11th Hour Theatre Company Announces New Leadership and 2021-22 Season

-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC

11th Hour Theatre Company, the region’s premier boutique musical theatre organization, is proud to announce a series of upcoming performances and an exciting leadership transition. After 16 seasons, co-founder and Producing Artistic Director Michael Philip O’Brien will be leaving 11th Hour this fall to become the new Executive Producer  at the Gretna Theatre in Mount Gretna, PA

“Leading 11th Hour for these past 16 years has been the greatest professional experience of my life,” says O’Brien. “It has been an honor to be a part of the Philadelphia theatre community and I am so excited to experience the next phase of 11th Hour as a fan.”

Fellow 11th Hour co-founder and previous Artistic Associate Steve Pacek will be appointed as the Transitional Artistic Director this fall. As someone who has been with the company since its inception, 11th Hour is glad to retain the institutional knowledge and passion of Pacek.  Pacek also brings the added benefit of expertise gained from a national and international theatre career, as well as a long history of service as the longest-serving board member of Theatre Philadelphia.

“This change comes at a pivotal moment of transition for all of us, as we re-enter the world of live entertainment after a long, digital hiatus,” notes Pacek.  “We know where we’ve been, but we can’t wait to see where we will go.  I can’t wait to lead the 11th Hour team into this next phase as we figure out creative solutions to bringing back the joy of live theater in a safe, innovative way.”


11th Hour’s 2021-22 season is  shaping up to have exhilarating promise. The company will present a meaningful, community-driven  season with all performances taking place at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City, Philadelphia, located at 20 N. American Street.

First up is SOON, written by Nick Blaemire, a co-production with Prima Theatre in Lancaster, PA. This fully staged musical will be directed by Michael Philip O’Brien as his departing act from 11th Hour. SOON is a witty, apocalyptic, and surprisingly humorous musing centering on a woman who isolates herself in her apartment (sound familiar?). The perfect piece for today, SOON reminds us of the importance of fully embracing life – even with the end in sight. See it in Philadelphia October 28 – November 7, 2021

In 2022, 11th Hour kicks into gear with a world premiere concert, PROUD: A Cabaret in Color. Created by local artists Kyleen Shaw and Garrick Vaughan, this vibrant, original piece highlights resilience and joy through the lens of Black artists. From musical selections digging into a multitude of topics, from colorism to the infamous “black card,” PROUD is a musical exploration of the black experience like no other. Presented January 14 – 23, 2022

The season will close in April with a second concert presentation of a show to be announced. Performances for this run April 23 – May 1, 2022.

To help protect the health and safety of audiences, artists, staff, and the greater community, audience members are required to wear masks at all performances.   Additionally, 11th Hour events will require proof of vaccination to attend. Audience members will be asked to show proof of vaccination before entering the performance venue. Accepted forms for proof of vaccination include: a physical vaccine card with the guest’s name on it or a digital photo of a vaccine card on a cell phone.

If a guest is feeling unwell, experiencing any COVID-related symptoms, or comes into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 up to 14 days before a performance, 11th Hour Theatre company asks that they stay home.  All 11th Hour artists, staff, and volunteers are required to show proof of vaccination.  These guidelines may evolve depending on local health and safety recommendations. Please consult the 11th Hour website for the latest information.

11th Hour’s mission is to have an enduring impact on our community by producing musical works of theatre. We use the expertise of industry leaders and up-and-coming artists to create an intimate and lasting experience with our audience.

In the past sixteen years, 11th Hour Theatre Company has emerged as Philadelphia’s premiere boutique musical theatre company. In 2016, 11th Hour was awarded a New Theatre Works Initiative grant by the Independence Foundation, and in 2013, 11th Hour became the first-ever recipients of the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theater. Our work focuses on presenting intimate, character-driven stories rather than flashy, budget-busting spectacles. Our hope is that these stories prove the relevance of musical theatre in the contemporary world, engaging audiences and inspiring the next generation of musical theatre artists for years to come.

We produce a broad spectrum of musicals that fill a niche in the diverse Philadelphia theatre landscape: musicals that spark the creativity of our artists and the imaginations of our audience. In the 2014-2015 season, we produced our first world premiere, Michael Ogborn’s Field Hockey Hot, which was a smashing success, and motivated us to create one of the first original cast albums to come out of Philadelphia in years. To date, we have produced twenty-one full-scale musicals, ten of which were Philadelphia premieres. Our hugely popular Next Step Concert Series is a staged-reading series that showcases musicals seldom seen in Philadelphia. In addition to Field Hockey Hot, the company has contributed to the development of several new musicals including Angst, Factory Girls, Five Points, Persephone (now titled Mythic) and Something Like A War. We also produced the American premiere of Austentatious that went on to success at the New York Musical Theatre Festival; and a 29-hour reading of Fantasy Football, the Musical? before its production at New York University. Both Austentatious and Fantasy Football have since been published and are now professionally licensed. In 2018, 11th Hour produced our second world premiere musical, Big Red Sun, written by John Jiler and Georgia Stitt. 

11th Hour has received a total of fifty-five Barrymore Award nominations to date. Our work has been recognized with fifteen awards, including Outstanding Overall Production Of A Musical (Lizzie), several individual awards for our artists, and the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre. 

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