-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC
-photo by Kristy Giballa
Arden Theatre Company has announced their 35th anniversary season for 2022-23, featuring seven productions that will be staged throughout the Arden’s campus in Old City, Philadelphia. The company will also partner with First World Theatre Ensemble as their season company in residence, and will launch the J. Cooper Robb Library at their Hamilton Family Arts Center, dedicated to Robb, a long time theater critic for a variety of Philadelphia publications, and his impact on this theatre community.
“We are excited to be producing a full season for our 35th Anniversary, including the return of Children’s Theatre to our stages,” said Terrence J. Nolen, Producing Artistic Director. “And, as we move forward, we’re thrilled that the J. Cooper Robb Library will be available to support the work of artists that happens onstage and off while inspiring students who are our next generation of theater makers and supporters.”
The Arden season begins with the company’s premiere of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, which will play the F. Otto Haas Stage October 6 through November 6, 2022. Amanda Wingfield is a faded remnant of Southern gentility who now lives in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. Tom supports his mother and sister with a shoe-factory job he finds unbearable. When Amanda convinces Tom to bring home a “gentleman caller” for Laura, the illusions that Tom, Amanda, and Laura have each created in order to make life bearable collapse about them.
Next, The Arden revives their much-loved production of Every Brilliant Thing, starring Scott Greer, at the Arcadia Stage from November 3 through December 18, 2022. This moving, insightful, and hilarious one-person play leads audiences through a remarkable journey that truly examines what makes life worth living, and the power of theatre to bring people together.
2023 will welcome the regional premiere of the hit TONY-nominated Broadway play Clyde’s, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, at the Arcadia Stage from January 26 through March 12, 2023. A truck stop sandwich shop, just outside of Scranton, offers its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff a shot at redemption. Even as the shop’s callous owner tries to keep them under her thumb, the staff members are given purpose and permission to dream by their shared quest to create the perfect sandwich.
Next, August Wilson’s Radio Golf, the last chapter of his monumental ten-part series, The American Century Cycle, will come to the F. Otto Haas Stage from March 16 through April 16, 2023. Set in Pittsburgh in the late 1990s, it’s the story of a successful entrepreneur who aspires to become the city’s first Black mayor. But when the past begins to catch up with him, secrets get revealed that could be his undoing.
Finally, The Arden will present an all new production of the musical Violet, running in the F. Otto Haas Stage from May 25 through June 25, 2023. This multi-award-winning musical follows a scarred woman who embarks on a cross-country bus trip to be healed by a minister, discovering the true meaning of beauty along the way. Violet features a brilliant score by Jeanine Tesori, who wrote Caroline, or Change, Fun Home, and Kimberly Akimbo – a new musical that will appear on Broadway this fall.
Arden Children’s Theatre will return during the season as well, with two productions to be announced at a later date.
In addition, the Arden will partner with the First World Theatre Ensemble as their resident company for 2022-23. Created by Zuhairah McGill, First World Theatre Ensemble brings to the stage classic and original works intended to raise audience awareness regarding critically important social issues. Each play produced by First World Theatre Ensemble addresses local to global issues and is partnered with organizations and field professionals whose work relates to the social themes of the play in a strategic effort to respond to the needs of and provide direct support for audience members. The Ensemble will stage two productions during the season–more details will be announced at a later date.
Also new for 2022-23 is the launch of the J. Cooper Robb Library, located in the Hamilton Family Arts Center, dedicated to Robb, a long time theater critic for a variety of Philadelphia publications, and his impact on this theatre community. The J. Cooper Robb Library is intended to be first and foremost a place where students learn, enjoy, and broaden their love and knowledge of theatre in its most basic form: the written word. Robb’s husband, Carl Karter, has donated Robb’s extensive collection of books, scripts and playbills to the library, and these materials will be shared with visitors and students for many years to come. In addition, other Arden supporters have donated materials to the library.
For more information on the Arden season, visit ardentheatre.org.