Announcing our 2020/21 Season
Over the past several months, we have been spending considerable time looking at how we can safely move forward with next season. As we review different options and numerous paths forward, our guiding principle is to ensure that our artists, audiences, and staff remain safe. The Arden is a place for audiences of all ages to gather and celebrate the power of live theatre, and we are committed to continuing to be a place that brings people together. We have, of course, explored social distancing options, but current guidelines would allow us to have 34 audience members in the 175-seat Arcadia Stage, which is neither artistically nor financially viable.
So here is where we are at this point. We have decided to postpone the start of our season until 2021, allowing us all time to, hopefully, have confidence that it will be safe to gather. Of course, this may prove to be optimistic, but theatre lives on hope, and we are looking forward and making plans with hope and positive energy. If circumstances shift and we can add programming earlier, we will do so; if we need to adjust our current plans, we will do that too. Yes, it is a leap of faith, but so many of you have made that leap with us before. And we promise to keep you apprised every step of the way.
The Arden’s 2021 winter/spring/summer season will include a five-play subscription season. We will start with the world premiere of a brilliant new play by acclaimed humorist R. Eric Thomas entitled Backing Track. Next up is A Streetcar Named Desire with an astonishing all-Philadelphia cast. We will produce both No Child by Nilaja Sun, about the potential of the arts to change lives in our schools, and Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Mcmillan, a play that urges us to notice the little things that makes life worthwhile. We will close the season with a reimagining of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. In addition, we will produce a spring Arden Children’s Theatre production with the return of our acclaimed production of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat (a story that starts with two kids stuck inside, looking for adventure).
In the meantime, we will continue to share content with you on our virtual stage Arden for All ONLINE! And this fall, when the theatre season traditionally kicks off, we will ramp up our online offerings: streaming several past Arden productions, sharing readings of new plays, and holding a special virtual concert with favorite Arden artists. We want to stay connected, and this fall, we will celebrate our past work and sow seeds for the stories still to come. And then come February, we will gather.
We are drawn to theatre – as artists and audience members – because we believe in the power of connection. We believe that we will all appreciate theatre even more when we come back – that the connection it offers will be more important than ever. We are excited about the many ways that we can connect next season. Whether you’ve been with us our early years or recently joined us, thank you for being part of the Arden family. With hope and deep appreciation, we look forward to the Arden’s 33rd season.
Amy L. Murphy, Managing Director Terrence J. Nolen, Producing Artistic Director