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2012/13 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents Announces
25th Anniversary Season
Arden’s 2012-13 Season tells great stories by great storytellers
June 6, 2012

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company proudly announces these seven productions for its 2012/13 Season, which marks the company’s 25th Anniversary Season:

  • Next to Normal Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey, Music by Tom Kitt
  • Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain
  • Cinderella by Charles Way
  • Endgame by Samuel Beckett
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, Adapted by Greg Banks
  • A Little Night Music Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler
“Our 25th Anniversary Season exemplifies what we do best – daring and ambitious musicals, dramas that grapple with the complicated notion of the American family, provocative pieces by contemporary playwrights, and classic stories reinvented for family audiences,” says Arden’s Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen. “We are proud to bring the work of influential writers Sondheim, Hansberry, and Beckett alongside new American voices Mark St. Germain, the team of Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, as well as two of today’s preeminent adaptors of work for children: Charles Way and Greg Banks.”

The season begins with the groundbreaking Next to Normal, an electric and emotionally rigorous musical that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010 co-conceived by Nolen and designer Jorge Cousineau to create a visually rich production using new technology. Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece A Little Night Music, also directed by Nolen, closes the season, featuring Philadelphia actors Grace Gonglewski, Ben Dibble, and Mary Martello. In the Arden’s twenty-five years, they have presented eleven Sondheim musicals, making him the most produced playwright in the company’s history, so it is only fitting this anniversary season includes his work.

In the fall, Barrymore Award-winning actor Ian Merrill Peakes makes his directorial debut with Freud’s Last Session, an imagined meeting between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis at the start of World War II. In 2013, the company presents two influential but drastically different playwrights of the 20th Century: Samuel Beckett and Lorraine Hansberry. Beckett’s Endgame will mark the company’s first foray into the Nobel Prize winning storyteller’s work. Under the direction of Associate Artistic Director Edward Sobel (Clybourne Park, Superior Donuts) local actors Scott Greer (Wittenberg, Cyrano) and James Ijames (The Whipping Man, Superior Donuts) play the co-dependent clowns Hamm and Clov in this darkly comic play. Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun became the first play by an African American produced on Broadway in 1959. This pivotal family drama will be brought to life on the Arden’s stage under the direction of Walter Dallas (Blue Door, The Piano Lesson).

Rounding out the Arden’s season are the beloved children’s stories Cinderella during the holiday season under the direction of Whit MacLaughlin (Charlotte’s Web, A Year with Frog and Toad) and Pinocchio in the spring under the direction of Arden’s Associate Producer Matthew Decker (Robin Hood). The Arden’s commitment to children extends from these productions to Arden Drama School, with classes and camps for kids ages 3-18 years; Arden for All, a theatre outreach program in Philadelphia and Camden serving over 5,000 students each year with theatre tickets, transportation, and in-class lessons; and the new Hamilton Family Arts Center which begins construction this summer at 60 N. 2nd Street and will be a home for kids and families, as well as Arden artisans and new play development with 7 classes, teacher and parent lounges, an 80-seat theatre, rehearsal hall, and crafts studio.

Subscriptions are now available for both the children’s theatre and mainstage series in the 2012/13. Prior to the announcement of the Arden’s mainstage plays, over 4,300 patrons took a “Leap of Faith” to subscribe, a testament to the commitment of the Arden’s audiences. Subscriptions can be ordered by calling the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122 or online at www.ardentheatre.org. Single tickets go on sale September 1, 2012.

Details for the Arden’s 2012/13 Season are as follows:

Next to Normal
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Music by Tom Kitt
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
Co-conceived by Terrence J. Nolen and Jorge Cousineau
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
September 27 – November 4, 2012
Opening night: Wednesday, October 3 at 7pm
Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this electric and emotional musical follows the Goodman family’s struggle to maintain connection amidst crisis. Set to a contemporary score, Next to Normal’s bold storytelling redefines the American musical.

Freud’s Last Session
By Mark St. Germain
Directed by Ian Merrill Peakes
On the Arcadia Stage
October 25-December 23, 2012
Opening night: Thursday, November 1, 2012
On the day England enters World War II, Sigmund Freud invites a young C.S. Lewis to his London flat. Here, the father of modern psychology challenges a little known professor on the brink of literary fame. Freud’s Last Session imagines a collision of these two brilliant minds over love, God, and life.

Cinderella
By Charles Way
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
November 28, 2012 - January 27, 2013
Opening night: Saturday, December 1 at 7pm
Join the Arden for a retelling of the classic tale – set to the music of Mozart and featuring a great bit of magic. This Cinderella will inspire and surprise the entire family.

Endgame
By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Edward Sobel
On the Arcadia Stage
January 17 – March 10, 2013
Opening night: Wednesday, January 23 at 7pm
Nobel Prize-winner Samuel Beckett influenced generations of writers, from Pinter to Mamet, Albee to Stoppard. The Arden now presents this master storyteller for this first time, with the darkly comic Endgame under the direction of Ed Sobel (Clybourne Park, Superior Donuts). Featuring Philadelphia actors Scott Greer and James Ijames as co-dependent clowns Hamm and Clov, this visceral and vital production introduces Arden audiences to the funny, gritty, and rich world of Beckett.

A Raisin in the Sun
By Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Walter Dallas
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
March 7 – April 14, 2013
Opening night: Wednesday, March 13 at 7pm
In Chicago’s South Side in 1959, a life insurance check sent to the Younger’s home arrives with the promise of change. This African American family then considers buying a house in the all-white Clybourne Park, but conflicting aspirations and a neighborhood’s intolerance threaten the dream’s reality. Walter Dallas (The Piano Lesson, Blue Door) directs this classic drama that paved the way for the African American voice to be heard on stage.

Pinocchio
By Carlo Collodi
Adapted by Greg Banks
Directed by Matthew Decker
April 10 – June 16, 2013
Opening Night: Saturday, April 13, 2012
Come meet Pinocchio, a wicked wooden boy who trades his schoolbooks for candy and plays hooky at the amusement park. When his father Geppetto is swallowed by a giant whale, Pinocchio has the chance to truly be brave for the first time. Five storytellers bring this tale to life with great physicality and help from your imagination.

A Little Night Music
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
May 23 – June 30, 2013
Opening Night: Wednesday, May 29 at 7pm
This romantic waltz of musical whisks you away to a weekend in the country. One of Sondheim’s most brilliant works comes alive on the Arden’s stage by the team behind 2009’s Sunday in the Park with George, hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “one of the strongest Sondheim productions of the past decade.” Grace Gonglewski, Ben Dibble, and Mary Martello lead a cast of 16 in this enchanting and passionate romp.


# # #
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.

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 recently announced an expansion with the Hamilton Family Arts Center, a 22,000 square foot building located three doors north of the Arden at 62 N. 2nd Street. Once renovations are complete in 2013, this building will be a home for process and innovation, including seven classrooms for Arden Drama School, a rehearsal hall, an 80-seat Studio Theatre, Lobby, Parent Lounge, and Teacher Resource Center, and a Crafts Studio for construction of set and props. Details about the Hamilton Family Arts Center can be found online at www.ardentheatre.org/new.

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.
©2012 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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