The theatre company will feature Bill Irwin Feb. 16, Billy Porter March 23 and Anna Deavere Smith May 11 in interviews about their personal journeys of transformation and creative growth over time and how it has impacted both their art and their lives.
"Our 40th Anniversary season offers us the perfect opportunity to launch this exciting series which will become a permanent part of our programming," executive producing director Sara Garonzik said in a statement. "With the Theatre Masters series we will share with our community a probing look into the career paths and artistic process of three extraordinary artists, each of whom excels so brilliantly in so many arenas. These artists have evolved and transformed in a way that reflects changing tastes and priorities in American theater as well as in other media. The interviews also underscore PTC's mission to produce and develop new American plays and musicals and to host our nation's most noteworthy artists as they work in collaboration with our region's finest actors, directors and designers."
A Tony Award winner for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, clown, playwright, director and choreographer, Irwin has also appeared in Largely New York, Waiting for Godot, Old Hats and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, among others.
Porter won the 2013 Tony Award for his performance in Kinky Boots. His stage credits also include Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Grease, Smokey Joe's Café, Angels in America and the 20th anniversary Broadway concert of Dreamgirls, and he conceived and directed Being Alive, based on the music of Stephen Sondheim, and wrote the play Where I Yet Live.
Smith last appeared at PTC in Let Me Down Easy. A Tony Award winner for Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, she has appeared in "Nurse Jackie, "The West Wing" and "The Practice," among others. PTC's 40th Anniversary season continues with Tony Award-nominated Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally (Feb. 6-March 8) featuring Michael Learned; brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee (May 1-31), co-produced with the Long Wharf Theatre; and the musical comedy Murder for Two with book and music by Joe Kinosian and book and lyrics by Kellen Blair (June 6-28).
Tickets and more information are available by calling (215) 985-0420 or visiting philatheatreco.org.