Arden Theatre Announces Residency with GoKash OnSTAGE

Arden Theatre Announces Residency with GoKash OnSTAGE

Arden Theatre Company announces a season-long residency with GoKash OnSTAGE. During the 2017/18 30th Anniversary Season, the Arden will house two GoKash OnSTAGE productions - a September production in the Arcadia Theatre, and a Spring production in the new Selma M. and Robert J. Horan Studio Theatre.

GoKash OnSTAGE is the theatre company founded by producer, playwright, director and actor Kash Goins. Goins began his relationship with the Arden as an actor. He appeared as Hambone in the Arden Theatre's production of Two Trains Running and as Bobo in the Arden's A Raisin the Sun.

Arden Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen says, "I have long admired Kash's work as a playwright, director and actor. I saw GoKash's production of V to X in 2016 and was really excited by the work. Kash and I started talking about how we might work together and out of that came this idea of a residency."

The relationship is not dissimilar to the support the Arden received when they were in residence at the Walnut Street Theatre in 1988 and 1989. This is the second theatre that will be in residence at the Arden. The first was 1812 Productions in 1999.

Says Nolen, "The residency provided to us by the Walnut is one of the reasons the Arden established itself here in Philadelphia. It helped provide the visibility that allowed for us to connect with Philadelphia artists and audiences. We find it fitting to embark on this relationship with GoKash during our 30th Anniversary Season, as it is a way to honor what was done for us now 30 years ago."

Goins says, "When Terry and I talked, he offered the Arden as a support base for GoKash. I have been approached before about this type of relationship, but have never been quick to solidify anything. There is a lot of trust involved and Terry and I have that. It's a perfect marriage and one that I am grateful for."

He adds, "I feel immediate support having a home base for my company, and am appropriately naming this season-long partnership GoKash OnSTAGE in Residence at the Arden."

GoKash OnSTAGE in Residence at the Arden 2017/18 Season:


By Kash Goins

Directed by Amina Robinson

9/6/17 - 9/24/17

Arcadia Stage

The next in the "justice series", SEVENTY IV SECONDS encounters a jury of 6 who have been deadlocked for six days after a very high exposure case, with equally high emotional stakes. A young African American man has an encounter with an older man in authority, which ends with the authority figure committing murder. The jury of 6 is deadlocked and as a desperate measure, agree to a suggestion made by the youngest juror - an aspiring actor - to step outside of the limited information amassed about the people involved in the case and the events of the day which preceded the incident, as extrapolated from five grueling weeks of testimony. They will use that as the foundation to create a more robust collective understanding of who these people truly are, beyond the headlines and what actually happened during the day and the events which ended in murder.

V to X

Written and Directed by Kash Goins

3/28/18 - 4/16/18

Selma M. and Robert J. Horan Studio Theatre

According to the 2010 U.S. census, for every 100 black women age 25-54, there are approximately 83 black men in society. About 600,000 of these men who are "missing" from American homes are incarcerated and help fuel the burgeoning privatized prison industry. While some are serving time for violent crimes, many have fallen victim to the perpetually scrutinized "War on Drugs" with its inherent disproportionate sentencing guidelines. Unable to afford bail, thousands more remain incarcerated for years, awaiting trial. V to X, the prequel to Goins's award-winning HIV awareness drama, VI Degrees (Best Play, NYC Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, 2009) debuted in Philadelphia in September, 2015, and closed with 10 consecutive sold-out audiences before re-running to equal acclaim the following February. Hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "A work that erupts with tragic power and vicious humor," V to X draws inspiration from the tragic experience of Khalief Browder, whose diminished mental state from three years of abusive Rikers Island incarceration without trial, drove him to suicide in June of 2015.

About the Arden

Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers-on the stage, in the classroom, and in the community. Five productions are staged each season as part of the Mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children's Theatre, the city's first resident professional children's theatre program. New work is produced through the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden's Education Department includes: Arden for All (AFA), a theatre access and education program for underserved young people; Arden Drama School, the after-school, Saturday, and summer camp classes for students in grades pre K-12; Teen Arden, an immersive after-school access program for Philadelphia-area based teenagers; and the Arden Professional Apprentice Program, a nationally renowned comprehensive theatre management training program. The Hamilton Family Arts Center is the new facility dedicated to education programs and new play development.

The Arden has received numerous honors including 65 awards and 334 nominations from the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. The Arden is a winner of four "Theatre Company of the Year" designations (Philadelphia Inquirer), six Philadelphia Magazine "Best of Philly" awards and three "Best of Philly Kids" awards, the City Paper's Reader's Choice Award and the prestigious "Great Friend to Kids Award" from the Please Touch Museum for Arden Children's Theatre work. For accessibility efforts, the Arden was named a "Keystone of Accessibility" by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Arden Theatre Company is a professional, nonprofit 501(c)(3) theatre company and a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the League of Resident Theatres, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Old City Arts Association. The Arden also participates in The Barrymore Awards, a program of Theatre Philadelphia.

About GoKash

GoKash OnSTAGE (previously GoKash Productions) is committed to telling stories that amplify the sometimes difficult, yet always necessary, narrative through a lens of the contemporary African American experience. Dedicated to cultivating a fertile ground for Philadelphia African American artists, GoKash OnSTAGE has produced original works annually since its inception in 2008. In addition to those created by Producing Artistic Director Kash Goins, the company has also produced brand new works by over twenty different Philadelphia and New York playwrights through the Philly Urban Theatre Festival, which it debuted in 2010 and encored in 2011. Kash harbors an innate commitment to advancing synergy and civic pride in the Phillly-based African American artistic community, in which he's been both a professional servant and benefactor since 1999. From the platform of GoKash OnSTAGE, he has also produced classical works by August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, and African American offerings of 12 Angry Men and Death of a Salesman. GoKash was awarded Best Play for the HIV/AIDS Awareness Drama VI Degrees at the New York Downtown Urban Theatre Festival in 2009, and debuted the sequel, VII Deadly Sins, in the festival the following year, winning the cherished Best Audience honor.

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