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2014/15 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents Macbeth
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Alexander Burns
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
March 5 – April 19, 2015
February 9, 2015

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company continues its 27th season of great stories with Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Alexander Burns directs. Macbeth runs from March 5, 2015 – April 19, 2015, on the Arden’s F. Otto Haas Stage at 40 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia.

Before House of Cards and Game of Thrones there was Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s most thrilling and beloved plays. Fueled by ambition, Macbeth cuts a bloody path to power, spurred on by his wife, Lady Macbeth, and a prophecy that he will be king.

Macbeth marks the Arden directorial debut of Alexander Burns. Burns, who is the Founding Artistic Director of Mt. Airy’s Quintessence Theatre, has garnered considerable critical acclaim for his revelatory Shakespearean productions. For Quintessence he has directed Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Richard II, As You Like It, Mourning Becomes Electra, She Stoops To Conquer, Hamlet, The Misanthrope, Arms And The Man, The Diary of a Madman, Othello, The Seagull, Antigone, The Merchant of Venice, The Venetian Twins, The Importance of Being Earnest, Don Juan, Apology, Henry V, Measure for Measure. Regionally he has directed Romeo and Juliet (Trinity Shakespeare Festival); Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC @ Carter Barron); Henri Gabler, Diabolique, The Maids (Exigent Theatre). Burns was a Directing Fellow at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. As an assistant director he has worked at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Old Globe, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, The Flea Theatre, The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Burns has assisted directors Frank Galati, Michael Kahn, Gale Edwards, Robert Moss, and Ethan McSweeny. 

Burns said, “I grew up in Philadelphia and have been going to the Arden my whole life. I’m also a Northwestern graduate like Arden founders Terry Nolen and Aaron Posner. We share a similar approach to the classics, and having the opportunity to do what I do on a larger scale – with larger budgets and audiences – is very exciting.”

Featured in the title role is Ian Merrill Peakes. Macbeth will mark Peakes’s 19th production at the Arden Theatre Company, including directing Freud’s Last Session in 2012. He has appeared in: Incorruptible, Three Sisters, Something Intangible, All My Sons, Clybourne Park, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Regionally, Peakes has performed at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Actors Theatre of Louisville; Santa Cruz Shakespeare; Folger Theatre; Shakespeare Theatre Company; Derby Theatre; UK. Peakes has been nationally recognized (three Helen Hayes nominations, two Best of Denver Awards, New Hampshire Theatre Award) and has been nominated for five Barrymore Awards, winning three, plus the F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Artist in 2003.

Burns said, “When I mentioned the idea of directing Macbeth with Ian in the lead, everyone was on-board. I have seen Ian on stage many times and have always wanted to work with him. His mastery of the language, as well as his swagger and emotional presence are great for Macbeth.”

Schedule and Events
Macbeth begins previews on Thursday, March 5, 2015,andopens to the press on Wednesday, March 11 at 7pm. The show runs through Sunday, April 19, 2015. A full calendar of events can be found here. 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. 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.

Founded in 1988, the 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 schools in the Greater Philadelphia area. 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.


by William Shakespeare, Directed by Alexander Burns

Before House of Cards and Game of Thrones there was Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s most thrilling and beloved plays. Fueled by ambition, Macbeth cuts a bloody path to power, spurred on by his wife, Lady Macbeth, and a prophecy that he will be king. Macbeth marks the Arden directorial debut of Alexander Burns, an exciting young director acclaimed for his revelatory productions of Shakespeare at Quintessence Theatre, and features Ian Merrill Peakes in the title role.

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

March 5 – April 19, 2015

Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit or walk-up at the box office, 40 N. 2nd Street
$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)

Ian Bedford - Angus
Sean Bradley - Donalbain/Seyton/2nd Murderer
Josh Carpenter - Malcolm/1st Murderer
Terrence MacSweeny - Macduff/3rd Murderer
Judith Lightfoot Clarke - Lady Macbeth
Carl Clemons-Hopkins - Ross
Ben Dibble - Banquo/Doctor
Yannick Haynes - Son of Macduff/Fleance
E. Ashley Izard - Witch
Aimé Donna Kelly - Lady Macduff/Witch/Messenger
Christopher Patrick Mullen - Duncan/Old Siward/Hecate/Porter
Ian Merrill Peakes - Macbeth
Jahzeer Terrell - Lennox
Mary Tuomanen - Young Siward/Witch

Alexander Burns - Director
Brian Sidney Bembridge - Designer
Rosemarie E. McKelvey - Costume Designer
Solomon Weisbard - Lighting Designer
James Sugg - Sound Designer
Paul Dennhardt - Fight Director

A Pay What You Can performance on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 benefits Mighty Writers and the Foundry. Mighty Writers is a nonprofit center that teaches students ages 7 to 17 to think and write with clarity so they can achieve success at school, at work, and in life through free tutoring, workshops and an after-school program. The Foundry was created by Philadelphia playwrights Michael Hollinger, Jacqueline Goldfinger, and Quinn D. Eli, and is a playwright support organization that offers local emerging playwrights the opportunity to develop their craft while also giving them insight into the business of theater and providing networking opportunities.

Post-show discussions will be held following performances on March 15 at 2pm; March 19 at 8pm; March 25 at 6:30pm; March 29 at 2pm; and April 1 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, March 27 at 8pm and Saturday, March 28 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 Teen Night on Sunday, March 22 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:
Under the Skin, A world premiere by Michael Hollinger – through 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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©2015 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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