Cast and Creative Team Announced for World Premiere of PENELOPE

The cast will feature Philippe Arroyo (Aladdin) as Telemachus, Leah Hocking (Billy Elliot) as Eurycleia, Cooper Howell (Emojiland) as Antinous, and more.

By: Feb. 28, 2022
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Cast and Creative Team Announced for World Premiere of PENELOPE

The York Theatre Company will present the world premiere of Penelope, or How the Odyssey Was Really Written, a new musical comedy with book & lyrics by Peter Kellogg (York's Desperate Measures), and music by Stephen Weiner (The Rivals), directed and choreographed by Emily Maltby (York's Lolita, My Love), with music direction and orchestrations by David Hancock Turner (York's Cheek to Cheek, Desperate Measures) and vocal arrangements by David Hancock Turner, Steve Delehanty, and Stephen Weiner.

The ten-member cast will feature Philippe Arroyo (Aladdin) as Telemachus, Leah Hocking (Billy Elliot) as Eurycleia, Cooper Howell (Emojiland) as Antinous, Ben Jacoby (Beautiful) as Odysseus, David LaMarr (Jersey Boys) as Mileter, Jacob Alexander Simon (A Chorus Line) as Bassanio, Britney Nicole Simpson (Beauty and the Beast) as Penelope, George Slotin (High Button Shoes) as Haius, Sean Thompson (Sunset Boulevard) as Barius, and Maria Wirries (Dear Evan Hansen) as Daphne.

Penelope begins performances on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at 7:00PM for a limited engagement through Sunday afternoon, April 24, 2022 at 2:30PM at The York's temporary home, The Theater at St. Jean's (150 East 76th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues). Opening Night is Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 7:00PM.

Penelope is married to Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. She is currently waiting for him to return from the Trojan War. She's been waiting a long time: twenty years; ten years since the war ended. A bevy of suitors have gathered, each wanting to marry her and take over the kingdom. To stall them, Penelope writes letters to herself and pretends they're from Odysseus saying he's on his way. Little does she know that her letters gathered together are creating the story of The Odyssey. (Since no one knows who really wrote The Odyssey, this theory is as good as any other.) Meanwhile the suitors, having little else to do but eat and drink, form an a cappella group-the acoustics in The Great Hall are terrific.

Penelope is funny, feminist, and fully relevant to today because it's about a woman who lives through and for her husband for 20 years, only to realize when he returns that her life, her journey is just as important as his. Book and lyrics are by Peter Kellogg, who wrote the award-winning Desperate Measures; music is by Stephen Weiner, two-time Richard Rodgers Award winner. Penelope was given a Developmental Reading at The York under the previous title Dear Pen.

The creative team for Penelope includes scenic design by James Morgan, costume design by Lex Liang, lighting design by Joan Racho-Jansen, and sound design by Brad Ward. Casting by Michael Cassara, CSA. The production stage manager is Chris Steckel.

"We're delighted to bring this new musical comedy to life on our stage," stated The York's Producing Artistic Director Jim Morgan. "We look forward to working with the whole company of artists, but it's particularly wonderful to reconnect with Peter Kellogg, who co-wrote Desperate Measures for us five years ago. Penelope is an unexpectedly funny take on a classic piece of literature, with a truly winning score by Stephen Weiner. Greece is the word!"

Penelope will play the following performance schedule: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m,

NOW ON SALE: Tickets for Penelope are priced at $55 - $75 (plus $4 convenience fee). York Members receive Priority Seating and Discounted Tickets. Tickets may be purchased by visiting Ovation tickets at, or by calling the Box Office at (212) 935-5820, Tuesday-Friday 12:00PM-5:00PM, or via email at

GENYORK, FOR PATRONS 35 AND UNDER: The York is launching a new ticketing initiative, GenYork, focused on younger patrons. Tickets are priced at $25 (plus $4 convenience fee). A special inaugural event to launch GenYork is scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 7:00PM followed by a reception to be hosted at a local eatery.

Senior Rush tickets are available in-person beginning one hour prior to performances for $20 cash only. Student tickets can be purchased anytime in advance at the box office during regular box office business hours. Limit one ticket per valid student ID and tickets are subject to availability. Student Rush tickets are $20.00 cash or credit.

COVID NOTE: For the safety of all, COVID policies established by the CDC and WHO will be strictly enforced. Proof of vaccination status will be required upon entry, and masks must be worn at all times. Full COVID policies can be found on the York Theatre Company website.