The season at Arden will launch in the fall with Leonard Bernstein's musical Candide (Sept. 11-Oct. 12) on the Haas Stage. Philly stars will tell the picaresque story of blind optimism: Ben Dibble will play Candide, Scott Greer will be Dr. Pangloss and Mary Martello will play The Old Woman.
Posner's adaptation of Chaim Potok's My Name Is Asher Lev will premiere Jan. 8, 2009, on the intimate Arcadia Stage.
"Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok co-adapted Potok's classic novel 'The Chosen' in 1999 at the Arden to critical and audience acclaim," according to Arden notes. "Posner now introduces another world premiere, adapted from Chaim Potok's most autobiographical novel. The play explores the juxtaposition between family responsibility and faith and brings to life the work of one of America's — and Philadelphia's — greatest 20th century storytellers through the tale of a young Hassidic art prodigy torn between his commitment to his observant Jewish family and his love of Renaissance painting."
Graham's Something Intangible will premiere April 9, 2009, on the Arcadia Stage. Philadelphia actors Ian Merrill Peakes and Scott Greer will be featured "in a story that unfolds against the backdrop of the animation craze in 1940s Hollywood," according to Arden. "Tony and Dale are brothers, one a creative visionary with dreams of producing a new kind of feature-length animated film, and the other a practical man trying to support his family. The play explores the balance between creativity and practicality in the pursuit of excellence and the complicated relationship between two very different siblings."
The season also includes the popular regional play, Gee's Bend, a portrait of African-American quilters, by Elizabeth Gregory Wilder, Oct. 9-Nov. 30 on the Arcadia Stage. It will coincide with the exhibition of "Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Conor McPherson's dark Irish comedy The Seafarer, acclaimed on Broadway and in London, will play the Haas Stage May-14-June 14, 2009. In it, a stranger arrives to play cards with longtime drinking buddies. One of the players is gambling for his very soul.
Terrence J. Nolen is producing artistic director of Arden; Amy L. Murphy is managing director.
For more information visit www.ardentheatre.org.