Quintessence Theatre Group announces its third season as it continues to build a home for progressive classical theatre in Philadelphia. The 2012 – 2013 season will include Shakespeare’s OTHELLO, Gogol’s THE DIARY OF A MADMAN, Shaw’s ARMS AND THE MAN, and Molière’s THE MISANTHROPE in an adaptation by Martin Crimp. Each of the four plays explores the idea of pride in its positive and negative manifestations, exposing and celebrating the potential glory and ultimate fallibility of humankind. Following two celebrated seasons, Quintessence will continue to present visceral actor-driven theatrical events which ignite Philadelphia’s theatrical imagination through essential and complex adaptations of classic texts for the Contemporary Stage.
Quintessence is devoted to the idea of classical repertory theatre and will therefore conclude its third season with THE CHOCOLATE AND CHAMPAGNE REPERTORY: Shaw’s ARMS AND THE MAN and Crimp’s THE MISANTHROPE will be presented in rotating repertory by an ensemble of nine actors. Both productions will be directed by Quintessence Artistic Director Alexander Burns.
Quintessence continues its residence at the historic Sedgwick Theater. By presenting professional theatre outside center city Philadelphia, Quintessence plays a fundamental role in the renaissance of main street Mt. Airy, a thriving and diverse neighborhood located in northwest Philadelphia.
QUINTESSENCE THEATRE GROUP’S 2012 – 2013 SEASON
by William Shakespeare
October 10 – November 4, 2012 Opening Night: October 13, 2012
Othello the Moor is the celebrated General of Venice’s armed forces. Virtuous, steadfast and politic, Othello falls in love and impetuously marries Desdemona, a powerful senator’s daughter. Iago, an ambitious subordinate, turns mortal enemy when Othello makes Cassio, an untested scholar of war, his new lieutenant. Reason and passion collide as Iago preys on Othello’s greatest vulnerability, his love for Desdemona. In an electrifying return to the Elizabethan tradition of all-male Shakespeare, Quintessence unleashes what promises to be one of the most powerful productions of this tragedy ever seen on the Philadelphia stage.
THE DIARY OF A MADMAN
by Nikolai Gogol
Adapted by David Holman, with Neil Armfield and Geoffrey Rush
February 13 – March 10, 2013 Opening Night: February 16, 2013
Poprishkin is a civil servant devoted to his diary. His entries start off reporting anxiety attacks at work and conclude with the megalomaniac delusion that he’s the lost king of Spain. Known for his play The Government Inspector, Nikolai Gogol’s 1835 short story remains shockingly relevant and hysterical almost two hundred years after its publication. Part clown show, part tragedy, playwright David Holman adapts The Diary of a Madman into a masterful send up of bureaucracy and a raw account of one man’s descent into madness.
THE CHOCOLATE AND CHAMPAGNE REPERTORY April 17 – May 26, 2013
ARMS AND THE MAN
by George Bernard Shaw
April 17 – May 25, 2013 Opening Night: April 20, 2013
A hired gun in the Serbo-Bulgarian War receives unforeseen kindness when he takes cover in a Bulgarian lady’s bedroom. Once the fighting is over, he comes back to return the favor, ignoring the fact that she’s engaged to another war hero. A romantic comedy of star-crossed lovers, Shaw’s Arms and the Man argues the dangers of idealism, honor and pride in both love and war.
Adapted by Martin Crimp
April 24 – May 26, 2013 Opening Night: May 4, 2013
A playwright uses his acerbic wit and scathing critiques to unleash his discontent on the world. Unsettled by his popular girlfriend’s continued flirtation with other men, he suggests running away and starting a new life free from the superficiality, hypocrisy and immorality of modern society. Celebrated British playwright Martin Crimp (Attempts on Her Life, The Country) moves Molière’s social satire from 17th century France to 21st century London, sharpening the bite of one of the world’s most controversial and humorous playwrights.