Arden's New Season Has Latest by Hollinger and Martinez, Plus Musical Flea and the Professor

News   Arden's New Season Has Latest by Hollinger and Martinez, Plus Musical Flea and the Professor
Three world premieres, including a new Hans Christian Andersen-inspired musical and plays by Michael Hollinger and Rogelio Martinez, are on the 2010-11 schedule of Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia.

Eugene O'Neill, Tracy Letts, Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and Mary Norton are also represented in the season.

The season will launch with the world premiere of Hollinger's Ghost-Writer, the playwright's first new work since Opus, which premiered at the Arden in 2006 before an acclaimed Off-Broadway run and a wide life in regional theatres.

In Ghost-Writer, according to Arden, "novelist Franklin Woolsey dies mid-sentence, but his secretary Myra continues to take dictation. Attacked by skeptics, the press and Woolsey's jealous widow, Myra sets out to prove she is more than just an artful forger. Is she trying to steal Woolsey's legacy now that she cannot have his love, or might she truly possess a gift the world can't understand?"

James J. Christy will direct the staging, to play Sept. 9–Oct. 31 on the Arden's Arcadia Stage.

The world premiere of Wanamaker's Pursuit by Martinez, directed by Terrence J. Nolen, will play on the Arcadia Stage March 31-May 29, 2011. It's an Arden commission. The play, set in Paris in 1911, is about young Nathan Wanamaker, who "arrives in search of stock for the family department store and instead finds Paul Poiret and the first truly fabulous party of the 20th century," according to Arden. "Surrounded by Poiret's extravagances, Stravinsky's music and Picasso's art, Nathan soon finds himself having to make the difficult choice of what he must bring back to Philadelphia and what he must leave behind."

Arden's first commission for children's theatre is the world premiere of Jordan Harrison and Richard Gray's new musical adaptation of The Flea and the Professor, based on Hans Christian Andersen's final tale. The show has music by Gray, lyrics by Harrison and Gray and a book by Harrison. Anne Kauffman
will direct on the F. Otto Haas Stage
May 4–June 12, 2011.

In the musical, according to Arden, "a young professor meets a flea. They become the best of friends, establish a circus act, and set off to tour the world. Shipwrecked on a desert island, our show biz heroes encounter pirates, puns, and a cannibal princess."

The Arden season also includes Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's musical The Threepenny Opera (Sept. 30–Nov. 7); The Borrowers, Mary Norton's tale of a tiny family that lives in a doll house, adapted by Charles Way (Dec. 1, 2010–Jan. 30, 2011); Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten (Jan. 6–March 6, 2011); and Superior Donuts, the Chicago and Broadway play about new life coming to an old soul who runs a shabby Chicago donut shop (March 3–April 3, 2011).

Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 North 2nd Street in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.

For more information, call (215) 922-1122 or visit

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