11th Hour Theatre Company Announces 2019-2020 Season
11th Hour Theatre Company has announced an exciting 15th Anniversary season. The only company in the city dedicated to producing all musicals has created a line-up of two Next Step Concerts of rarely produced musicals and a Mainstage musical years in the making. The season kicks off with a concert version of William Finn and James Lapine's Falsettos. Then the company starts 2020 with a bang and a concert of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice's Chess. In the Spring, 11th Hour tackles a musical it has been hoping to produce for years: John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's sensation Hedwig and the Angry Inch. 11th Hour is also introducing a new series of Musical Theatre Salons for this upcoming season as well, which are exclusive member's only events featuring intimate conversations with some of Philadelphia's most well-known musical theatre talents. Subscriptions are available online at www.11thhourtheatrecompany.org or by phone at 267-987-9865.
"We are thrilled to announce our 15th Anniversary Season and include three musicals that have been on our short list for a very long time! All of them have their own cult following and we felt as though putting them all together in one season would be a perfect representation of 11th Hour's unique brand of musical theatre," said Producing Artistic Director and co-founder Michael Philip O'Brien.
About the SeasonMAINSTAGE MUSICALHedwig and the Angry Inch
April 23rd - May 10th, 2020
Book: John Cameron Mitchell
Music & Lyrics: Stephen Trask
11th Hour Theatre is thrilled to present this fourth wall-smashing musical sensation that tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a rock musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Trask and a book by John Cameron Mitchell, follows Hedwig Robinson, a queer East German Rockstar. 11th Hour co-founder and Associate Artistic Director Steve Pacek will take on this iconic role in this brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny rock musical."I'm excited to work with Steve on such an intimate show. Hedwig has seen such trauma and been pressured to make life-altering decisions in order to have a better life and sometimes that pain comes out in her music, but also in some very harsh and sometimes cruel behavior. Without openness, vulnerability and empathy, it's hard to understand Hedwig's pain and motivations. These are all qualities that Steve brings to his performance in such a natural way. It's also been a dream of ours to work on it together for about 10 years now, so I can't wait to explore this together. Of course, the music is incredible. We're also in the process of building an extremely talented and thoughtful creative/design team for the show, which couldn't be more thrilling," said 11th Hour Resident Director and co-founder Megan Nicole O'Brien.
NEXT STEP CONCERT SERIES
This Tony Award winning musical focuses on Marvin, a young Jewish man who seems to have a perfect life with his wife Trina and their loving son Jason. But after a series of monumental life changes, including falling in love with another man and leaving his wife, they are all forced to reckon with their own views on love, responsibility, relationships and what it truly means to be a family.
Chess the Musical
Featuring the music of ABBA members Andersson and Ulvaeus, as well as lyrics by musical theatre icon, Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Aida), this gripping musical was inspired by the political and international spectacle of the 1972 World Chess Championship between American Bobby Fischer and Russian Boris Spassky. Set in the 1980's at the height of the Cold War, Chess illustrates how something as trivial as a game of chess can mean so much more when fueled by the threats and propaganda of nations at war.
MUSICAL THEATRE SALONS
These three exclusive Members-Only events will feature an evening of curated, interactive discussions with some favorite 11th Hour artists about the most important elements of musical theatre. Each event will have a different theme, including some performances, in order to encourage interesting conversation and foster a more intimate relationship between the company's artists and members."One of the cores of 11th Hour's mission has always been to create a lasting relationship between our audience and our artists. The goal of these salons is to Take That one step further and give our Society XI Members (11th hour's subscription model) a chance to hear more about the process of getting a musical to the stage and what it takes to be a musical theatre artist from the people they have seen on our stage. They will intimate and interesting to anyone who has seen our work over the past 14 years," said Michael O'Brien.
11th Hour Theatre Company is the only company in Philadelphia dedicated to producing all musicals, all the time. Intimate by design, 11th Hour creates a lasting experience with the audience by producing character-driven musical theatre.
11th Hour produces a broad spectrum of musicals that fill a niche in the diverse Philadelphia theatre landscape: musicals that spark the creativity of artists and the imaginations of audiences. Over the past fourteen seasons, they have produced twenty full-scale musicals, nine of which were Philadelphia premieres. In addition to the World Premiere of their first commission, Field Hockey Hot, the company has contributed to the development of several new musicals beginning with Angst, a ten-minute musical that premiered in the Spark Festival of 2005. 11th Hour produced the American premiere of Austentatious that went on to success at the New York Musical Theatre Festival; and a 29-hour reading of Fantasy Football, the Musical? before its production at New York University. Both Austentatious and Fantasy Football have since been published and are now professionally licensed. In the fall of 2014, 11th Hour partnered with University of the Arts to workshop Persephone Unplugged, a new twist on the classic Greek myth. With support from the Independence Foundation, 11th Hour recently commissioned their second musical from a local writing team, a Civil War-themed project currently titled Something Like a War.
11th Hour has received a total of 55 Barrymore Award nominations. Their work has been recognized with 15 awards, including five recently for Lizzie (including Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical), and several individual awards for their artists. Founding member Steve Pacek was also the proud recipient of the 2012 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist. In 2013, 11th Hour became the first-ever recipient of the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theater.