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2015/16 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents
Equivocation
By Bill Cain
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
On the Arcadia Stage
October 22 – December 13, 2015
September 25, 2015

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company continues its 28th season with EQUIVOCATION, from October 22 – December 13, 2015, on the Arden’s Arcadia Stage at 40 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia.

“Shagspeare,” a playwright in London in 1605, receives a royal commission to write a historical play about a treasonous act. But the government’s side of the story just isn’t adding up. Now Shag must navigate the dangerous politics between writing a lie (and losing his soul), or writing the truth (and losing his head!) Hailed as the “must see show of the season,” EQUIVOCATION is a clever, contemporary and bold new look at our greatest playwright ever.

EQUIVOCATION is based on a historical event known as The Gunpowder Plot. In November, 1605, a group of English Catholics allegedly planned to assassinate England’s King James I by blowing up the House of Lords using gunpowder placed in a tunnel beneath the building. The plot was foiled at the 11th hour, and the plotters were tortured in the Tower of London and executed for treason. The story has become a national myth, and the 5th of November in England is equivalent to the 4th of July in America.

Says Playwright Bill Cain, “The only thing we know with certainty about this event is that it could not possibly have occurred the way the government claimed.” EQUIVOCATION follows Shag’s attempt to figure out what actually happened and, working with the members of his Globe Theatre acting company, how to write a history of an event he doubts ever happened.

Arden Producing Artistic Director, Terrence J. Nolen, directs EQUIVOCATION and says “This play is both a suspenseful political thriller and a valentine to the theatre. In it, we see various versions of The Gunpowder Plot play rehearsed, as well as other Shakespeare plays. Shakespeare aficionados will love the theatrical references and witty allusions to some of the Bard’s greatest works, and history buffs will be excited by how the play re-examines history, but you need not be either to love this play.”

He adds, “How Shag must change “history” to tell a story that is true makes for a thrilling play, one that is clever, theatrical and suspenseful and brimming with the joy of creation.”

Says Nolen, “Past productions at the Arden have featured sets with dirt floors and sets full of sand, but this is our first pool. Our set designer, Brian Sidney Bembridge, and our first-rate production team have been working all summer to build this integral piece of our production.”

The cast features Eric Hissom as “Shag,” Dan Hodge, Sean Lally, Tony Lawton, Campbell O’Hare and Ian Merrill-Peakes.



Schedule and Events
EQUIVOCATION begins previews on Thursday, October 22, 2015, opens to the press on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, and runs through Sunday, December 13, 2015. Opening Night Sponsors are Harmelin Media, JPM Catering, Wines ‘Til Sold Out and Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Single ticket prices are $36-$50, with discounts available for groups of 15 or more, seniors, students, military, and educators. Three and Five-Show Mainstage Subscriptions are now on sale for the 2015/16 Season and range in price from $84 - $200. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, or view details and order online here, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.

About the Arden
Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers–on the stage, in the classroom, and in the community. Five productions are staged each season as part of the Mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children’s Theatre, the city’s first resident professional children’s theatre program. New work is produced through the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden’s Education Department includes: Arden for All (AFA), a theatre access and education program for underserved young people; Arden Drama School, the after-school, Saturday, and summer camp classes for students in grades pre K-12; Teen Arden, an immersive after-school access program for Philadelphia-area based teenagers; and the Arden Professional Apprentice Program, a nationally renowned comprehensive theatre management training program. The Hamilton Family Arts Center is the new facility dedicated to education programs and new play development.

The Arden has received numerous honors including 62 awards and 307 nominations from the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre.  The Arden is a winner of four “Theatre Company of the Year” designations (Philadelphia Inquirer), six Philadelphia Magazine “Best of Philly” awards and three “Best of Philly Kids” awards, the City Paper’s Reader’s Choice Award and the prestigious “Great Friend to Kids Award” from the Please Touch Museum for Arden Children’s Theatre work. For accessibility efforts, the Arden was named a “Keystone of Accessibility” by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Arden Theatre Company is a professional, nonprofit 501(c)(3) theatre company and a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the League of Resident Theatres, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Old City Arts Association. The Arden also participates in The Barrymore Awards, a program of Theatre Philadelphia.



LISTINGS EDITORS:

WHAT:
EQUIVOCATION
A New Play By Bill Cain
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
October 22 – December 13, 2015
Press Opening: Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Arcadia Stage

SUMMARY:
“Shagspeare,” a playwright in London in 1605, receives a royal commission to write a historical play about a treasonous act. But the government’s side of the story just isn’t adding up. Now Shag must navigate the dangerous politics between writing a lie (and losing his soul), or writing the truth (and losing his head!) Hailed as the “must see show of the season,” Equivocation> is full of witty allusions to some of the Bard’s greatest works, and is a clever, contemporary and bold new look at our greatest playwright ever.

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

WHEN:
October 22 – December 13, 2015

TICKETS:
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org 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)

CAST:
Eric Hissom - Shag Dan Hodge - Nate Sean Lally - Sharpe Tony Lawton - Armin Campbell O’Hare - Judith Ian Merrill-Peakes - Richard

ARTISTIC TEAM:

Director
Terrence J. Nolen

Scenic Designer
David Gordon

Costume Designer
Rosemarie E. McKelvey

Lighting Designer
Solomon Weisbard

Sound Designer/Composer
Jorge Cousineau

Fight Director
Ian Rose


SPECIAL EVENTS and PERFORMANCES
A Pay What You Can performance on Wednesday, October 12, 2015 benefits BalletX.

Post-show discussions will be held following performances on Thursday, November 5 at 8pm, Sunday, November 8 at 2pm, Wednesday, November 11 at 6:30pm, Sunday, November 15 at 6:30pm and Wednesday, November 18 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 20 at 8pm and Saturday, November 21 at 2pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122.

Remaining shows in the Arden’s 2014/15 Season include:
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, a World Premiere by Laura Eason – November 24, 2015 – January 31, 2016
Funnyman, a World Premiere by Bruce Graham – January 14 – March 6, 2016
Two Trains Running by August Wilson – March 10 – April 10, 2016
The Stinky Cheese Man, Based on the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith – April 6 – June 12, 2016
The Secret Garden, Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman, Music by Lucy Simon – May 12 – June 19, 2016
# # #
©2015 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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