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2011/12 Press Releases
Arden Children's Theatre presents Charlotte's Web
Adapted by from the book by E.B. White, By Joseph Robinette, Directed by Whit MacLaughlin, On the F. Otto Haas Stage, November 30, 2011 – January 29, 2012
Media Photos

October 26, 2011

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company presents Charlotte’s Web, adapted by Joseph Robinette from the beloved novel by E.B. White, as the start to their 2011/12 Children’s Theatre series. Whit MacLaughlin directs the play recommended for families with children ages 5 and older. Charlotte’s Web will be on the F. Otto Haas Stage from November 30 through January 29.

Join Arden Children’s Theatre for the heart-warming story of a special friendship between a lovable pig and everyone’s favorite spider. Wilbur, Charlotte and their barnyard friends have never been more delightful than in this wonderful tribute to one of the greatest stories for children ever written.

”Arden Children’s Theatre began 13 years ago with a production of Charlotte’s Web,” says Terrence J. Nolen, Arden’s Producing Artistic Director. “Since that time, hundreds of thousands of children and families have joined us for these great stories. I’m thrilled for our company to return to Charlotte’s Web, which celebrates unexpected friendship while introducing themes of loss and life cycles to children so honestly.”

The Arden dedicates the same resources to theatre productions for families as their mainstage work, especially by hiring the same designers and actors. Arden Children’s Theatre was recently awarded two Barrymore Awards for the 2011 production of The Flea and the Professor, including Outstanding Production of a Musical.

At the helm of this production is Whit MacLaughlin who has directed multiple award-winning Arden Children’s Theatre shows, including The Borrowers, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (nominated for four Barrymore Awards), The BFG, and A Year with Frog and Toad (nominated for five Barrymore Awards).

The creative team tasked with welcoming the audience into Zuckerman’s barnyard are scenic designer David P. Gordon (Barrymore Award winner for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), costume designer Rosemarie E. McKelvey (Barrymore Award winner for Something Intangible and Caroline, or Change), lighting designer Drew Billiau (A Year with Frog and Toad, The Borrowers), and sound designer Christopher Colucci (The Whipping Man, Barrymore nominee for Rabbit Hole) who will also create original music for the production.

Philadelphia theatre veterans and up-and-comers comprise the cast, inhabiting the humans, the animals (and sometimes both) in the barnyard. Sarah Gliko (James Joyce’s The Dead) as the mysterious Charlotte and Aubie Merrylees (Arden debut) as the wide-eyed Wilbur meet and form an unlikely and powerful friendship. Joining them are these actors returning to the Arden, but in their first Children’s Theatre productions: Anthony Lawton (August: Osage County, The Threepenny Opera, Romeo and Juliet) as Templeton, Charlie DelMarcelle (August: Osage County) as Mr. Arable, and Brian Anthony Wilson (Superior Donuts, Romeo and Juliet) as Homer Zuckerman. Amanda Schoonover (The Threepenny Opera, James and the Giant Peach) has worked on both Arden’s mainstage and Children’s Theatre productions and plays Edith Zuckerman in Charlotte’s Web. Rounding out the cast in their Arden debuts are Emilie Krause as Fern, Brandon Pierce as Avery, and Leah Walton as Mrs. Arable.

Following every performance of Charlotte’s Web, children participate in a post-show question and answer session with the cast, and then have an opportunity to meet the actors in the lobby. All children also receive a free commemorative show poster to take home. Weekday performances are held at 10am to accommodate thousands of schoolchildren. Over 2,500 students will attend the production free of charge through the Arden for All program, which also provides books, transportation and in-school lessons from professional teaching artists to communities with little or no arts access.

Charlotte’s Web begins performances on Wednesday, November 30, with previews through December 3. Opening night is set for 7pm Saturday, December 3, 2011. Closing is set for Sunday, January 29, 2012. Charlotte’s Web is sponsored by PECO. The 2011/12 season of Arden Children’s Theatre, which includes Robin Hood in the spring, is proudly sponsored by Comcast and Sprout.

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.

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 Charlotte’s Web. 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 interpretation is available at select performances. The Arden works with Hands UP Productions to present shadow-signed performances, where interpreters are part of the action. These performances will be held on Friday, January 13 at 10am and Saturday, January 14 at 4pm.

Arden Theatre Company also offers Arden Drama School, a wide array of classes and day camps for pre-school through high school aged children. Special acting classes taught by the cast of Charlotte’s Web will take place on:
December 26 – 9:30-11am for grades K-2; 1-3:30pm for grades 3-5
December 30 – 9-10:30am for grades K-2, 3-5:3-pm for grades 3-5

Details on all Arden Drama School classes can be found online at www.ardendramaschool.com
Arden Drama School is sponsored by Susquehanna Bank.

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.

WHAT:
Charlotte’s Web

Adapted from the book by E.B. White
By Joseph Robinette
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin

SUMMARY:
Join us for the heart-warming story of a special friendship between a lovable pig and everyone’s favorite spider. Wilbur, Charlotte and their barnyard friends have never been more delightful than in this wonderful tribute to one of the greatest stories for children ever written.

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

WHEN:
November 30 – January 29
Preview performances: November 30-December 3
Opening night: 7pm Saturday, December 3, 2011

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 Charlotte’s Web and Robin Hood

CAST:
Charlie DelMarcelle (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Mr. Arable/Gander
Sarah Gliko (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Charlotte
Emilie Krause (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Fern
Anthony Lawton (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Templeton/Lurvey
Aubie Merrylees (Resident of Downington, PA) - Wilbur
Brandon Pierce (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Avery
Amanda Schoonover (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Edith Zuckerman/Lamb
Leah Walton (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Mrs. Arable/Goose
Brian Anthony Wilson (Resident of Cherry Hill, NJ) - Homer Zuckerman/Sheep

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Whit MacLaughlin - Director
David P. Gordon - Set Designer
Rosemarie E. McKelvey - Costume Designer
Drew Billiau - Lighting Designer
Christopher Colucci - Sound Design and Original Music
Alec E. Ferrell - Stage Manager

PRODUCTION SPONSOR:
PECO

ARDEN CHILDREN'S THEATRE SEASON SPONSOR:
Comcast and Sprout

OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS:
Harmelin Media, Franklin Fountain, Hatboro Beverages


# # #
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, 58 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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