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Welcome to the Arden Theatre Company blog, where we share behind-the-scenes stories and current happenings with you. You will hear from the Arden staff as well as actors and other visiting artists, and we hope to hear from you, too. If you have an idea for a topic, please post a comment about it. We can't wait to hear what you think!

On June 9, members of the Sylvan Society gathered for an exclusive backstage tour, >pharm led by members of the Arden’s Production staff.  They began with a tour of the Robin Hood set – learning what the green mulch is made from, >click and how the arrows miraculously appear onstage during the show.  They made their way down to the Haas for a tour of the Tulipomania set, including a rare opportunity to learn how to make it rain onstage.  The evening commenced in a fun barbeque at the Arden’s Scene Shop located off Cuthbert Street.  Sitting amongst power saws and old set pieces, they enjoyed hot dogs, burgers and even a surprise birthday cake!

 

Our all around Intern Fen is back with Part II of this exciting Backstage Access of Robin Hood!

 

Our all around intern Fen went Behind the Scenes of Robin Hood in Episode Three of The Fen Show. Check it out!

by Catherine Logan, >look Marketing Assistant

I have always told people if I didn’t work in the theatre, my dream job would be a food critic. Philadelphia is known for being such a “foodie town”, and I am so proud to be part of a culture that is known for super pretzels, whiz wit cheesesteaks, and now recently – milkshakes!

I have lived in Center City for three years, and every summer I look forward to burgers and milkshakes at Square Burger in Franklin Square. Not only can you get a Tastykake Milkshake (oh yes it’s real), you can enjoy a “Shake of the Month” which is a different yummy concotion every month. It has always been my dream to design a “Shake of the Month” at Square Burger, little did I know that my dreams would come true!

Through a partnership with Historic Philadelphia and Arden Theatre Company, I was able to create the “Sherwood Forest Very Berry Shake” in honor of our Children’s Theatre Production Robin Hood. This yummy shake is made with Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberries and Blueberries. Better run out and get it now as it is only here for the month of May!

Here are some photos of the Robin Hood Cast and Crew grabbing a burger and shake!
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By Megan Staples, Development Assistant

The Arden happily celebrated the opening night of Robin Hood on Saturday, April 28th by turning the lobby into our own Sherwood Forest! We welcomed community partners Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and its Plant One Million booth, Ricochets Gymnastics Club lead our child guests through a tumbling obstacle course, and Historic Philadelphia came as well to help spread the word about Franklin Square and Square Burger’s Sherwood Forest Very Berry Shake (on sale through the month of May!). Arden staff helped the kids transform into merrymen with crafts and face painting! Then, our competitive guests moved on to the bow and arrow competition in the upstairs lobby. Kid-friendly food and beverages were provided by 12th Street Catering and Hatboro Beverages. After the show, families enjoyed green apple sorbet over vanilla ice cream topped with caramel sauce, courtesy of The Franklin Fountain.

Here are some photos from the evening:

by Kristina Chadwick, Charge Scenic Artist

 

Have you ever sat in math class wondering, “When am I ever going to use this?” Well, if you’re a Scenic Artist painting the set for a show like Robin Hood at the Arden, you’re going to have to do your math.

The painted tubes ready to go on the set.

The set for Robin Hood, which takes place in the Arcadia Theatre, is surrounded by an abstract forest comprised of many cardboard tubes, metal poles and pieces of lumber of varying diameters and widths. These tubes and boards line the walls of the Arcadia – all at a height of 14 feet from floor to ceiling – and also hang horizontally from the ceiling in a canopy of abstract branches. Additionally, the structure at the center of the set is made of steel poles. All of these tubes, poles, and boards are painted various shades of green from a bright lime color to an almost-black forest green.

(If you were to take every section of steel pole, every cardboard tube and every piece of painted lumber that decorates the stage, and then line them up end to end, they would stretch over a mile in length!)

Our Technical Director Glenn Perlman.

When preparing for a show like this one, you must know how much paint you will need to use. A good starting point is to figure the amount of square footage that needs to be covered by each type/color of paint that you need. Our Technical Director, Glenn Perlman, ordered a total of 300 cardboard tubes of varying diameters from 2 inches to 8 inches, all 14 feet in length. To find the square footage of each tube’s surface you must first find the circumference then multiply it by the length. The equation 2 x Radius x Pi (approx. 3.14) gives you the circumference. A 6-inch diameter tube would have the circumference of approximately 18.84 inches, or 1.57 feet. At a length of 14 feet with a circumference of 1.57 feet, each 6-inch diameter tube would have 21.98 square feet of surface area. There are 19 tubes of 6-inch diameter in the set for Robin Hood, meaning the total square footage of the 6-inch tubes was 417.62. One gallon of paint covers roughly 400 square feet; therefore you would need a little more than 1 gallon of paint for those 19 tubes. Similar calculations were made for the other diameters of cardboard tubes (2, 3, 4 and 8 inches), and for the various pieces of lumber and the steel pipes. 

That's Me! Starting to paint the one of many trees.

Overall, we used nearly 10 gallons of paint for the set of Robin Hood, filling the Arcadia space with almost 4,000 square feet of green!  That’s 1,000 square feet larger than a regulation Little League infield.

When you see the show, we hope you will feel inspired by the atmosphere and math all around you!!!

This morning CBS Philly’s Lindsey Lewis named the Top Upcoming Local Philadelphia Actors to look for this season. Among them were Arden Theatre Company alum Steve Pacek, Alex Keiper and Krista Apple!

Steve Pacek as Reverend Jim with Julia Gibson in our 2012 Production of "Clybourne Park".

Steve Pacek has been seen in many wonderful Arden productions such as James Joyce’s The Dead, Pacific Overtures, Franklin’s Apprentice, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie (Barrymore nomination), The Borrowers, and most recently Clybourne Park. We are so excited to have him back in the spring where he will be playing multiple roles in our next Children’s Theatre production of Robin Hood.

Alex Keiper as the Cannibal Princess in the 2011 Children's Theatre Production of "Flea and the Professor".

Alex Keiper was last seen on our stage  in the 2011 Children’s Theatre production of The Flea and the Professor. Her feisty portrayal of the Cannibal Princess earned her a Barrymore Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical. She will back this May for Arden’s upcoming new musical Tulipomania with Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble, and Joliet F. Harris. Alex is also a member of the Arden Theatre Drama School Faculty, and she will be teaching our Acting and Musical Theatre classes on Saturdays now until May 15!

Krista Apple as Lady Montague with Frank X as Lord Montague in our 2010 Production of "Romeo and Juliet

Krista Apple first made her Arden debut in the 2008 production of Our Town In Old City. She was later in seen as Lady Montague/Balthasar in our recent production of Romeo and Juliet. When she is not busy acting, Krista is a writer for both American Theatre magazine and The Phiadelphia Theatre Initiative. Krista is also a fantastic teaching artist and will be teaching our Arden Drama School Teens this spring for an One Day Acting Worksop.

©2009 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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