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2012/13 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company opens its 25th Anniversary season
with Next to Normal
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey, Music by Tom Kitt, Directed by Terrence J. Nolen, Production Conceived by Jorge Cousineau and Terrence J. Nolen, On the F. Otto Haas Stage, September 27 - November 4, 2012
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August 20, 2012

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company opens it’s 2012/13 Season with Next to Normal, the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical with Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey and Music by Tom Kitt. Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen will direct Next to Normal, conceiving the Arden’s production alongside long-time collaborator Jorge Cousineau. Next to Normal begins the Arden’s 25th Anniversary Season and will run on the F. Otto Haas Stage from September 27 through November 4, 2012.

Next to Normal’s bold storytelling redefined the American musical since its Broadway debut in 2009, and was hailed by the New York Times as “a work of muscular grace and power. It is much more than a feel-good musical; it is a feel-everything musical.” The play follows the Goodmans, a suburban family grappling with the mother’s mental illness. Daring and emotionally rigorous, Next to Normal features an electric and contemporary rock score, bringing difficult and rarely discussed subject matter into the theatre.

The production will be brought to the Arden’s stage by the team behind the Arden’s Sunday in the Park with George in 2010 – director Terrence J. Nolen and video and scenic designer Jorge Cousineau. “Collaborating with Jorge to create the complex world of Next to Normal will elevate this piece for our audiences,” says Nolen. “Along with the talented cast and musicians that will perform this moving score each night, Jorge’s video design will bring us into the minds of the characters, illuminating their feelings and journeys in a visually arresting way.” Cousineau has worked on over 40 Arden productions, and this will be the second Arden production that also includes his wife Niki Cousineau as choreographer.

The creative team for Next to Normal also includes costume designer Alison Roberts (August: Osage County, The History Boys) Barrymore Award-winning lighting designer Thom Weaver (August: Osage County, Cyrano), and sound designer Daniel Perelstein (Robin Hood, Women in Jep). Music Director Eric Ebbenga (Sunday in the Park with George, The Threepenny Opera) leads an onstage band of five musicians.

A powerhouse cast brings the story and score to life, featuring Philadelphia and nationally recognized actors. Returning to the Arden are Kristine Fraelich (Sunday in the Park with George and Baby Case at the Arden, The Civil War on Broadway) as mother Diana Goodman, Brian Hissong (Sunday in the Park with George; Winesburg, OH), and Michael Doherty (The History Boys, Barrymore Award for Theatre Horizon’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Henry. Making their Arden debuts are Philadelphia actress Rachel Camp as daughter Natalie Goodman (Barrymore Award for Theatre Horizon’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and New York-based performers James Barry (Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) as father Dan Goodman, and Robert Hager (Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business…, Bye Bye Birdie, and Spring Awakening) as son Gabe Goodman.

The final dress rehearsal of Next to Normal on Wednesday, September 26 at 8pm is open to the public as a Pay-What-You-Can performance, with all proceeds donated to a partner non-profit organization.

Next to Normal previews begin on Thursday, September 27. Preview performances run September 27, 28, 29, 30 and October 2. Opening night is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 3, 2012. The closing date is set for Sunday, November 4, 2012.

Single ticket prices are $36-$48, with discounts available for seniors, students, military and educators. Groups of 15+ enjoy significant discounts; please inquire about group rates. Mainstage Subscriptions are on sale for $84-$200. 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.

Post-show discussions will be held following performances on October 11 at 8pm, October 17 and 24 at 6:30pm, October 21 and 28 at 2pm. A special discussion will be held with the production team following the performance on October 12 at 8pm in conjunction with Design 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 26 at 8pm and Saturday, October 27 at 2pm. The performance on October 27 will also feature live American Sign Language interpretation from Hands UP Productions, sponsored in part by ArtReach and their Independence Starts Here initiative. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122.

The Scene, the Arden’s young professionals networking event, will be held on Friday, September 28. Tickets are $30 and include a pre-show receptions at the Arden, a ticket to the show, and a post-show party with the staff and cast. Tickets are available online at www.ardentheatre.org/thescene or by calling 215.922.1122 and mentioning The Scene.

Arden Drama School offers a special Showtime Workshop during the performance on Sunday, October 14 at 2pm. Kids in grades K-5 can take a $30 acting class while parents or grandparents attend the performance. Further details can be found online at www.ardendramaschool.com or by calling 215.922.1122.

WHAT:
Next to Normal
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Music by Tom Kitt
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
Production conceived by Jorge Cousineau and Terrence J. Nolen

SUMMARY:
Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this electric and emotional musical follows one family’s struggle to maintain connection amidst crisis. Set to a contemporary score, Next to Normal’s bold storytelling redefines the American musical.

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

WHEN:
September 27 – November 4, 2012
Preview performances: September 27 – October 2, 2012
Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TICKETS:
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org. $36-$48 for adults depending on the performance chosen
Group discounts available for 15+
Student Rush tickets at the door only 30 minutes before curtain for $10 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)

CAST:
James Barry (Resident of Brooklyn, NY) - Dan
Rachel Camp (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Natalie
Michael Doherty (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Henry
Kristine Fraelich (Resident of Springfield, PA) - Diana
Robert Hager (Resident of Rye, NY) - Gabe
Brian Hissong (Resident of Washington, DC) - Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Terrence J. Nolen - Director
Jorge Cousineau - Scenic and Video Designer
Alison Roberts - Costume Designer
Thom Weaver - Lighting Designer
Daniel Perelstein - Sound Designer
Eric Ebbenga - Music Director
Niki Cousineau - Choreographer
Alec E. Ferrell - Stage Manager

OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS: Harmelin Media, 12th Street Catering, Hatboro Beverages

# # #
Reviewing members of the press are invited to all opening nights and may reserve tickets through Leigh Goldenberg at lgoldenberg@ardentheatre.org.

The Arden’s 25th Anniversary Season includes:
Next to Normal,
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey, Music by Tom Kitt – September 27-November 4, 2012
Freud’s Last Session, By Mark St. Germain – October 25-December 23, 2012
Cinderella, By Charles Way – November 28, 2012-January 27, 2013
Endgame, By Samuel Beckett – January 17- March 10, 2013
A Raisin in the Sun, By Lorraine Hansberry – March 7- April 14, 2013
Pinocchio, By Carlo Collodi, Adapted by Greg Banks – April 10- June 16, 2013
A Little Night Music, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler – May 23-June 30, 2013

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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