Environment or People? That's the Question in World Premiere of Tooth and Claw in Philly

News   Environment or People? That's the Question in World Premiere of Tooth and Claw in Philly Environmental responsibility and human needs are at the center of Tooth and Claw, Michael Hollinger's world-premiere play at Philadelphia's Arden Theatre Company, March 11-April 11.

Arden artistic director Terrence J. Nolen directs a bilingual cast in a play inspired by actual events. According to Arden, "Tooth and Claw takes a provocative look at political and social evolution in action, exploring the culture clash between environmentalists and the native fishermen in the Galapagos Islands. When pressured by conservationists, the Ecuadorian government banned the harvesting of sea cucumbers from the protected waters of the Galapagos. The fishermen, armed with clubs and machetes, staged a violent revolt. Taking the scientists and staff of the Charles Darwin Research Station hostage, they slaughtered and mutilated 80 of the Islands' endangered tortoises."

The work is billed as "a powerful contemporary drama that questions individual survival, environmental responsibilities and political ideals."

The staging marks the fifth collaboration of Philadelphia playwright Hollinger and Arden artistic director Terrence J. Nolen. The previous four (Red Herring, Tiny Island, Incorruptible and An Empty Plate in the Café Du Grand Boeuf) have together been produced around the country, Off-Broadway and abroad.

With the exceptions of Stephen Sondheim and Shakespeare, Michael Hollinger is the Arden's most produced playwright.

Tooth and Claw was commissioned and developed by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project and through the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase, the Arden's program to develop and produce new works. The cast includes David Grillo, Donald Grody, Susan McKey, Alvaro Mendoza, Marcos Muniz, Elvis O. Nolasco, Tlaloc Antonio Rivas, Al D. Rodriguez, Shirley Roeca and Paco Tolson.

Previews begin March 11, opening is March 16, on the Arden's Otto Haas Stage.

Designers are James Kronzer (scenic), Anne Kennedy (costume), Michael Philippi (lighting) and Jorge Cousineau (sound). Music is composed by John Stovicek.

For ticket information, call (215) 922-1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.

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