Directed by Mary B. Robinson, Third plays the Suzanne Roberts Theatre through April 20 with an official opening March 26. The cast features Jennifer Blood, Melanye Duschene Finister, Will Fowler, Ben Hammer and Lizbeth MacKay.
Third, according to press notes, "chronicles the story of Laurie Jameson, a liberal but well-established college professor at an elite New England college who finds her liberal convictions challenged by her male student – a wrestler – Woodson Bull III (Third) who she suspects of plagiarism. While dealing with the plagiarism scandal, Laurie's life is thrown into disarray, as she tries to deal with her aging father, sick best friend, and rebellious daughter, each of whom cause her to examine everything in which she believes."
The creative team also features set designer James Noone, lighting designer Russell Champa, costume designer Karen Ledger and composer Robert Maggio. Warren Hoffman is the dramaturg for Third.
PTC will also host a series of panels and play readings throughout the run of the Third. Entitled An Uncommon Woman: Feminism and the Legacy of Wendy Wasserstein, the series will look "at the ways in which her work changed and shaped theatre for women," according to PTC. Among those expected to be part of the series are playwright Christopher Durang, set designer Heidi Ettinger and Villanova University professor and Wasserstein expert Gail Ciociola. Harriet Powers will direct a staged reading of An American Daughter, and PTC will also sponsor an additional panel on "the impact of Wasserstein's writing on today's generation of women writers."
In a statement PTC producing artistic director Sara Garonzik said, "In producing Third, we not only mount the Philadelphia premiere of a timely, provocative and beautifully observed play, but we also celebrate Wendy Wasserstein's enormous impact on American theatre. Wendy's natural brilliance in making people laugh at times skewered our perception of her as a writer of probing insight. In fact, few playwrights have chronicled life's passages as richly as Wendy Wasserstein. Even fewer have done so against our nation's changing panorama of sexual politics and social mores." The Suzanne Roberts Theatre is located in Philadelphia, PA, on Broad and Lombard Streets. Tickets, priced $46-$58, are available by calling (215) 985-0420 or by visiting www.philadelphiatheatrecompany.org.