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2012/13 Press Releases
Arden Children’s Theatre presents Pinocchio
By Greg Banks, Based on the story by Carlo Collodi, Directed by Matthew Decker, On the Arcadia Stage, April 10 – June 23, 2013 – Extended by popular demand
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March 20, 2013

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company concludes its 15th year of Arden Children’s Theatre with Pinocchio. Based on the story by Carlo Collodi, this version is written by Greg Banks and directed by Arden Associate Artistic Director Matthew Decker. The play is best enjoyed by families with children ages 5 and older, and will run on the Arden’s Arcadia Stage from April 10-June 23, 2013.

Meet Pinocchio, a wicked wooden boy who trades his schoolbooks for candy and plays hooky at the amusement park. When his father Gepetto 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 the audience’s imagination.

Pinocchio reunites the Arden with the work of Greg Banks, the writer behind last year’s Robin Hood. The Arden presents only the second production of Banks’ new version of Pinocchio, which premiered under his direction at Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis earlier this year. Matthew Decker, who also helmed the Arden’s Robin Hood, creates an imaginative environment for the play that extends beyond the stage and challenges the creativity of young audience members. “For over a century, Pinocchio has asked kids to listen to their parents, value telling the truth, and make sacrifices for the people they care about,” says Decker. “In creating Pinocchio’s adventures on stage, we’ll share these lessons while empowering kids to retell their favorite stories in unexpected ways.” In the production, the Arcadia Stage, as well as adjacent lobby and seating areas, will be transformed into a construction area, with the cast portraying workers at the site who then take on the various personas in the Pinocchio story.

Davy Raphaely, last seen at Arden Children’s Theatre in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Sleeping Beauty, plays the title character. Joining him in the cast are Arden veterans who have appeared in both mainstage and Children’s Theatre productions, all playing multiple roles in the story: Doug Hara (Sleeping Beauty, Something Intangible, A Prayer for Owen Meany), Maggie Lakis (Clybourne Park, BFG, Ferdinand the Bull), Anthony Lawton (Charlotte’s Web, August: Osage County), and Brian Anthony Wilson (Charlotte’s Web, Superior Donuts, The Piano Lesson).

Creating the unconventional playing space for the production are scenic designer Tom Gleeson (Peter Pan, Robin Hood), costume designer Lauren Perigard, lighting designer Jim Leitner (Rabbit Hole; Go, Dog. Go!), and sound designer Daniel Perelstein (Next to Normal, Robin Hood). The construction-inspired design is the perfect coincidence at this time for the Arden, as the company is currently renovating the building at 62 N. 2nd Street to become the Hamilton Family Arts Center, a new space for education and innovation. Tours will be offered of the site during the run of Pinocchio to interested parties. More details on this project can be found at www.ardentheatre.org/new.

Following every performance of Pinocchio, 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.

Pinocchio begins performances on Wednesday, April 10, with previews through April 13. Opening night is set for 7pm Saturday, April 13, 2013. The run has already been extended due to popular demand, with the final performance now scheduled for Sunday, June 23, 2013. The 2012/13 season of Arden Children’s Theatre, which included Cinderella this past winter, is proudly sponsored by Comcast and Sprout.

Single ticket prices are $16-$36. 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 Pinocchio. 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, May 17 at 10am and Saturday, May 18 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 Davy Raphaely, the actor who plays Pinocchio, will take place on:
Monday, April 22, 4-5:30pm for grades K-2
Tuesday, April 30, 4-6pm 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:
Pinocchio
By Greg Banks
Based on the story by Carlo Collodi
Directed by Matthew Decker

SUMMARY:
Meet Pinocchio, a wicked wooden boy who trades his schoolbooks for candy and plays hooky at the amusement park. When his father Gepetto 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.

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

WHEN:
April 10 – June 23, 2013
Preview performances: April 10-13, 2013
Opening night: 7pm Saturday, April 13, 2013

TICKETS:
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.

Weekday Performances (Tuesday – Friday, excluding Friday nights at 7pm)
Adults: $32; Teens (13-17 yrs): $20; Kids (12 yrs and under): $16

Weekend Performances (Friday nights at 7pm; Saturdays and Sundays)
Adults: $36; Teens (13-17 yrs): $22; Kids (12 yrs and under): $18

Groups discounts for 20 or more tickets. Weekdays: $12/ticket; Weekends $16/ticket

CAST:
Doug Hara (resident of Lambertville, NJ) - Cricket, Punch, Innkeeper, Fairy, Old Man
Maggie Lakis (resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Judy, Cat, Lampwick
Anthony Lawton (resident of Roxborough, PA) - Gepetto, Ticketseller, Donkey
David Raphaely (resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Pinocchio
Brian Anthony Wilson (resident of Cherry Hill, NJ) - Policeman, Showman, Fox, Coachman

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Matthew Decker - Director
Tom Gleeson - Scenic Designer
Lauren Perigard - Costume Designer
James Leitner - Lighting Designer
Daniel Perelstein - Sound Designer
John Grassey - Stage Manager

CHILDREN'S THEATRE SPONSORS: Comcast and Sprout


# # #
Reviewing members of the press are invited to opening night Saturday, April 13 at 7pm 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 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-February 3, 2013
Endgame, By Samuel Beckett – January 17- March 10, 2013
A Raisin in the Sun, By Lorraine Hansberry – March 7- April 21, 2013
Pinocchio, By Carlo Collodi, Adapted by Greg Banks – April 10- June 23, 2013
A Little Night Music, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler – May 23-June 30, 2013

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 276 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.
©2013 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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