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2016/17 Press Releases
Arden Children's Theatre presents
A Year with Frog and Toad
Music by Robert Reale
Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale
Developed by Adrianne Lobel
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
November 23, 2016 – January 29, 2017
October 10, 2016

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company presents A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD with music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by Willie Reale. Whit MacLaughlin directs. Based on the beloved Frog and Toad children’s stories written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD is the first of two Children’s Theatre offerings during the 2016/17 Season. It runs from November 23, 2016 – January 29, 2017, on the Arden’s F. Otto Haas stage at 40 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia.

Arden Children’s Theatre produced A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD two times previously in 2004 and 2009. It was nominated for six Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, winning for Best Costume Design by Richard St. Clair.

Arden Producing Artistic Director, Terrence J. Nolen says, “A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD is one of our most treasured and critically acclaimed children’s theatre productions. The kids and families who enjoyed this show seven years ago are now grown. We’re ready to share this heartwarming and beautiful musical with a whole new generation of kids and families.”

He adds, “The goal of Arden Children’s Theatre is to give families and children a world-class theatrical experience that speaks to them. We are grateful to have Philadelphia favorites Ben Dibble and Jeff Coon and director Whit MacLaughlin back on board, in addition to some new ensemble members who will certainly make this a first-rate show for all ages.”

A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD follows the unlikely friendship between cheerful Frog and the rather grumpy Toad through four fun-filled seasons. Their friendship blossoms and grows as they learn many life lessons along the way. Filled with musical numbers that will make you laugh and cry, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD is a show to delight every age.

Barrymore Award-winners Jeff Coon and Ben Dibble return to their roles for the third time as the amphibious best friends. Actor Ben Dibble says, “I am thrilled to return to the swamp with my dear friend, Jeffrey. The last time we did this show our kids were all ages 3 and under. Now my kids know the stories from years of bedtime reading and listening to the songs. I think my years as a father will inform my Toad in new and wonderful ways.”

Members of the ensemble include Steve Pacek, Leigha Kato and Elexis Morton.

Schedule and Events

Previews of A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD begin on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 and continue through Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 12noon. The show opens on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 7pm and runs through Sunday, January 29, 2017. A full calendar of events can be found here. Opening Night Sponsors are Franklin Fountain and Whole Foods Market. The production sponsor is PECO.

A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD includes weekday matinee performances for students and weekend performances for families. Single ticket prices are $18 - $36, with discounts available for groups of 20 or more, seniors, students, military, and educators. Arden Children’s Theatre 2-play subscriptions are available for $26 - $50. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, visit www.ardentheatre.org or walk-up at the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.

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 63 awards and 331 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:                                   
A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD
Music by Robert Reale
Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin

SUMMARY:
Frog and Toad are back! In a revival of one of the Arden’s most treasured children’s theatre productions, an unlikely friendship between cheerful Frog and the rather grumpy Toad blossoms and grows as they travel through four fun-filled season learning life lessons along the way. Barrymore Award-winners Jeff Coon and Ben Dibble return as the amphibious best friends in this charming musical that promises to delight the whole family!.

WHERE:           
Arden Theatre Company                                   
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia 19106
F. Otto Haas Stage                       
                       
WHEN:                                   
November 23, 2016 – January 29, 2017
Press Opening: Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 7pm


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
$18 - $36 depending on age and the performance chosen
Group discounts available for 20+
Student Rush tickets at the door 30 minutes before curtain for $10 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)

CAST:
Frog - Jeff Coon

Toad - Ben Dibble

Snail/Ensemble - Steve Pacek

Bird/Turtle/Ensemble - Elexis Morton

Bird/Mouse/Ensemble - Leigha Kato

ARTISTIC TEAM:

Director
Whit MacLaughlin

Musical Director
Amanda Morton

Set Designer
Donald Eastman

Costume Designer
Richard St. Clair

Lighting Designer
Thom Weaver

Sound Designer/Composer
Jorge Cousineau

Choreographer
Lee Etzold


SPECIAL EVENTS and PERFORMANCES
Post-show question and answer sessions follow each performance. Audience members can also meet and greet cast members in the lobby following each performance.

The Arden is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. ASL shadow interpreted performances by Hands Up will take place on Friday, January 13, 2017 at 10am and Saturday, January 14 at 4pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and can be made through the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122.


Remaining shows in the Arden’s 2016/17 Season include:
John by Annie Baker, January 12 – February 26, 2017
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, March 2 – April 9, 2017
The Light Princess, Adapted by Tony Lawton from the story by George MacDonald, Music by Alex Bechtel, April 5 – June 28, 2017
Gypsy by Arthur Laurents, Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, May 18 – June 25, 2017


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©2016 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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