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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!

By: Tara Demmy, Arden Professional Apprentice

You may have attended A Moon for the Misbegotten and found a survey stuck to the back of your chair with blue tape. You may have attended and asked to stay after the show for a 30 minute interview. These two elements are both part of the Arden’s participation in a national study of theatre audiences aiming to understand more about the intrinsic impacts of live theatre. We are one of 18 theatres involved in The Intrinsic Impact project, which was commissioned from WolfBrown by Theatre Bay Area and underwritten by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

What does intrinsic impact mean exactly? It took me some time to figure it all out. Basically it’s easy to look at charts and quantify how many people come to see a show and how much money a show makes…but it’s a lot more difficult to try to study how those people felt about a theatrical experience.  Companies have been keen to focus on the financial, but money does not necessarily dictate a theatre’s success.

Theatre Bay responds: “But financial data tells only a fraction of the story.  A theatre company may be financially sound, but is it really moving and exciting its audience?  Is it connecting to its audience in a fundamental (i.e., intrinsic) way? And can that connection be deepened? How can artistic staff understand the impact of their programming decisions, and what, if anything, can they do about it?  We have come to see that the theatre field lacks a generally accepted and widely used metric or “outcome rubric” for what matters most: the intrinsic value of the theatre experience.”

How do we measure the immeasurable? Have you ever had an indescribable emotional response to a moment in a production?  Live theatre has the power to move us in unexpected ways. Yes, we are entertained, but how are we affected?  The Arden received the opportunity to select the questions in our take-home surveys. These questions reflect what we want answered by our audiences. Questions that ask our patrons to assess the artistic style of the production, to evaluate if they were emotionally moved, to see if they felt connected to their fellow audience members and to find out if they are more/less likely in the future to follow the work of the playwright. This information will help us to understand not how many tickets we sold but how patrons are responding to the art.  This will help the Arden to continue to provide great stories and be on the forefront of artistic progress in the country. To always connect to the Philadelphia community and continue to challenge our patrons with new ideas and stories.

Post-Performance Interviews: Our in-person interviews cover the same topics mentioned above, just in a discussion based format. Engaging in these interviews with Leigh Goldenberg, Arden Theatre Company’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager has been amazing. To hear how people connected to A Moon for the Misbegotten in different ways has been a truly unique experience.  Many have a quite a bit of knowledge of O’Neill, and give much historical information with their reactions, while others who are less familiar focus on intense production moments.  Intense bonds were formed between audience members and the character of Josie, in her strength, compassion and heartache. Even now it is difficult for me to summarize the feelings expressed by those individuals in the interviews, which emphasizes the main difficulty in trying to gather information on unquantifiable, personal reactions.  This difficulty is what makes theatre a strong artistic form; its ever-fleeting, ephemeral nature gives it the power to present unforgettable, poignant moments that stay with us.

I admire the Arden’s participation in this survey and Theatre Bay’s dedication in attempting to get a better idea of how theatre can have a lasting, emotive impact on society.  We are continuing interviews and surveys for Superior Donuts and Wanamaker’s Pursuit. Thank you for your support!

For more information, please visit Theatre Bay Area.

By Harry Watermeier, >illness Arden Professional Apprentice

Okay, listen, I don’t actually know how to manage a stage—it’s only day one. But, I’ve learned a few basic things about stage management, and I’ve been prepping for my Assistant Stage Management gig for about a week. My fellow apprentices have already written some pretty nifty blogs about Assistant Stage Managing (check them out!), and now it’s my turn to give you my initial impressions of this exciting process.

Predictably, I’m a little worried about my A.S.M. gig. My worries come from…well, the chemical imbalance in my brain, and the fact that “stage management” doesn’t really come naturally to me. It seems that a good stage manager possesses skills that are a little foreign to me like: organization, multitasking, a rich understanding of literary text, general responsibility, and basic motor skills. But! I’m doing my very best, and I’m thrilled to be so intimately involved with the rehearsal and production of an Arden show.

Already, after only one day of rehearsal, I’ve gained a tremendous amount of respect for stage managers. Before this gig, I’ve only stepped on stage as an actor, director, or playwright. I’ve never been involved with (or concerned with, really) with the nuts, bolts, gears, and other machine metaphors of a production. I’ve always approached plays artistically, and worked with broad stokes that focused on ideas, feelings, meanings, and atmospheres. Things like prop placement and lighting cues have always been taken care of for me—by (I now realize) remarkable stage managers.

To me, it seems that while actors, directors, technical designers, etc. must be concerned with the microcosms of their respective departments, a stage manager must always keep the macrocosm of a production in mind. From rehearsal schedules to blocking notes, a stage manager must organize, track, record, and communicate a tremendous amount of information for multiple departments to ensure a smooth rehearsal process and production.

I’ll be assistant stage managing Arden’s next main-stage production, Superior Donuts—a complex, subtle character study that is often viciously funny, and always casually profound. I adore this play and I’m a huge admirer of its author: Tracy Letts. I feel like I’ve won the lottery with this assignment. I can’t imagine another play with which I’d like to spend more time.

To prepare for assistant stage managing (…actually, you should know that in the official Superior Donuts contact sheet, I’m listed as “Assistant to the Stage Manager.” Also, someone’s been putting my office supplies in Jell-O.) I’ve completed two major projects. I’ve made a prompt book and taped out the floor. Okay, that sentence sounds pretty nonsensical, but I’m going to explain everything.

What’s a prompt book? I’m glad you asked! A prompt book is a

Clearly made by someone who knows what he's doing.

tool with which I will keep track of all props—their placement, their movements—for the show. A prompt book contains a copy of the play’s text set opposite a diagram of the set. I will mark where and how props move on the diagram, and mark the same movements on the corresponding lines of dialogue or stage directions on the text. This allows me to have both a visual/spatial note as to where and how props move, set alongside a verbal cue. I’ll make these notes during rehearsal—this requires tremendous focus because prop movements change constantly. Props tracking will be one of my main responsibilities with Superior Donuts which, judging by the play’s title is pretty sweet news. Sweet. Get it. ‘Cause of the donuts. It’s a joke because donuts are sweet. I’m going to eat a bunch of donuts backstage that’s all I’m saying.

I’ve also helped “tape out” the rehearsal hall floor.

This is the rehearsal set--complete with furniture, set dressings, and props that simulate the real set.

Essentially, the Stage Manager and A.S.M. create a simulation of the borders of the stage using multi-colored rolls of tape. The image “taped out” is based on an architectural schematic of the set. These taped borders give the actors and director an idea of their blocking choices and limitations when the actual set for the show is not yet available.

So, prep week and Day One of Assistant Stage Managing went well. Today I kept my brow furrowed for about six hours, took copious notes, and paid really close attention to everything. I just have to keep that up for like two months. I think I’m off to a pretty solid start. I absolutely love the show; I’ll be working with a terrific Stage Manager, and I’ll gain knowledge and skills that will be invaluable to me in my future as a theatre practitioner.

Here a little snippet of Superior Donuts:

Arthur: It’s easy to underrate that now, but there’s nothing wrong with comfort, you know? You’re lying in a bed in the city of Chicago and you have your arms wrapped around a person who’s made the decision to move through the world with you. That may be comfort and not much more, but it may be love, too…

Isn’t that something?

By Rob Heller, Arden Professional Apprentice

I am currently Assistant Stage Managing the Arden’s Production of A Moon for the Misbegotten. I have done a little bit of stage managing in the past and have been at least mildly experienced at most of the duties. However, one day during tech week it came time for the “quick-change.”

The leading (and only) lady in the show Josie (played by Grace Gonglewski) has a transition in Act I where the time of day changes from day to night and time has to have elapsed. The transition needs to show her father Phil Hogan (Michael H. Walls) and their landlord Jim Tyrone (Eric Hissom) going to the bar at the inn and Josie setting the scene for a moonlight date with Jim. The transition has 4 sections.

First, the men exit stage and Josie takes down the laundry line, the clothes on it, and moves the table from the porch onto the front lawn.

Next, the men return to stage and exit en route to the inn while Josie brings the struck items into the house and takes off the working dress leaving her in just her slip while the Assistant Stage Manager (that’s me) strikes the dress and turns on the lantern.

She returns to stage with flowers for the table and goes to the well to wash.

Finally, she returns to the house and with the help of her Assistant Stage Manager (that’s me again) dives into her evening dress, gets zipped, velcroed and snapped, peeks out the window, puts on stockings and shoes and exits the house with lantern in hand to start the next scene.

The kicker is that anything we do inside the house (ie. the quick-change itself) occurs while there is NO action on stage. So, it is crucial that do the change as quickly as possible.

We experimented with a lot of approaches to the change and I became more and more adept at helping Grace. Eventually, with a collaboration between myself, Grace and Alison Roberts (costume designer) we found a method that works for all of us and can be done in the allotted time.

My history is as a director and I never thought so much about quick-changes as I have in the past week. So, in the spirit of connecting with the theater as a whole, I did a little research into quick-change as it exists in the theater today:

First, I wondered how long a quick-change generally takes. I quickly found a recent example from the popular musical Wicked:

In an interview with Wicked Wardrobe Supervisor Gillian Kadish on SHNSF.com, she says that “the fastest change we have in the show is when Elphaba goes from her Shiz costume into the Defying Gravity dress, which is 19 seconds.”

Wow, 19 seconds! Perhaps I am not yet in the elite company of quick-change professionals. I wanted to see if this was particularly quick or if other shows were different. I had to venture no further than another staple of the musical theater realm; Hairspray.

Megan Bowers (Tracy Turnblatt’s dresser) in an article on Playbill.com explains the quick change for both Tracy and Edna (her mother) in the opening number: For Edna, the process takes about 45 seconds. Tracy’s change is quicker than Edna’s, taking only 25 to 30 seconds(she doesn’t have to change her wig like Edna does).

Alright, so generally a change takes under a minute and there seems to be a very clear craft and technique. Now, I wanted to hear about the “funny” mishaps as I (knock on wood) pray will not happen with us. I read a variety on Broadwayspace.com called “Crazy Costume Stories” that involve cutting people out of $30,000 dresses, returning to stage half-dressed, and wearing boots instead of crystal-covered heels for a kick-line. Give them a read yourself for some entertainment!

After examining a bit of the professional world of quick-change I feel very much at ease that the skill is learned and practiced and that it is maybe essential to earning one’s stripes to partake of the quick-change.

By Shanna Tedeschi, Arden Professional Apprentice

Greetings friends! Shanna here–an Arden Professional Apprentice and Teaching Artist.

Did you know that every year over 2, >pharmacy 500 excited kids in Philadelphia, Ridley Park and Camden get free books, free classes and free show tickets to our Children’s Theatre productions? All this magic is possible through a program called Arden for All.

As a Teaching Artist, I was sent to bring some enchantment to the 3rd and 4th graders of Eddystone Elementary. What ensued were moments of imagination, hilarity and discovery–watch this slideshow to see for yourself!

Just joining us? Read Philly in Photos, Part 1 and Part 2

By Harry Watermeier, Arden Professional Apprentice

This is another cool coffee place in Philadelphia.

I’m not sure if it’s a Philly thing or not, but there seems to be a lot of them in the city. What’s great about this Starbucks place is that they have other stuff too, not just coffee. They have like, cookies and coffee-like drinks and stuff. Check ’em out!

This is where I ate my very first meal in Philadelphia.
I had a tongue sandwich with onion and spicy mustard and an embarrassingly huge slice of chocolate cake. I’ve really taken a shine to Jewish Deli’s here in Philly, and this one may be my favorite. The waitresses call me “sweetheart”–I think I’m in love with all of them.

This church is right across the street from my apartment.
Every once in a while I’ll be home when a service is beginning. The choir is beautiful, the church bells are stirring. I haven’t been to church in over seven years–I’m thinking about going to this one.

This is the charming little park in Rittenhouse Square. In the fall I would sit on one of the benches and read in the afternoon sunlight. Now, during the winter, I make a point of walking through it on my way home.

I took this picture just to show that I’m sensitive.

My home away from home! I think I’m more familiar with this building than I am with my studio apartment. I spend a huge chunk of time here, but I’m happy to do so. The Arden is an incredible theatre—it’s a defining element of Philadelphia’s cultural landscape, and I’m beyond lucky to work here.

So, I’ve realized a couple of things after working on this blog: 1.) I really need to exercise more. All I do is sit and read and eat. 2.) I need to explore the city. Philadelphia’s made a great first impression—now I’d like to get to know it a little better.

To read the introduction and first installment of Philly in Photos, sick click here

By Harry Watermeier, >pharmacy Arden Professional Apprentice

This is “Creamy, ” the other Vespa I pass on my way to work. “Creamy” lives a few blocks down from “Captain” on Spruce. They used to live together, but they had a bit of a falling out, and now things are kind of weird. Yeah, I’ll nod to “Creamy,” but only if he sees me and nods first. I know that’s immature, but, I’m friends with “Captain,” and…I don’t know. These things get so complicated.

Best cup of coffee in all of Philadelphia. It’s a pretty cozy set up, too. Bring a book, grab a coffee, and sit in a corner booth for hours.

When I sit and have a coffee at Red Hook, I feel like I’m on a date with a girl who’s way too pretty for me. I’m nowhere near cool enough to drink coffee at Red Hook. All the employees are tatted and pierced–and I’m sure they’re all former musicians. I’m a bit of a square, so I stand out a little when I’m there. I’m hoping that the hepcats at Red Hook think I’m wearing Eddie Bauer khaki ironically. My esteem hang-ups aside, they make a solid cup of coffee, they’re always friendly (friendlier than they should be, considering my clothes), and great music is always pumping out of a fuzzy stereo.

I could waste days in this place. This small, dimly lit store, that smells of old paper and glue, contains some of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. Pristine, first edition prints of pulp classics like Jim Thompson’s Pop 1280 and Dashell Hammit’s The Maltese Falcon sit quietly on bare wood shelves. Paperbacks from the sixties and seventies are wrapped safely in plastic pockets, and copies of rare Silver Surfer comic books are shelved between leather-bound works by Tolstoy, and massive tomes of Warhol photographs. The organization of Brickbat seems to be scattershot and random at first, but, after a few laps around the store, it makes perfect sense.

This is the greatest album cover of all time.You can find it upstairs at Philadelphia Record Exchange. As soon as I have twelve bucks to throw away, I’m going to buy it and frame it. Look, there’s Dave Brubeck, and those other guys. Wearing suits and eating ice cream. ‘Cause the album’s called “a la Mode.”

Just the right amount of creepy and cool can make a great record store.

Yeah so I like to stop in a comic book store every once in a while, so what?

Harry’s Philly in Photos series will conclude on Friday!

By Harry Watermeier, Arden Professional Apprentice

It seems like my fellow apprentices have already written some fascinating and articulate blog posts on children’s theatre, research conferences, and assistant stage management. Unfortunately, I’m not particularly fascinating or articulate. But, I do eat food, drink coffee, read books, and live in Philadelphia. So, for my blog post, I thought I could offer a “photo essay” of sorts that will evoke the impression Philly has made on me since I moved here last August. With the following photos and the passages that accompany them, I’ll attempt to describe the tastes, textures, sights, and sounds of my Philadelphia.

Tremendous tuna melt. Tremendous. I visited Little Pete’s for the first time with fellow APA Rob Heller. We sat at the bar, ate artery destroying sandwiches–Rob introduced me to scrapple–and had a great talk about theatre–what it means, what it should be, what kind of theatre we want to make. Little Pete’s is a great place to have that kind of talk. A passionate talk, a talk without hesitation. The clanging and clacking of plates and cookware, the hiss of scrapple patties on a griddle, the shouting and belly laughter emanating from the regulars who sit in booths that have molded into the shapes of their bodies–all that noise surrounds you like a cloud. You have complete privacy at Little Pete’s because no one, save the person sitting right next to you at the bar–can hear a word you’re saying.

An “eccentric” hair salon that seems to be run out of Barnum’s abandoned attic. It’s a strange place populated by really interesting people. Go for the decent haircut–stay for the most bizarre (if only partially true) stories you’ve ever heard.

Do you like organic mayo, but only when it’s sold to you by preposterously happy employees? Then Trader Joe’s is the place for you! They’ve got everything I love. Hawaiian shirts? Check. Bells to ring? Check. Pirate themes? Check. Little tiny cookies that look like Oreos but aren’t Oreos? Check. Hip chicks with non-prescription Elvis Costello glasses working at the check- out counter? Check. Bag boys that hug their managers when they say hello? Check. Seriously, it’s the greatest grocery store of all time, and I’m pretty sure the company was founded by a cloud made of giggles and Polly Pocket.

This is where I go to exchange my stocks. Stock exchanging is pretty complicated–I wouldn’t expect you to understand it, and I certainly can’t explain it in just a short blog post. I can tell you this–you have to have a pair of wingtips if you want to exchange stock. If you don’t have a pair of wingtips, don’t bother coming in. No, you can’t borrow mine.

This is “Captain,” the navy blue Vespa I pass every morning on my way to work. I’d like to have a Vespa some day. Clearly,  I’ve grown quite fond of “Captain.” Lately, I find myself nodding to him as I pass–that’s right, I’m beginning to acknowledge inanimate objects. Maybe I should take a few days off…

This is an apartment building on the corner of 16th and Spruce. I think it’s gorgeous. Its design is heavy, and haunted–somehow ornate yet humble. It’s clearly been eroded by decades of Philadelphia winters, but it wears its history beautifully. I hope to save enough money (through my enormously successful practice of stock exchanging) to one day live in this apartment building. My favorite part of the building? The beam of light that is constantly shooting across it. Look at that beam.  Mmmm….beam of light…

Harry’s Philly in Photos series will continue shortly!

By Andrew Wojtek, Arden Professional Apprentice and Assistant Stage Manager for The Borrowers

As part of the Arden Professional Apprenticeship, each apprentice serves as the Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) for one of the productions in the season’s lineup.  It just worked out this year that two apprentices had to double-up on one production because of the timing of Ghost-Writer and The Threepenny Opera opening so closely together.  I was one of the lucky two APAs who were assigned to ASM The Borrowers.

Going into what the rest of the company likes to call “ASM Land” is very different from your day-to-day duties as an apprentice.  While the production is in the rehearsal process, prescription you pull rehearsal props, take notes, and help work through scenes.  In tech rehearsals, we run sequences over and over again, re-set the stage, and learn what parts of the show we will eventually “crew” for every performance.  But once the show opens, your life is tied to the performance schedule.

I thought it would be interesting to share with you a day in the life of the ASM.  This not only gives you a glimpse into what happens to prepare for a performance, but what it’s like to work just one morning at the Arden.

6:50 am: Wake up; hit snooze button.

7:00 am: Wake up; get out of bed.  Get ready for the day.

8:02 am: Leave the house, catch the 17 bus.

8:27 am: Arrive at the Arden.

8:28 am: Drop off bags, start a pot of coffee (the cast and crew all pitched in and bought coffee and fixings – it’s cheaper than buying it every morning), and eat a little breakfast.

8:45 am: Crew call – this is when the whole crew is “called” to the theatre to prepare for the student matinee performance.  To get the show ready, I set my props, boil noodles for Crampfurl’s “worm” and make sure that everything I need for the show (like the giant screwdriver, the trap door, and pieces of “doll house” furniture) are all set to make their appearances.

9:35 am: The Haas is now open to patrons!  All three crew members take turns swinging the pendulum that you see shadowed on stage.

Andrew operates the giant screwdriver!

10:07 am: Make my way to center stage to give the curtain speech.  I finally have all the Arden’s media partners memorized!

10:08 am: The show is up and running.  During the first act, you’ll find me backstage running my crew track: stomping my feet for shadows, changing the puppet’s costumes, handing off props, and operating the screwdriver.

10:47 am: First act is over, now it’s time to set the scene for the second act.  My partner, Ashley, and I do the shift on the stage left side of the theatre.  You’ll see us moving out the apartment and –if you look carefully– getting the boot prepped to go on stage.

11:02 am: Act Two has started and I’m back to work making more shadows, operating puppets, and paging the curtain on the Gypsy Caravan.

11:44 am: The show is over!  As soon as the cast is finished with their curtain call, I bring the big spool of thread table on stage and answer questions that the audience has for the crew.

Noon: The crew goes about resetting the stage for act one as soon as the theatre empties out.  As a part of ending the day, we do the laundry for the next show, reset the wigs, clean up props, and close down the backstage side of the theatre.

After the show, we jump back into our regular APA duties, doing Facilities Maintenance (FacMan), processing gifts in Development, prepping bins for Arden Drama School, and so much more.

If you have any questions about what happens backstage to prepare for The Borrowers, I hope that you won’t be too shy to ask.  Email askarrietty@ardentheatre.org and we’ll be back in touch.  And I feel obligated to end this blog entry the same way I end my curtain speech… “Remember that The Borrowers is here on stage at the Arden through January 30th, so if you like what you see, tell your friends and family!”

By Tara Demmy, Arden Professional Apprentice

The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) is a U.S.-based professional organization that fosters scholarship on worldwide theatre and performance, both historical and contemporary. It had its annual conference Seattle this year (Nov 18-21), and I attended representing Arden Theatre Company.

My undergraduate senior thesis was accepted into the working group: “Bodies at Play” which explored the performative dimensions of “bodies at play,” which were defined as physical and / or imaginary “corporeal scenarios” where the mind and body engage in “play”. There were papers that analyzed the play involved with Live Action Role Play, Stunt Running, and dressing as Superheroes for comic book conventions. One paper explored the process our bodies go through when smell is incorporated into theatrical performances, arguing that it make us more present and more connected to the “liveness” of performance.

My paper was titled “American Bouffon: Historical Deconstruction and Experimental Performance.”  It explored the differentiated bodies of Jacques Lecoq’s bouffon and what needs to change about this French satirical style in order to effectively perform it in the United States.

We ended the working group by discussing how we “play” in our everyday lives and why this concept of play (which translates into freeing yourself artistically and taking risks) is so important for the American theatre. I really learned that by understanding performance as it occurs in our everyday lives, we will be better able to connect to the type of art that is presented on the stage.

I came to this conference from a totally different point of view, being a part of a regional theatre instead of a university (most who attend ASTR are either PhD students or college professors). I talked with many participants at the conference who praised the Arden’s work and said that they wished they had worked in a theatre before pursuing graduate education because practice enriches research (especially in the theatre). Research is super important, but if that research is not applied to the actual theatre produced, then it is not used to its full potential.  The APA program is an amazing practice- based program for understanding all that goes into running a successful theatre company and this conference was a brilliant example of how I was able to utilize the new perspective and experiences I have gained from the APA program.

In reflecting, I am so glad I attended this conference. It gave me new ideas on how to organize research and the many topics that theatre research can cover. I attended sessions on multi-cultural theatre, feminist theatre, and research strategies.  I received advice from many well-known scholars who were eager to share their professional journeys with someone who just graduated college. I was proud to have Arden Theatre Company on my name tag and was able to speak of our season with some Philadelphia local professors. I hope to return to Seattle and see more theatre on the west coast; it’s a whole new exciting theatre community to explore!

By Bobby Bangert, advice Development Assistant and APA Class 16

At the Arden, nothing heralds the beginning of another season like the arrival of the new class of Arden Professional Apprentices.  As a proud member of APA Class 16 (2008-09), seeing the new crop of apprentices (Class 18!) start on Monday brought back lots of memories, but it also reminded me of the tremendous affect this program has, not only on the individual apprentices it produces, but on our entire community.

The Arden has truly outstanding education programs, including our apprentice program.  It is completely unique in that its participants work in every aspect of the company, and after ten months they can work in every department with proficiency in a variety of tasks.  It is appropriate that the beginning of each new apprentice class coincides with the Live Arts and Philly Fringe, a time when our city is literally bursting with theatre in every possible space.  Former apprentices are now theatre professionals working in Philadelphia and all over the country applying the skills they learned at the Arden to create, produce, market, and manage their own shows, and at no time is that more apparent than during Fringe time.

The list of former APAs producing in the Fringe is impressive, and below is a sampling of the former APAs whose work you can see in the festival this year:

Cecily and Gwendolyn’s Fantastical Paranormal and Quantum Entanglement is being produced by the Philadelphia Joke Initiative, which is headed by Class 15’s Alexis Simpson.  Alexis is also featured in The Real Housewives of Philadelphia’s Main Line-O-Mania.

Fugue State stars Class 17’s Meredith Sonnen.

APA Class 16 at the opening of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE.

How to Solve a Bear is directed by Class 13’s Meg Walsh, and stars Class 15’s Scott Sheppard.

Kid Out of Nowhere is a new play, and the inaugural production of the newly formed Act Normal Theatre Company, which is directed by yours truly, Class 16’s Bobby Bangert, starring fellow Class 16 alums Hillary Rea and Richard Sonne, as well as the costumes of Class 16’s Katherine Fritz.

Thomas Choinacky (Class 15) is busy performing in two shows, Marisol, and Portmanteau, which he co-created.

In addition to producing for the Fringe, former APAs are working with more established companies with Live Arts shows.  Mark Kennedy of Class 17 is the Sound Operator for Pig Iron’s Live Arts show, Cankerblossom.  New Paradise Laboratories’ Freedom Club stars Class 5’s McKenna Kerrigan, and is Assistant Stage Managed by Class 16’s Katherine Fritz.

While we’re out getting ready for the Fringe to begin this weekend, Class 18 is just getting oriented.  The next time you’re at the Arden, keep an eye out for the apprentices (they will probably be Assistant Stage Managing the show you’re seeing, printing your tickets in the box office, or cleaning the lobby you’re standing in).  Right now they’re learning the ropes here, but this time next year I can’t wait to see what Class 18 will be doing out there in the community.

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