P hiladelphia Theatre Company announces its ActOut Summer Conservatory for teens.  The intensive four-week  Conservatory is designed for teens with some theatrical background who are interested in experiencing the fun of creating an original one-act play through an ensemble process. The program runs July 9 through August 12 and culminates in a “world-premiere” of the students’ work on the PTC stage at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts at the corner of Lombard Street.

After collaboratively developing a topic and concept for their piece, students will choose one of three areas to work in to further develop their play – playwrighting, acting, directing and production design.  Students will work closely with a professional in each area to experience their chosen focus with deeper training, increased practice and greater depth.

A highlight of ActOut Conservatory will be weekly workshop sessions with some of Philadelphia’s leading theater professionals.  This year’s guests include Broadway actor Rob McClure, Barrymore Award winner Tony Braithwaite and Tony Award nominee Forrest McClendon (who recently appeared in PTC’s production of The Scottsboro Boys); directors Jen Childs, founder and Artistic Director of 1812 Productions, and F. Otto Haas Award winner Matt Pfeiffer; Barrymore Award winning playwrights Michael Hollinger and Bruce Graham (whose newest play The Outgoing Tide recently appeared on the PTC stage to great critical acclaim) and acclaimed playwright Jackie Goldfinger.   Faculty members from the theater departments of Temple University and University of the Arts will provide expert critiques and guidance for the students’ work.

All ActOut campers will be offered a complimentary teen flex subscription to PTC’s 2012-2013 season as well as a DVD of the final performance.  Applications are available at philadelphiatheatrecompany.org.

“We are excited to offer our teens a direct connection to the great theater work happening here in Philadelphia, and to the people doing it,” said Maureen Sweeney, PTC’s Director of Education. “Getting to know our guest artists this summer will inform and inspire their work on our stage.”

Guest Artist Bio’s:

Often called the funniest woman in Philadelphia, Jen Childs is a tour de force on the local theater scene. In addition to being an actor, director, producer and writer, she’s also the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of 1812 Productions, the only professional theater company in the country dedicated exclusively to comedy.

Tony Braithwaite is a 3-time Barrymore Award-winning actor, teacher, director, emcee, writer, and comedian based in Philadelphia.  He has performed at numerous theatres: in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Chicago, and D.C. His work ranges from stand-up to Shakespeare, from modern classics to musical comedy. All the while, he has managed to find time to teach and direct at local educational institutions such as Curtis Institute, University of Pennsylvania, and his beloved alma mater, St. Joe’s Prep.  In June, Tony will take over as Producing Artistic Director at Act II Playhouse.

Forrest McClendon is a 2011 Tony Award Nominee for his Broadway debut as Mr. Tambo in The Scottsboro Boys — a role he first created at the Vineyard and Guthrie theaters, and recently reprised at the Philadelphia Theatre Company.  Forrest has appeared at many Philadelphia theatres, and he received the 2009 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical as Roscoe in Avenue X at the 11th Hour Theatre Company.

Rob McClure recently appeared in the title role of the Encores! production of Where’s Charley.  His recent stage appearances include the title roles in Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin at La Jolla Playhouse and Amadeus at Walnut Street Theater. He was the last actor to play Rod in the Broadway production of Avenue Q before the show closed in 2009, a role which won him a Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Leading Actor when the show toured in Washington, DC.  He is the recipient of a Barrymore Award for Best Actor in a Musical for The Bombitty of Errors at 11th Hour Theatre and a Barrymore nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for The Producers at Walnut Street Theatre.

Bruce Graham is the author of the PTC productions According to Goldman and The Outgoing Tide, which premiered in 2011 at Chicago’s Northlight Theatre where it won the Jefferson Award for Best New Play.  He is the recipient of The Rosenthal Prize and two Drama Desk nominations for Coyote on a FenceSomething Intangible and Any Given Monday won consecutive Barrymore Awards in 2009 and 2010 for Best New Play.  In the early 1980s, he spent eight years as Playwright-in-Residence at the Philadelphia Festival Theater for New Plays and has seen his work produced locally at Theatre Exile, Arden Theatre Company, and People’s Light & Theatre Company and regionally at George Street Playhouse, the WPA, Urban Stages, the Hudson Guild, Capital Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, and Long Wharf.  His film credits include Dunston Checks In, Anastasia, the Abbie Hoffman bio-pic Steal This Movie and Ring of Endless Light which was the Humanitas Award Winner for Best Children’s Screenplay.

Michael Hollinger is the author of Ghost-Writer, Opus, Tooth and Claw, Red Herring, Incorruptible, An Empty Plate in the Cafe Du Grand Boeuf, and Tiny Island.  His new musical A Wonderful Noise (co-authored with Vance Lehmkuhl) has received the Frederick Loewe Award for Musical Theatre, the “In the Spirit of America” Award from the Barbara Barondess MacLean Foundation, and a developmental production at Creede Repertory Theatre.  His new translation/co-adaptation (with Aaron Posner) of Cyrano De Bergerac premiered in 2011 at the Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C.  Other awards include a Harold & Mimi Steinberg New Play Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association, a Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award, an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist, two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding New Play, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner Awards, and fellowships from the Independence Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. 

Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company’s 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 PTC’s Producing Artistic Director Sara Garonzik since 1982 and Managing Director Shira Beckerman, who joined PTC in August, 2011, PTC supports the work of a growing body of diverse dramatists and takes pride in being a home to many nationally recognized artists who have participated in more than 140 world and Philadelphia premieres.  PTC has received 46 Barrymore Awards and 155 nominations.  In October 2007, PTC opened the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, a permanent home on Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts, which has helped contribute to the revitalization of Center City Philadelphia’s thriving arts district.

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