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2014/15 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents Great Expectations
Based on the Book by Charles Dickens
Adapted by Gale Childs Daly
Directed by Matthew Decker
October 23 – December 14, 2014
September 30, 2014

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company continues its 27th season of great stories with Great Expectations, based on the book by Charles Dickens and adapted by Gale Childs Daly. Great Expectations runs in the Arcadia from October 23 through December 14, 2014. Associate Artistic Director Matthew Decker directs.

Dickens’s classic coming-of-age novel comes to life as a cast of six quick-change their way through nearly 40 colorful characters. Pip’s encounters with the escaped convict Magwitch, the bewitching Estella, and the eccentric Miss Havisham weave a riveting tale about class, ambition and love.

Minneapolis based Gale Childs Daly’s adaptation of the mighty Great Expectations is what interested the show’s Director, Matthew Decker.

“Childs takes this behemoth novel and shapes the play in a really simple yet theatrical way while maintaining the quirks and color of Dickens’s characters,” says Decker.

The herculean challenge for director, actor and set designer is that an actor might shift body language or put on a pair of glasses and suddenly be someone else. One simple set serves 30 locations with the addition of a prop or a piece of furniture.

“This is my favorite type of theatre-making.” Decker adds, “There is an energy that emerges between audience and actor when all of the play’s moving parts are exposed.  The result will be a reimagining of Great Expectations that invites the audience to look at a classic story in a brand new light .”

Mathew Decker is the Associate Artistic Director at the Arden and Co-Founder and Resident Director of Theatre Horizon in Norristown, PA.  At the Arden, Matthew has directed Michael Hollinger’s Incorruptible and Greg Banks’ adaptations of Pinocchio and Robin Hood.  Select Theatre Horizon productions include Circle Mirror Transformation (Barrymore Nomination – Outstanding Direction of a Play, Outstanding Overall Production of a Play), Spring Awakening, Kimberly Akimbo, Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, for which he received the Barrymore Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical.  Matthew is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company.

Josh Carpenter, last seen in the Arden’s recent production of Incorruptible, plays Pip. Longtime Arden actors Doug Hara and Sally Mercer are part of the ensemble, with Mercer tackling the role of Miss Havisham. New to the Arden are Kate Czajkowski (Estella and others), Brian McCann and Lindsey Smiling.

Previews of Great Expectations begin on Thursday, October 23, 2014 and continue through October 28, 2014. The show opens on Wednesday, October 29 at 7pm and runs through Sunday, December 14, 2014. Opening Night Sponsors are Harmelin Media, Hatboro Beverages and JPM Catering.

Single ticket prices are $36-$50, with discounts available for groups of 15 or more, seniors, students, military, and educators. Mainstage Subscriptions are on sale for $84-$160. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.

Members of the press are invited to Opening Night on Wednesday, October 29 at 7pm. To reserve tickets, contact Christine Kozsuch at, 267.257.5866.

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. Five mainstage and two Arden Children’s Theatre shows are produced each season. The Arden provides extensive arts education programs including Arden For All, a program in the schools int he Greater Philadelphia community. In the fall of 2013, The Arden completed construction on the Hamilton Family Arts Center, a 22,000 square foot building at 62 N. 2nd Street that is home to six classrooms, a rehearsal hall, an 80-seat Studio Theatre, Lobby, Parent Lounge, Teacher Resource Center and a Crafts Studio for construction of set and props. The Hamilton is home to the New Play Development program and Arden Drama school. 

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, 59 awards and 300 nominations from the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, and was named “Best Theatre Company” by Philadelphia Weekly in 2009.



Great Expectations
Based on the book by Charles Dickens
Adapted by Gale Childs Daly
Directed by Matthew Decker

Dickens’s classic coming-of-age novel comes to life as a cast of six quick-change their way through nearly 40 colorful characters. Pip’s encounters with the escaped convict Magwitch, the bewitching Estella, and the eccentric Miss Havisham weave a riveting tale about class, ambition and love.

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

October 23 – December 14, 2014
Preview performances: October 23 – 28, 2014
Opening night: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 7pm

Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit

$36-$50 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)

Josh Carpenter (Resident of Mt. Airy) - Pip
Kate Czajkowski (Resident of New York, NY) - Estella, Biddy, ensemble
Doug Hara (Resident of Lambertville, NJ) - Herbert Pocket, ensemble
Brian McCann (Resident of South Philadelphia) - Magwitch, Mr. Jaggers, ensemble
Sally Mercer (Resident of Pottstown, PA) - Havisham, Mrs. Joe, ensemble
Lindsey Smiling (Resident of Philadelphia) - Joe, ensemble

Matthew Decker - Director
Timothy R. Mackabee - Scenic Designer
Olivera Gaiic - Costume Designer
Thom Weaver - Lighting Designer
Rick Sims - Sound Designer
Kate Nelson - Stage Manager

A Pay What You Can performance on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 benefits The Rosenbach Museum and Library.

Post-show discussions will be held on October 30 at 8pm; November 9 at 2pm, November 12 and 19 at 6:30pm and December 7 at 2pm.

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 14 at 8pm and Saturday, November 15 at 2pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122.

Made possible by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, Teen Arden hosts Drama, Bites, Access! on Sunday, November 16 at 2pm. $10 tickets include a pre-show party and a post-show meet and greet with members of the creative team and cast. Buy tickets at  or call 215.922.1122.

Remaining shows in the Arden’s 2014/15 Season include:
Great Expectations, By Charles Dickens, Adapted by Gale Childs Daly – October 23 – December 14, 2014
Beauty and the Beast, By Charles Way –  November 26, 2014-February 2, 2015
Under the Skin, A world premiere by Michael Hollinger – January 15- March 15, 2015
Macbeth, By William Shakespeare – March 5 – April 19, 2015
The Jungle Book,
A world premiere by Greg Banks – April 15 – June 21, 2015
Passion, Book by James Lapine, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim – May 21 – June 28, 2015

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©2014 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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