Arden Theatre Company Announces 2015/2016 Mainstage Season

August 10, 2015

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company announces the 2015/2016 Season, and continues their mission to present great stories by great storytellers. The season includes two World Premieres, one Philadelphia Premiere and several works adapted or based on classics in literature.

“Our 28th season exemplifies what we do best – ambitious musicals, dramas that grapple with the complicated notion of the American family, work by an American master playwright, and classic stories reinvented for family audiences,” says Arden’s Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen. “We are proud to present two world premiere productions by Laura Eason and Bruce Graham, the work of American master storytellers August Wilson and Mary Zimmerman, a Philadelphia premiere of Bill Cain’s Equivocation and the soaring music and lyrics of The Secret Garden by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon.”

The Arden will announce one additional show in their Arden Children’s Theatre series at a later date.

Based on the Myths of Ovid
Written and originally directed by Mary Zimmerman
Directed by Doug Hara
October 1 – November 1, 2015
Press Opening: Wednesday, October 7, 2015
F. Otto Haas Stage

From acclaimed playwright Mary Zimmerman (of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre) comes this dazzling adaptation of Ovid’s classic myths, brought to stunning visual life. Set in and around a rippling, onstage pool, a magical world is conjured, where Gods and mortals co-exist and universal tales of fate, lost love, greed and death are shared. Tony Award-nominated for Best Play, Metamorphoses overflows with gorgeous imagery and visionary theatricality. Hailed as “a profoundly moving, nuanced piece of theatre,” this is storytelling at its finest!

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

“Shagspeare,” a playwright in London in 1605, (yep, that’s the one) 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. “An experience no serious theatregoer will want to miss.” –Variety

FUNNYMAN – World Premiere
By Bruce Graham
Directed by Matt Pfeiffer
January 14 – March 6, 2016
Press Opening: Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Arcadia Stage

New York City, 1959. An aging vaudevillian comic, grasping to remain relevant in the ever-changing world of “show biz,” tries to revive his career with a starring turn in an avant-garde off-Broadway play. Meanwhile his daughter struggles to uncover truths from her childhood that her father would rather keep hidden. From Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham, author of three previous Arden works including the 7-time Barrymore Award-winning Something Intangible (2009), comes a new play about a man whose legacy is on the line and for whom comedy is serious business.

By August Wilson
Directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges
March 10 – April 10, 2016
Press Opening: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
F. Otto Haas Stage

The civil rights movement is sweeping across Pittsburg’s Hill District in 1969 and Memphis Lee’s diner is scheduled to be torn down, a casualty of the city’s renovation project. Struggling to cope with a rapidly changing world, Memphis and the diner regulars fight to hang on to their solidarity and sense of community.  From Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson comes this masterpiece about everyday lives in the shadow of great events, and of unsung men and women who are anything but ordinary.  “…Perfection…a work by a writer at the peak of his powers.” —Variety

Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Music by Lucy Simon
Production co-conceived by Jorge Cousineau and Terrence J. Nolen
Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
May 12 – June 19, 2016
Press Opening: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
F. Otto Haas Stage

After the sudden death of her parents, ten year-old Mary Lennox is sent to live with an Uncle whom she’s never met. Mourning the loss of his own true love, Uncle Archibald is distant and strange, and cold, bleak Misslethwaite Manor, haunted by spirits and secrets of the past, is no place for a little girl. Strong-willed and brave-hearted, Mary finds solace in a locked-up, hidden garden, and with it, a path to rebirth, proving that hope can bloom from the darkest of places. Based on the beloved novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden’s heartwarming story and beautiful, soaring ballads make this Tony Award-winning musical a treat for young and old alike!

Subscription Information
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, 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 301 nominations from the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre.  The Arden is a winner of four “Theatre Company of the Year” designations (Philadelphia Inquirer), five 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.

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