P hiladelphia Theatre Company announces its 2011-2012 season highlighted by a Tony Award winner, a new play by a prominent local playwright, a Tony and Drama Desk nominated comedy and a multiple Tony Award nominated new musical by an award-winning team.  The season features Red by John Logan, The Scottsboro Boys with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb and book by David Thompson, The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham, and reasons to be pretty by Neil LaBute.

The season opens with the 2010 Tony Award winner Red by John Logan on October 14 – November 6 directed by Anders Cato.  Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art; a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant in his studio on the Bowery. Raw and provocative, Red is a searing portrait of an artist’s ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work of art.

The new year brings in the musical The Scottsboro Boys on January 20-February 19. Nominated this year for 12 Tony Awards, the legendary songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and The World Goes Round, produced by PTC in 1993), brings a stirring musical that explores the infamous 1930’s ‘Scottsboro Case’ in which a group of African-American men are falsely accused of a terrible crime, ultimately provoking a national outrage that sparked the American Civil Rights movement. The Scottsboro Boys is the definition of inspired American musical theater with a gorgeous and melodic score.  The PTC production features original direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, recreated by Jeff Whiting.

Philadelphian Bruce Graham’s newest play The Outgoing Tide is directed by James J. Christy on March 23 – April 15.  In a summer cottage on Chesapeake Bay, Gunner has hatched an unorthodox plan to secure his family’s future but meets with resistance from his wife and grown son, who have plans of their own. As winter approaches, the three must quickly find some common ground and come to an understanding-before the tide goes out. This new drama by Barrymore Award winner Graham hums with dark humor and profound emotion.

The season concludes on May 25-June 17 with Neil LaBute’s dark comedy reasons to be pretty.  A multiple Tony and Drama Desk nominee, this hopelessly romantic drama about the hopelessness of romance is the final installment (following The Shape of Things and Fat Pig) in Neil LaBute’s critically acclaimed trilogy focusing on America’s modern day obsession with physical appearance.  When a cruel, off-hand remark disrupts the lives of two young couples, they confront a sea of self-deceit, treachery and their own willingness to change.  reasons to be pretty has LaBute’s typical razor-sharp wit and insight with an extraordinary new twist—hope!

PTC will continue its [email protected] new works festival (piloted in October 2010) featuring panel discussions and staged readings of new plays and musicals by award-winning playwrights as well as the creation of a new mentorship and commissioning program that will pair an established playwright with an emerging playwright of similar sensibilities.   [email protected] runs February 27-March 11, immediately before PTC’s production of The Outgoing Tide in early spring.  This juxtaposition will give audiences the opportunity to see preview five new projects in development and then the full production of a new work.  [email protected] is made possible thanks to support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, a $9 million initiative supporting innovative projects that inspire and enrich Philadelphia’s communities.

PTC continues to augment the theater experience with a series of audience engagement events under the umbrella of PEP (Patron Enrichment Programming).  These are add-on events during the run of each show including: Meet the Artists, an in-depth, behind-the-scenes discussion following each play and the Thursday Night Book Club where patrons discuss a book written by or about the playwright or theme of each production.

Later in the season, PTC will announce their annual summer comedy production for July 2012.  This summer 2011 features Colin Quinn’s Long Story Short.  Previous summers have included sketch comedy by Chicago’s The Second City and John Leguizamo’s Tony Award nominated Ghetto Klown.

Subscriptions for the 2011-2012 Season are currently available starting at only $142 for a four-play series by calling PTC at 215-985-0420 or visiting online at PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org.  For patrons looking for maximum flexibility, Flex vouchers are also available to use any way the patron wishes throughout the season.

Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company is a leading regional theater company whose mission is to produce, develop and present entertaining and imaginative contemporary theater focused on the American experience that both ignites the intellect and touches the soul.  By developing new work through commissions, readings and workshops PTC generates projects that have a national impact and reach broad regional audiences.  Under the leadership of Sara Garonzik as PTC’s Producing Artistic Director since 1982, PTC supports the work of a growing body of diverse dramatists and takes pride in being a home to scores of nationally recognized artists who have participated in more than 140 world and Philadelphia premieres.  PTC has received 45 Barrymore Awards and 147 nominations.  In October 2007, PTC moved into a home of its own, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on Center City Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts, solidifying the Company’s status as a major player on the American theater scene.

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