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2013/14 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents Stick Fly
By Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Walter Dallas
September 26 - November 3, 2013
October 8, 2013

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company begins its 26th season of great stories with Stick Fly, by Lydia R. Diamond under the direction of Walter Dallas. The production appears on the Arden's Arcadia Stage from October 24 through December 22, 2013 at 40 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia.

Stick Fly takes place on one summer weekend in Martha's Vineyard as the LeVay brothers bring their girlfriends home to meet the parents. Between breakfast and board games, rivalries ignite, opinions flare, and secrets unravel for this African American family. "Stick Fly continues the Arden's commitment to telling great stories of the American Family on our stage," says Arden Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen. "I'm so proud to introduce our audiences to Lydia Diamond's influential contemporary voice."

Playwright Diamond's plays include The Bluest Eye, Smart People, The Gift Horse, and Stage Black. Stick Fly was performed at The McCarter Theatre, Huntington Theatre, and Arena Stage before the Broadway production opened in late 2011. Diamond is currently a resident playwright at the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Walter Dallas, former artistic director of Philadelphia's Freedom Theatre, returns to direct Stick Fly following Arden productions of A Raisin in the Sun (2013), Blue Door (2010), and The Piano Lesson (2008).

Actor U.R., most recently seen at the Arden as Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, reunites with Dallas in this production to play Flip, the older of the two LeVay brothers. Also returning to the Arden is actress Juliana Zinkel (Rabbit Hole, Crime and Punishment) as Flip's girlfriend Kimber. The other members of this ensemble cast makes their Arden debuts in Stick Fly: Biko Eisen-Martin (regional credits at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkely Rep, and Denver Center) as younger brother Kent; Jessica Frances Dukes (The Raisin Cycle at Centerstage, plus additional regional credits at Woolly Mammoth and Folger Theatre) as Kent's girlfriend Taylor; Jerome Preston Bates (Stick Fly and Seven Guitars on Broadway) as family patriarch Joe LeVay; and Philadelphia actress Joniece-Abott Pratt (The Good Negro at New York's Public Theatre, regional credits at Huntington Theatre Company and Yale Repertory) in her professional Philadelphia debut as Cheryl, the daughter of the family maid.

The team who will create the upscale Martha's Vineyard home of the LeVays on the Arden's stage includes: scenic designer David P. Gorgon (Freud's Last Session, Ghost-Writer, Barrymore Award for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), costume designer Alison Roberts (A Raisin in the Sun, Superior Donuts, A Moon for the Misbegotten), lighting designer Thom Weaver (Parade, A Little Night Music, Next to Normal), and sound designer Robert Kaplowitz (A Raisin in the Sun, Superior Donuts, Tony Award for Fela!).

Stick Fly previews begin on Thursday, October 24, 2013 Preview performances run October 24, 25, 26, 27 and 29. Opening night is set for 7pm Wednesday, October 30. The final performance is scheduled for December 22, 2013. 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-$160. 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.

A Pay What You Can performance will be held on Wednesday, October 23 at 8pm with all proceeds benefitting the New Freedom Theatre, Pennsylvania's first African-American theatre at which Stick Fly Walter Dallas, U.R., and Joniece Abott-Pratt all have worked.

Post-show discussions will be held following performances on November 7 at 8pm, November 17 and December 15 at 2pm, November 20 and December 4 at 6:30pm.

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, November 22 at 8pm and Saturday, November 23 at 2pm. 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, November 15. Tickets are $30 and include a pre-show reception 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.

Teen Arden, a program for area teenagers passionate about theatre, hosts Drama, Bites, Access! on Friday, December 13 at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and include a pre-show party at the Arden, a ticket to the show, and a post-show meet and greet with members of the creative team and cast of Stick Fly. Tickets are available online at www.ardentheatre.org/tickets/teenarden or by calling 215.922.1122. Teen Arden is made possible by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation.

WHAT:
Stick Fly
By Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Walter Dallas

SUMMARY:
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.

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

WHEN:
October 24 - December 22, 2013
Preview performances: October 24-29, 2013
Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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 30 minutes before curtain for $10 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)

CAST:
Joniece Abbott-Pratt - Cheryl
Jerome Preston Bates - Joe LeVay
Jessica Frances Dukes - Taylor
Biko Eisen-Martin - Kent "Spoon" LeVay
U.R. - Flip LeVay
Julianna Zinkel - Kimber

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Walter Dallas - Director
David P. Gordon - Scenic Designer
Alison Roberts - Costume Designer
Thom Weaver - Lighting Designer
Robert Kaplowitz - Sound Designer


OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS: Harmelin Media, JPM Catering, Hatboro Beverages


# # #
Reviewing members of the press are invited to opening night Wednesday, October 30 at 7pm and may reserve tickets through Leigh Goldenberg at lgoldenberg@ardentheatre.org.

The Arden's 2013/14 Season includes:
Parade, Book by Alfred Uhry, Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown - September 26 - November 3, 2013
Stick Fly, By Lydia R. Diamond - October 24 - December 22, 2013
Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Adapted by John Olive from the books by Louis Sachar - December 4, 2013 - February 9, 2014
Water by the Spoonful, By Quiara Alegría Hudes - January 16 - March 16, 2014
Three Sisters, By Anton Chekhov, a new translation by Curt Columbus - March 20 - April 20, 2014
Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, Based on the book by Dr. Seuss - April 16 - June 22, 2014
Incorruptible, By Michael Hollinger - May 22 - June 22, 2014


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 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.

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