Producing artistic director Terrence J. Nolen directs a cast that will feature local actor and playwright Frank X as sage, flawed teacher Hector, the role created in England and on Broadway by Tony Award winner Richard Griffiths.
Opening at Arden's F. Otto Haas Stage is Sept. 30.
Frank X makes his Arden debut as Hector. Originally trained as a dancer and playwright, he has performed widely throughout the area with theatres including InterAct (Permanent Collection and Black Russian), Azuka Theatre (Four) and Theatre Exile (Rhinoceros). Frank X received the Barrymore Award for Best Actor for his performance in Lonely Planet (InterAct) and Barrymore nominations for four roles at the Lantern: Sam, "Master Harold"...and the boys; Lear, King Lear; Lyngstrand, Ghosts; and Bob, Beyond Therapy. He has also performed regionally at the Humana Festival, Seattle Rep and the Folger Theatre. Locally, he has appeared most recently in Little Lamb (InterAct) and in the title role in Othello (Lantern).
The History Boys has received more than 30 major awards, including Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Play. It was also made into a film.
According to Arden, "The History Boys is set during the 1980s in northern England and chronicles the final year of eight clever young students at a British school in pursuit of sex, sport and admission into Oxford or Cambridge. Two history teachers with wildly different teaching philosophies become rivals for the hearts and minds of the boys in this hilarious and provocative play." The cast also includes (as The Boys) Ankit Dogra as Akthar; Peterson Townsend as Crowther; Evan Jonigkeit as Dakin; Chris Bresky as Lockwood; Michael Doherty as Posner; Brian Cowden as Rudge; Matt Leisy as Scripps; Jonathan Silver as Timms; and (as The Teachers) David Howey as Headmaster; Frank X as Hector; Matthew Amendt as Irwin; Maureen Torsney-Weir as Mrs. Lintott.
Bennett first achieved acclaim in 1960 when he co-authored and starred in Beyond the Fringe with Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller. Other plays written by Bennett include Talking Heads, The Lady in the Van and The Madness of George III and the screenplay for "Prick Up Your Ears."
The Arden production team includes David P. Gordon (set designer), Alison Roberts (costume designer), F. Mitchell Dana (lighting designer), Jorge Cousineau (sound and projections designer), Daniel Kluger (musical director/associate sound designer), Katharine M. Hanley (stage manager), Matt Rosenbaum (assistant director), Sally Ollove (dramaturg) and Hazel Bowers (dialect coach).
Arden is located at 40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia.
For more information, call (215) 922-1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office.