Philadelphia Theatre Company Season Includes Nerds, 4000 Miles and Tribes; Anna Deveare Smith in Residence

By Carey Purcell
May 13, 2013

The Philadelphia Theatre Company announced it will host a residency for playwright Anna Deavere Smith as well as its 2013-14 season of productions.



The 2013-2014 Philadelphia Theatre Company's season will feature 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, Nerds with book and lyrics by 3-time Emmy nominated Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner and music by Hal Goldberg, Tribes by Nina Raine, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, and A Boy and His Soul written and performed by Colman Domingo.

"For the past 37 years, PTC has gained both regional and national recognition for the consistent high quality of its productions thanks to its award-winning creative teams and performers," said president Priscilla Luce. "Our new season continues this legacy in support of some of the finest plays and most important voices on the national theatre scene today."

The season at a glance follows:

4000 Miles
By Amy Herzog
Directed by Mary B. Robinson
Oct. 11–Nov. 10

"Twenty one-year-old neo-hippie Leo unexpectedly arrives on the doorstep of his feisty grandmother Vera's West Village apartment, dazed and confused after a cross-country bike trip. Over the course of a single month, these unlikely roommates infuriate and bewilder each other, and discover the fragile line between growing up and growing old through humor, heartache, and love."

Nerds
Book and lyrics by Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner
Music by Hal Goldberg
Directed by Marc Bruni
Nov. 29-Dec. 29

"Nerds is an outrageous new musical that follows the lives of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as they rise from garage inventors to billionaires. From the floppy disk era to the present day iPhone phenomenon, Nerds hilariously celebrates the computer revolution and the two pop-culture icons that made it possible."

Tribes
By Nina Raine
Directed by Stuart Carden
Jan. 24, 2014-Feb. 23

"This play follows Billy, a young deaf man living silently among his loud, intellectually elite and fiercely opinionated family who talk a lot, but don’t listen so well. He has adapted brilliantly to his hearing family’s unconventional ways, but they’ve never bothered to return the favor. It’s not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally understands what it means to be understood."

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
By Christopher Durang
March 21-April 20

"Vanya and his sister Sonia live a quiet life in the Bucks County farmhouse where they grew up. When their movie star sister Masha returns from Hollywood unannounced with Spike, her twenty-something boy-toy in tow, an unforgettable weekend of rivalry, regret and hilarity ensues. By the end of their impromptu family reunion, this lovable bunch won't ever be the same."

A Boy and His Soul
By Colman Domingo
Directed by Tony Kelly
May 23-June 22

"A coming-of-age story, A Boy and His Soul follows Domingo’s upbringing through a box of vinyl records discovered in the basement of his boyhood West Philadelphia home. A one-man tour de force, A Boy and His Soul digs deep into the joys and pains of living in a working-class background, and the pivotal moment of coming out as a gay African-American man in 1980s Philadelphia."

A gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, Smith's residency will support the research and development of her new work, The Pipeline Project.

"It is a great honor as well as an exciting opportunity for PTC to provide Anna Deavere Smith with the resources to help her create both a civic dialogue as well as vibrant theatre," executive producing director Sara Garonzik said in a statement. "The Pipeline Project will allow us to deepen our connections to our own community as well as to this extraordinary artist, activist and thinker."

"The Pipeline Project will address the increasing numbers of American youngsters – especially African-American males—being 'shuttled' from school into the criminal justice system," press notes state. "During her 2013-2015 residency at PTC, Smith will use elements of the theatre process that she has refined over the past three decades to create a compelling theatre piece that is also an opportunity to spark city-wide dialogue and public engagement about our education system and our civic responsibilities to children."

Further information can be obtained by calling (215) 735-7356 or visiting philadelphiatheatrecompany.org.