On the First Friday of each month, Arden Theatre Company hosts a different Philadelphia artists or group of artists to present short, free performances to enhance Old City's First Friday activities rooted in the visual arts. Located at 40 N. 2nd Street, the Arden was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for Arden First Fridays, to support this opportunity for local performing arts groups to showcase their work.
Additional partnerships with local cultural groups, food vendors, tourist attractions, and more make the Arden a destination for hundreds of attendees each evening. All 21+ attendees receive a free beer sample from Yards Brewing Company as well.
The list of confirmed artists for First Fridays for the remaining 2012/13 season includes:
Friday, November 2
Dali String Quartet
A music performance that blends a traditional string quartet with the Latin-American repertoire.
Friday, December 6
Headlong Dance Theater
A showcase of the company's signature dance/theatre style with students from the Headlong Performance Institute.
Friday, January 5
Olde City Sideshow
An immersion performance that encompasses the "Old City" stylings of Vaudeville, Burlesque and the Historical Sideshow acts mixed with Philadelphia's counter-culture influences.
Friday, February 1
Tiny Dynamite presents "A Play, A Pie, and A Pint
A casual, short, and comedic theatrical piece enjoyed with a slice of pizza and a glass of beer.
Friday, March 1
Collaborative theatre with many scenes happening simultaneously while the audience is free to wander and watch the piece how they would like, incorporating food, drink, and other intimate sensory experiences.
Friday, April 5
The Berserker Residents and Swim Pony Performing Arts
Devised theatre rooted in alternative comedy with a pop-comic aesthetic.
Friday, May 3
A collaboration between dance and visual arts that engulfs the audience in the environment created for each piece.
Friday, June 7
Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret
A theatrical rock performance that fuses classic showmanship with a modern sense of humor and bold original songs.
For the past two years, the Arden has grown its programming for First Fridays, providing artistic outlets for its guests, along with beer or wine samples. With the help of the Knight Foundation, we have been able to offer a consistent artistic platform and stipends for our sister performing arts organizations across the city. Previously this season, the Arden has presented work from Charlotte Ford, West Philadelphia Orchestra, Team Sunshine, and RealLivePeople(in)Motion.
Each event has drawn over 250 spectators, who watched from both inside the Arden's building and from outside through the Arden's floor-to-ceiling windows at 2nd and Cuthbert Streets. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight Arts Challenge is a $9 million initiative funding innovative projects that engage and enrich Philadelphia's communities.
Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 North 2nd Street in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.
Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. We stage five productions each season as part of our mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children's Theatre, the city's first resident professional children's theatre program. We create and produce new work through our new-work development program, the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden Professional Apprentice program trains future theatre leaders, and our theatre classes through Arden Drama School teach children and teens about the craft of making plays. Our access program, Arden for All, makes our work available to the entire community through subsidized tickets and books for economically disadvantaged young people. We also offer sign language-interpreted, captioned and audio described performances and Pay-What-You-Can final dress rehearsals that benefit other nonprofits.