Arden Theatre Company today announced these seven productions for its 2012/13 Season, which marks the company's 25th Anniversary Season:
"Our 25th Anniversary Season exemplifies what we do best – daring and ambitious musicals, dramas that grapple with the complicated notion of the American family, provocative pieces by contemporary playwrights, and classic stories reinvented for family audiences," says Arden's Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen. "We are proud to bring the work of influential writers Sondheim, Hansberry, and Beckett alongside new American voices Mark St. Germain, the team of Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, as well as two of today's preeminent adaptors of work for children: Charles Way and Greg Banks."
The season begins with the groundbreaking Next to Normal, an electric and emotionally rigorous musical that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, in a production conceived by Nolen and designer Jorge Cousineau to create a visually rich production using new technology. Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece A Little Night Music, also directed by Nolen, closes the season, featuring Philadelphia actors Grace Gonglewski, Ben Dibble, and Mary Martello. In the Arden's twenty-five years, they have presented eleven Sondheim musicals, making him the most produced playwright in the company's history, so it is only fitting this anniversary season includes his work.
In the fall, Barrymore Award-winning actor Ian Merrill Peakes makes his directorial debut with Freud's Last Session, an imagined meeting between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis at the start of World War II. In 2013, the company presents two influential but drastically different playwrights of the 20th Century: Samuel Beckett and Lorraine Hansberry. Beckett's Endgame will mark the company's first foray into the Nobel Prize winning storyteller's work. Under the direction of Associate Artistic Director Edward Sobel (Clybourne Park, Superior Donuts) local actors Scott Greer (Wittenberg, Cyrano) and James Ijames (The Whipping Man, Superior Donuts) play the co-dependent clowns Hamm and Clov in this darkly comic play. Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun became the first play by an African American produced on Broadway in 1959. This pivotal family drama will be brought to life on the Arden's stage under the direction of Walter Dallas (Blue Door, The Piano Lesson).