Philly's Wilma Will Stage U.S. Premieres of Age of Arousal and A Walk With the Goons

News   Philly's Wilma Will Stage U.S. Premieres of Age of Arousal and A Walk With the Goons
The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia will have two U.S. premieres in its 2007-08 season, artistic directors Blanka Zizka and Jiri Zizka announced.

The resident theatre's season will open Sept. 19 with a new Jiri Zizka-directed production of Peter Shaffer's Broadway, London and Academy Award-winning hit, Amadeus, "based on a script which includes newly added scenes and dialogue after the play's Broadway and film successes."

The U.S. premiere of Linda Griffiths' Women's Suffrage-era play Age of Arousal will be followed by the U.S. premiere of Roy Smiles' Ying Tong - A Walk With the Goons, "a hysterically twisted look at one of the BBC's leading radio comedy shows."

The season will close April 30–June 1, 2008, with the Philly premiere of Sarah Ruhl's retelling of the Orpheus myth, Eurydice, directed by Blanka Zizka.

"We are thrilled to introduce Linda Griffiths' and Roy Smiles' plays to American audiences," stated Blanka Zizka. "We are also proud to bring Sarah Ruhl back to Philadelphia, after our exhilarating production of The Clean House in 2005, applauded by both our audiences and critics."

Age of Arousal (directed by Blanka Zizka, Dec. 5, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008) "enters the boldly uncensored world of loosened corsets as five Victorian women pursue a new age where erotic freedom reigns supreme. It's 1885, and a population imbalance leaves England flooded with half a million more women than men. Invigorated by the rise in numbers, the Women's Suffrage Movement is now stronger than ever as non-married, or 'Odd Women,' advance towards sexual and financial independence. Determined to empower females with the technology of the workplace, an ex-Suffragette initiates a school for secretaries complete with an arsenal of Remington typewriters. Can she lead the way and see her vision of women as managers, business owners, even political world leaders come to fruition?" The play, "wildly inspired by "The Odd Women" by George Gissing, is the newest work from one of Canada's leading playwrights. The play was seen at Calgary's 2007 Enbridge playRites Festival."

Ying Tong – A Walk With The Goons, plays Feb. 13–March 16, 2008, under the direction of Jiri Zizka. According to Wilma notes, "Before Monty Python invaded television, BBC's famous radio series, 'The Goon Show' made an entire nation laugh week after week, greatly influencing Python, The Beatles, and Tom Stoppard, among others. With Ying Tong, rising U.K. playwright Roy Smiles brilliantly chronicles the Goons' surge from cult status to raving success, showcasing the series' trademark surrealism and profound silliness. As the curtain rises, we find Goon writer and 'godfather of alternative comedy' Spike Milligan losing his mind from the strain of creating genius. Wild fantasies of Jewish leprechauns, gay Vikings, and malevolent Morris Dancers are springing from his fragmented brain. Fellow Goons, including future Dr. Strangelove Peter Sellers, scramble to recover Milligan's missing marbles and save his sanity."

In the Wilma's 2006-07 season, almost 100 performances sold out.

For more information about the Wilma season, call (215) 546-7824, visit The Wilma Theater box office located at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia, or visit

Single tickets for the 2007-2008 season go on sale Aug. 1.

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