P hiladelphia Theatre Company announces two selections in their 2012-2013 mainstage season– Seminar by Theresa Rebeck and The Mountaintop by Katori Hall.  The remainder of the season will be announced shortly.

The Mountaintop is a gripping reimagining of events taking place in Memphis the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious stranger arrives with some surprising news, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy to his people. A stirring portrait of an icon grappling with his humanity, The Mountaintop, which ran on Broadway starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson, received London’s Tony Award equivalent, the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play.  Katori Hall is one of three playwrights being celebrated in the inaugural season of the Pershing Square Signature Center with the production of her play Hurt Village which won the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was a finalist for the Ruby Award.  Her awards include the Lark Play Development Center Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellowship, the ARENA Stage American Voices New Play Residency, the Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, two Lecomte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, a NYFA Fellowship, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Playwriting Award.

Fast, funny, and smart, Seminar is an astute new comedy centering on the supremely identifiable student/teacher relationship.  Set in an Upper West Side apartment in New York City, an international literary figure critiques the work of four aspiring young novelists in a series of weekly unorthodox seminars.  There are no-holds-barred as insults fly, alliances are made, lines are drawn, sex is used as a weapon, and sympathies shift as the play unfolds.  They came for a class in writing and got a lesson in survival.  Theresa Rebeck is the author of Mauritius, The Understudy, The Scene, The Water’s Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels.  Rebeck is the winner of National Theatre Conference Award for The Family of Mann, the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award for The Bells, and both the IRNE Award for Best New Play and the Eliot Norton Award for MauritiusOmnium Gatherum, which she co-wrote, was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize.   She is the creator of the current television hit Smash, and in 1986 spent a year at Philadelphia Theatre Company being mentored by master playwright Arthur Kopit.

Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company is a leading regional theater 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 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, their new home on Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts, which has helped contribute to the revitalization of Center City Philadelphia’s thriving arts district.