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Arden Theatre Company’s second play for The Writers’ Room receives developmental production
Rachel Bonds’ At the Old Place to run July 18-28, 2013
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June 27, 2013

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company proudly announces the second production for The Writers’ Room, an innovative playwright residency program, with At the Old Place by Rachel Bonds. This new play, written during a four-month residency in Philadelphia receives a developmental production on the Arden’s Arcadia Stage from July 18-28, 2013. The Writers’ Room is made possible by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Independence Foundation through its New Theatre Works Initiative and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

The Writers’ Room, led by Arden Associate Artistic Director Edward Sobel, is designed to allow the writer to stay in closer contact with her original creative impulse and have a more holistic relationship with the larger institution than most new play development processes currently allow. The culmination of this residency is the developmental production of At the Old Place. In this new work, a literature professor returns to her family home in Richmond, VA following her mother’s death, only to find two young people camped out on her lawn. This funny, poetic tale takes us through the thickets of growing up and the search for the roads we didn't take.

Sobel, who directs the production, says “The developmental production is more than a workshop or reading, but not yet a full Arden production.  Actors are ‘off-book’ and there are design elements, but the emphasis is on the actors and the development of the play text.  Following last year’s success with playwright Wendy MacLeod’s Women in Jep, we are excited to explore another new work with a Philadelphia audience..”

The cast for the developmental production of At the Old Place features Kathryn Peterson (August: Osage County,) as Angie, the New England professor who has run away to Richmond, Virginia. The cast also includes William Zielinski (The Seafarer; Wineseburg, OH) as Harrison, Angie’s lover, and as the two Best Buy employees hanging out on Angie’s lawn Aubie Merrylees (Women in Jep, Charlotte’s Web) as Will and Kristen Bailey (Arden debut, multiple shows with Applied Mechanics and Bearded Ladies Cabaret) as Jolene.  The design team includes set designer Christopher Haig, lighting designer Dominic Chacon, costume designer Alison Roberts (August: Osage County), and sound designer Larry D. Fowler.  

Rachel Bonds’ plays have been developed or produced by New Georges, Ars Nova, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea, Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival, American Theater Company, McCarter Theater, Roundabout Underground, MTC and Two River Theater, among others. She is currently an affiliated artist of New Georges’, a member of EST’s Youngblood, and a recent winner of the Sam French Short Play Festival. She is an alum of Ars Nova’s Play Group and New Georges’ The Jam, and was the 2011 Father William Ralston Fellow at the 2011 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her plays include Michael & Edie, named a NY Times Critic's Pick in 2010, The Noise, Swimmers, and Five Mile Lake. Bonds is a graduate of Brown University and a resident of Brooklyn, NY.

With The Writers’ Room, Arden audiences have had an unusual opportunity to participate in the new play development process. Fifty-five audience members purchased “Inside the Writers’ Room” passes in May, entitling them to access throughout the writing, rehearsal, and performance process of At the Old Place. Pass holders engage in conversation around the work, becoming personally invested in the play and creating an artistic experience unlike any other in the Philadelphia region.

Tickets for At the Old Place are available for $15 to the general public, $10 for Arden subscribers, and $5 for students with valid ID by calling 215.922.1122 or visiting www.ardentheatre.org/writersroom.

The Arden considers this development production a work in progress and as such we respectfully request that press not be assigned to review the performance.  For interviews with artists or tickets to a performance, press should contact Leigh Goldenberg at lgoldenberg@ardentheatre.org, 215.922.8900 x43.

WHAT:
At the Old Place
By Rachel Bonds
Directed by Edward Sobel

SUMMARY:
Following her mother's death, a literature professor returns to her family home in Richmond, VA only to find two young people camped out on her lawn. This funny, poetic tale takes us through the thickets of growing up and the search for the roads we didn't take.

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

WHEN:
July 18-28, 2013
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm


TICKETS:
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.
$15 Tickets
$10 for Arden Subscribers
$5 for students with valid ID

CAST:
Kristen Bailey (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Jolene
Aubie Merrylees (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Will
Kathryn Petersen (Resident of Elkins Park, PA) - Angie
William Zielinksi (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Harrison

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Rachel Bonds - Playwright
Edward Sobel - Director
Christopher Haig - Set Designer
Alison Roberts - Costume Designer
J. Dominic Chacon - Lighting Designer
Larry D. Fowler - Sound Designer
Veronica Aglow - Stage Manager
Sally Ollove - Producer for The Writers’ Room

The Writers’ Room is made possible by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Independence Foundation through its New Theatre Works Initiative and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.


# # #
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 is currently undergoing renovations for 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 complete in Fall 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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