resident of Wynnewood, PA) - Beverly Weston
Anthony Lawton (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Steve Heidebrecht
Mary Martello (Resident of Merchantville, NJ) - Mattie Fae Aiken
Paul L. Nolan (Resident of Claymont, DE) - Charlie Aiken
Kathryn Petersen (Resident of Elkins Park, PA) - Karen Weston
Terrence J. Nolen - Director
Dan Conway - Set Designer
Alison Roberts - Costume Designer
Thom Weaver - Lighting Designer
James Sugg - Sound Designer
Alec E. Ferrell - Stage Manager
OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS:
Harmelin Media, Hatboro Beverages, 12th Street Catering
Reviewing members of the press are invited to all opening nights and may reserve tickets through Leigh Goldenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 North 2nd Street in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.
The Arden’s 2011/12 season includes:
- August: Osage County by Tracy Letts – September 29-October 30, 2011
- The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez – October 27-December 18, 2011
- Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris – January 26-March 18, 2012
- Cyrano by Edmond Rostand, Translated by Michael Hollinger, Adapted by Michael Hollinger and Aaron Posner
- 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 www.ardentheatre.org
, 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 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