McNally's Golden Age Will Premiere in Philadelphia Before Playing DC | Playbill

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News McNally's Golden Age Will Premiere in Philadelphia Before Playing DC The world premiere of Terrence McNally's Golden Age, a play that goes backstage at the creation of a famed opera by Bellini, will be part of Philadelphia Theatre Company's 2009-10 season, the troupe announced.

Following its run in Philadelphia, the PTC production will move to the Kennedy Center as part of its spring 2010 "Terrence McNally's Nights at the Opera Festival," featuring opera-related works by McNally. Golden Age is supported by a $50,000 development grant from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays.

According to PTC, which has a long history producing the works of the Tony Award-winning McNally, "Golden Age takes place backstage at the Théâtre-Italien in Paris on the evening of the premiere of Vincenzo Bellini's opera, I Puritani. Assembled are the composer and his faithful friend, Francesco Florimo, and the four singers for whom the opera was expressly composed known the world over as The Puritani Quartet. This opera, which Bellini thought would cement his supremacy over his rival, the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, was ironically to be his last."

Golden Age continues Philadelphia Theatre Company’s 20-year relationship with McNally, including the world premiere of Master Class, which also played at the Kennedy Center before moving to Broadway to win three Tony Awards. PTC also birthed the premieres of Some Men and Unusual Acts of Devotion. Some Men was subsequently produced off-Broadway at Second Stage, and Unusual Acts of Devotion will be produced this spring at La Jolla Playhouse.

Golden Age also represents PTC's third collaboration with the Kennedy Center which, in addition to Master Class, co-produced Citizen Tom Paine with Richard Thomas in 1987.

PTC's producing artistic director Sara Garonzik stated, "Golden Age, happily, will form the centerpiece of our 2009-10 season. It is particularly exciting to see Terrence return again to his passion for opera, especially bel canto opera with its exquisite singing. We are truly honored the Kennedy Center will be presenting our production as part of a festival which also includes our first McNally world premiere, Master Class. This extraordinary celebration of Terrence's work has managed to include both our past as well as our future!" *

Philadelphia Theatre Company is Philadelphia's only non-profit professional theatre dedicated exclusively to producing world and regional premieres of works by contemporary American playwrights.

Since 1995, Philadelphia Theatre Company has received 134 nominations and 36 awards from Philadelphia's Barrymore Awards. For more information on Philadelphia Theatre Company, call (215) 985-0420 or visit

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