Mark those calendars, people: The first-ever Philly Theatre week is coming, Feb. 8-18, with 80 events, 268 performances, 71 artists and organizations. Tickets are free, $15, or $30. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday, today, at PhillyTheatreWeek.com.
Leigh Goldenberg, executive director of Theatre Philadelphia, which helmed the program, says, “I learned that Chicago had a Theatre Week, so I had a call about it with them nearly a year ago. Washington D.C. also launched their own Theatre Week a few years ago, and I connected with them as well.” She was looking for a program focusing on inclusivity and reducing barriers to participation, and “Theatre Week was a natural fit.”
How do you do Philly Theater Week?
Go! Be not intimidated. Philly Theatre Week is a very friendly week, put on just for you. Whatever you like, they got. Plays, for example, from Lantern Theater’s Copenhagen to Arden’s A Doll’s House to Curio Theatre Company’s Marie Antoinette . Some, like the John Guare Festival at EgoPo Classic Theater are truly big deals. There’s also community theater, such as the intriguing Stoop Daze, a North Philly play by Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Collective.
Are there musicals? Yes, including Players Club of Swarthmore’s Little Shop of Horrors and the world premiere of New Freedom Theatre’s world premiere of Henry Box Brown, coauthored by the roots-linked rapper Dice Raw.
Like samplers of short or new plays? There’s The Equinox New Play Festival at University of the Arts and Tiny Dynamite’s One Night Stand: Three Comedies About Love and Sex . The gin-soaked Juniper Productions folks have three outings: Play Appetizers (Feb. 9-10), Play Tastings (Feb. 12), and Cocktail Plays (Feb. 18), such a hit at last fall’s Fringe.
Panels on theater, social issues, and current topics abound. So do opportunities to eat and drink.
If you are a glittering socialite like myself, you’ll be at the Opening Night Kickoff Party at Yard’s Brewing Company (5-7 p.m., Feb. 8) or a performance of the world-premiere Sensitive Guys at InterAct Theatre (Feb. 8), followed by a happy hour benefitting Women Against Rape. Or hang out with the scribes at the Playwrights’ Happy Hour (Feb. 12, Philadelphia Dramatists Center).
Check out the listings and … get out there.