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2013/14 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company Announces 2013-14 Season
June 20, 2013

(Philadelphia, PA)For the Arden’s 26th Season of great stories by great storytellers, the company presents a daring and ambitious musical, dramas that grapple with the complicated notion of the American family, provocative pieces by contemporary playwrights, and a new approach to a classic text.  Says Arden’s Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen: “The 2013/14 season will include a remarkable range of stories by master storytellers.  We are proud to produce the work of Jason Robert Brown, Lydia Diamond, and Alfred Uhry at the Arden for the first time, and are thrilled to welcome plays by Philadelphia writers Quiara Alegría Hudes and Michael Hollinger to our stages. The coming year also includes a new translation by Curt Columbus of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters, and adaptations of Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside School and Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat.  Coming this fall, we will also open the Hamilton Family Arts Center, our new education and production center.  We are thrilled by the prospect of creating our 2013/14 productions in this great new space."

The 2013/14 season begins with the powerful musical Parade, based on the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory worker in 1913 Atlanta who was accused of murdering a young girl. With a book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, the Arden’s production will be co-conceived by Nolen and designer Jorge Cousineau, furthering the artistic partnership forged for Sunday in the Park with George in 2010 and Next to Normal in 2012.

Director Walter Dallas (A Raisin in the Sun, The Piano Lesson) returns to the Arden at the helm of Stick Fly, a raucous comedy by Lydia R. Diamond about an affluent African-American family over one weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. In 2014, the Arden proudly brings the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Water by the Spoonful to the stage. Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes is a Philadelphia native whose first play was produced by Philadelphia Young Playwrights when she was a student at Central High School. Water by the Spoonful is part of a trilogy of Hudes’ work set in and around Philadelphia.

In the spring, the Arden premieres a new translation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters by Curt Columbus, Artistic Director of Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island. Alongside Columbus, the Arden’s Terrence J. Nolen has embarked on a two-year exploration of Chekhov’s work which included a trip to Russia, extensive research, and multiple workshops, readings and master classes in both Providence and Philadelphia. The season concludes with a new production of Michael Holligner’s Incorruptible, which the company premiered in 1996. This dark comedy about the dark ages will be directed by the Arden’s Associate Artistic Director Matthew Decker and marks the tenth Hollinger production at the Arden.

Rounding out the Arden’s season are stage adaptations of two beloved books for Arden Children’s Theatre. Sideways Stories from Wayside School, in an adaptation by John Olive based on the books by Louis Sachar, will appear over the holiday season under the direction of Whit MacLaughlin (Cinderella, Charlotte’s Web, A Year with Frog and Toad). In the spring, the company presents Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat in an adaptation originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain. 

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. The new Hamilton Family Arts Center, currently under construction, will open to the public in Fall 2013. Located at 62 N. 2nd Street, this expansion will be a home for kids and families, as well as Arden artisans and new play development with six classrooms, teacher and parent lounges, an 80-seat theatre, rehearsal hall, and crafts studio for Arden artisans.

Subscriptions are now available for both the children’s theatre and mainstage series in the 2013/14. Prior to the announcement of the Arden’s mainstage plays, over 3,600 patrons took a “Leap of Faith” to subscribe without knowing any of the plays, 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 3 2013. 

Details for the Arden’s 2013/14 Season are as follows:

Parade
Book by Alfred Uhry
Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
September 26 – November 3, 2013
Opening night: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7pm
In 1913 Atlanta Georgia, a Jewish factory manager named Leo Frank is accused of murdering a young girl. The whole town turns against him, leaving his wife Lucille as his only defender. Based on a true story, this soaring musical is brought to life by Philadelphia’s most powerful singers.

Stick Fly
By Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Walter Dallas
On the Arcadia Stage
October 24 – December 22, 2013
Opening night: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 7pm
One summer weekend on Martha’s Vineyard, the LeVay brothers bring their girlfriends home to meet the parents. Between breakfast and board games, rivalries ignite, opinions flare, and secrets unravel. Join us for this raucous of-the-moment portrait of an affluent African-American family.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Adapted by John Olive from the books by Louis Sachar
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
December 4, 2013 – February 9, 2014
Opening Night: Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 7pm

Water by the Spoonful
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien
On the Arcadia Stage
January 16-March 16, 2014
Opening Night: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 7pm
A group of strangers seek connection, recovery, and redemption in this commanding new play that redefines the definition of family. From the Main Line to Girard Avenue, Swarthmore College to an online chat room, playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes draws from her Philadelphia roots for this Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Three Sisters
By Anton Chekhov
A new translation by Curt Columbus
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
March 20-April 20, 2014
Opening Night: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 7pm
Join the Arden for the culmination of a two-year exploration of Anton Chekhov with Three Sisters, our first production of the master storyteller’s work. A cast of Philadelphia’s most promising newcomers alongside seasoned Arden favorites introduce a new kind of Chekhov – audacious, alive, and contemporary. Through research, workshops, readings, and travel, our creative team presents a bold translation of Chekhov’s influential story about a family’s unrealized aspirations.

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat
Based on the book by Dr. Seuss
Play originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain
On the Arcadia Stage
April 16 – June 22, 2014
Opening Night: Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 7pm

Incorruptible
By Michael Hollinger
Directed by Matthew Decker
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
May 22-June 22, 2014
Opening Night: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 7pm
At a decrepit medieval monastery in France, a traveling one-eyed con artist teaches the desperate monks an outrageous new way to pay old debts. In this dark comedy set in the Dark Ages, Philadelphia playwright Michael Hollinger (Opus, Ghost-Writer) asks the burning question: “What happens when faith alone can’t pay the bills?”


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