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2011/12 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents August: Osage County
By Tracy Letts, Directed by Terrence J. Nolen, On the F. Otto Haas Stage, September 29 – October 30, 2011
Media Photos

September 22, 2011

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company 2011/12 main stage season continues with The Whipping Man a Civil War drama by Matthew Lopez and directed by Matt Pfeiffer. This story of legacy and redemption will appear on the Arden’s Arcadia Stage from October 27-December 18, 2011.

In The Whipping Man, the Civil War has just come to an end. A Jewish Confederate soldier returns to his home, reuniting with his family’s former slaves. Amidst the rubble from the war, these three men gather to create order, honor their shared faith and celebrate newfound freedom on Passover. Philadelphia actors Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. (Blue Door) and James Ijames (Superior Donuts, Romeo and Juliet) portray the slaves, alongside Cody Nickell (Crime and Punishment, The Wilma Theater’s production of The Understudy) as Caleb, the young wounded soldier.

“We are proud to introduce up-and-coming playwright Matthew Lopez to Philadelphia audiences with The Whipping Man,” says Terrence J. Nolen, the Arden’s Producing Artistic Director. “This unexpected story rooted in history will inspire great discussion about religion, identity and freedom, and I’m thrilled with the team of artists we’ve assembled to bring the play to life on our stage.”

The Whipping Man first premiered in 2006 and recently completed an acclaimed, sold-out run at Manhattan Theatre Club. This year, playwright Matthew Lopez was awarded the John Gassner Playwrighting Award by the Outer Critics Circle. Lopez holds new play commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company and The Old Globe, where he is also Artist-in-Residence.

Director Matt Pfeiffer (A Moon for the Misbegotten, Romeo and Juliet) will create the crumbling Virginia home on the Arden’s intimate Arcadia stage along with set designer David P. Gordon (Barrymore Award for If You Give A Mouse A Cookie), costume designer Alison Roberts (August: Osage County, A Moon for the Misbegotten), lighting designer Thom Weaver (Barrymore nominations for Blue Door and The Flea and the Professor), and sound designer Christopher Colucci (Barrymore nomination for Rabbit Hole).

The final dress rehearsal of The Whipping Man on Wednesday, October 26 at 8pm is open to the public as a Pay-What-You-Can performance, with all proceeds collected donated to The New Freedom Theatre.

The Whipping Man previews begin on Thursday, October 27. Preview performances run October 27, 28, 29, 30 and November 1. Opening night is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, 2011. Closing is set for Sunday, December 18, 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, December 2 at 8pm and Saturday, December 3 at 2pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122.

WHAT:
The Whipping Man

By Matthew Lopez
Directed by Matt Pfeiffer

SUMMARY:
A Jewish Confederate soldier returns to his home, reuniting with his family’s former slaves. Amidst the rubble from the Civil War, these three men gather to create order, honor their shared faith and celebrate newfound freedom on Passover.

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

WHEN:
October 27 – December 18, 2011
Preview performances: October 27-November 1
Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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:
Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Simon
James Ijames (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - John
Cody Nickell (Resident of New York, NY) - Caleb

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Matt Pfeiffer - Director
David P. Gordon - Set Designer
Alison Roberts - Costume Designer
Thom Weaver - Lighting Designer
Christopher Colucci - Sound Designer
Stephanie Cook - 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 lgoldenberg@ardentheatre.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
  • Charlotte’s Web Adapted from the book by E.B. White by Joseph Robinette – November 30, 2011-January 29, 2012
  • 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 - 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 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 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.
©2011 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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