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Janis Dardaris to Star in 'MOTHER COURAGE' at Quintessence

Quintessence Theatre Group continues producing progressive classic theatre and launces its seventh season with David Hare's translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children, with original music by Michael Friedman.

Mother Courage begins on Wednesday, October 12 at 7pm and opens on Saturday, October 15 at 8pm. All performances are at the Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave. in Mt Airy, Philadelphia, 19119. To purchase tickets, visit or call 215.987.4450.

Mother Courage and Her Children is an epic retelling of the Thirty Years' War as experienced through the trials of a cunning canteen operator determined to make a profit from the war, no matter the danger to herself or her children. Considered to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century, Quintessence expands its definition of classic and launches its seventh season led by Philadelphia legend Janis Dardaris as Mother Courage, Tony Nominated actor Forrest McClendon as The Cook, Quintessence favorite Gregory Isaac as The Chaplin, and rising star Leigha Kato as Kattrin. Directed by Quintessence's Artistic Director Alexander Burns, and using an original score by Obie winning composer and Philadelphia native Michael Friedman (The Civilians) with David Hare's contemporary English translation, Mother Courage and Her Children promises to be a highlight of Philadelphia's fall arts season.

Quintessence Theatre Group is a professional classic theatre, dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of classic literature and drama for the Contemporary Stage, igniting the mind, body and soul through the power of the actor, design and spoken word.

Quintessence continues to work towards the establishment of an acting ensemble and a rotating repertory at the historic Sedgwick Theater in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. As Quintessence Theatre's home, the Sedgwick Theater, a 1928 art deco movie palace designed by William Lee, will regain its place as a jewel in Philadelphia's cultural landscape.

Quintessence's seventh season will continue with WILDE TALES, an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde's short stories adapted and directed by Jeremy Bloom, with an original score by David Cope. In the Spring Quintessence will present the Love and Longing repertory, pairing Shakespeare's romantic comedy LOVE's LABOR's LOST with John Ford's heartrending revenge tragedy THE BROKEN HEART. The season will conclude in the summer with Anton Chekhov's UNCLE VANYA, in a new translation by Annie Baker.

Mother Courage and Her Children plays October 12 - November 6. A special PAY WHAT YOU CAN preview will be presented on Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00pm. Post-show talkbacks with the cast and director will take place on Sunday, October 23 and Thursday, October 27.

Performances take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Please check the performance schedule at for exact performance times and schedules.

Tickets are $27-$34 general admission, $25 for seniors (65 and over), $15 for students/youth (21 and under). To purchase tickets, go to or call 1.215.987.4450. For ticket information, email


JOHN BASIULIS (Ensemble): Quintessence: Doctor Faustus, Saint Joan. Regional: Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Marin Shakespeare Company, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Theatre in the Square, Springer Opera House, American Shakespeare Center, Commonweal Theatre, People's Light and Theatre Company. International: Edinburgh Festival Fringe, BBC Television. Training: Guildford School of Acting (UK).

Carlo Campbell (Ensemble): Quintessence: As You Like It, Ricard II, Philadelphia: Death Of A Salesman (Go Kash), Othello, Malcom X (Theatre In the X), Moon Man Walk (Orbiter 3), King John (Revolution Shakespeare), The Brothers Size (Simpatico Theatre), Film/TV: TANGO MACBETH

Ashton Carter (Ensemble): Quintessence: As You Like it, Richard II. Arden: The Stinky Cheese Man. Training: Middle Tennessee State University (B.A.)

TOM CARMAN (Swiss Cheese): Quintessence: Saint Joan, Doctor Faustus, New York: Sarah Flood in Salem Mass (Flea Theater), Anthem (Random Access Theatre). Regional: Bones in Whispers (Longacre Lea), The Tooth of Crime (WSC Avant Bard), The Graduate (Keegan Theatre) This Is Not A Time Bomb (Source Theatre). Philadelphia: Sarah Flood in Salem Mass (UArts). Training: The Catholic University of America (BA).

Lee Cortopassi (Ensemble): Quintessence: The Three Musketeers, As You Like It, Richard II. Training: The William Esper Acting Studio in NYC.

Janis Dardaris* (Mother Courage): Quintessence: Mourning Becomes Electra, The Seagull, The Importance of Being Earnest, Philadelphia: Philadelphia Theatre Company; People's Light; Walnut Street Theatre; Interact; PlayPenn New Play Development; Leaving, Road, Quartet, Escape from Happiness, Orpheus Descending, Spin, The Magic Fire, Scorched, Becky Shaw (Wilma Theatre); Rabbit Hole (Arden Theatre). Regional: McCarter Theatre, Pittsburgh Public, Long Wharf, Cleveland Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth, Kennedy Center, Arizona Theatre, Three Rivers Shakespeare, Actors' Theatre Louisville's Humana Festival (originated the role of Susan Slater in Becky Shaw). New York: Playwrights Horizons, New York Classical Theatre, Westbeth, Summer Play Festival on Theatre Row, Breaking Legs with Philip Bosco (also national tour with Danny Aiello). Awards: nominated for 10 Barrymore Awards; 1998 winner of Charlotte Cushman Barrymore for her performance as Josie Hogan in A Moon for the Misbegotten; 2009 winner of Best Supporting Actress in Scorched. TV and Film: THE SIXTH SENSE, PARTY MONSTER, THIRD WATCH, TRIAL BY JURY, LAW AND ORDER, THE SOPRANOS, BLISS, 1967, the lead in SOUNDING directed by Joel Coen, featured role as Grace in CRUZANDO.

Leah Gabriel (Yvette): Regional: Twelfth Night (Scranton Shakespeare Festival), Boeing Boeing, Miracle on South Division Street, The Unexpected Guest (Cortland Rep), Sweeney Todd (Skyline Theatre Company). Off-Broadway: The Good Girl (59E59 Theaters). New York: Tartuffe! (Three Day Hangover), Othello, King Lear (Titan Theatre Company), The Lower Depths (Joyseekers Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Sink or Swim Rep). Television: "Blood Feuds" (Lion TV), "I'd Kill For You" (Peacock Productions), "Do Not Disturb" (Matador), "A Crime To Remember" (Xcon). Training: Circle In The Square Theater School.

Gregory Isaac (The Chaplin): Quintessence: Happy Days, Doctor Faustus, Saint Joan, Romeo & Juliet, The Mandrake, The Three Musketeers, Regional: The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The ALLIANCE THEATRE, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Writers' Theatre, TimeLine Theater, The Georgia Shakespeare Festival, The Scranton Shakespeare Festival, and the Marriott Lincolnshire. New York Credits include: Oliver! (Secret Theatre), The Short Life of Trouble (Wandering Bark), St. Joan of the Slaughterhouses (Horace Mann Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titan Theatre).

Leigha Kato* (Kattrin): Quintessence: Saint Joan, Doctor Faustus, Philadelphia: Metamorphoses (Arden Theatre), Into the Woods (Theatre Horizon), 4000 Miles (Philadelphia Theatre Company). Regional: Hair (Chance Theatre Company). Training: The University of the Arts.

Forrest McClendon* (The Cook) is proud to have worked at many theaters in Philly, most recently at Theater Horizon in Suzan-Lori Parks' In The Blood, and is thrilled to return to Brecht in his Quintessence debut. He received a Barrymore nomination for his Wilma debut as the Street Singer in Brecht's The Threepenny Opera. Broadway & West End: The Scottsboro Boys (Tony Award Nomination). Off-Broadway: Cabin in the Sky (City Center Encores!), The Scottsboro Boys (Vineyard); James Baldwin: A Soul on Fire (New Federal Theatre). Regional: Most recently, Peter and the Starcatcher at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Seven Guitars (Actors Theatre of Louisville), The Scottsboro Boys (Guthrie), The Maids (Walnut Street Theatre), Wild With Happy (Center Stage), Romeo and Juliet (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival), The Tempest (Charlotte Repertory Theatre), The America Play (Zach Scott Theatre, B. Iden Payne Award), The Scottsboro Boys (Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrymore Award), Othello (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre), Julius Caesar (Lantern Theatre Company). TEACHING: Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. HONORS: Lunt-Fontanne Fellow.

DANIEL MILLER (Eilif): ?Regional:?Tarzan, Damn Yankees, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Secret Garden (Thingamajig Theatre Co.); Macbeth, Cymbeline, My Fair Lady, and The Lost Prince (Texas Shakespeare Festival). Training: Stephen F. Austin State University (BFA), Rose Bruford College (ETA)

EBONY PULLMAN (Ensemble): Lazarus Unstoned (Freedom Theatre), Ragtime (King of Prussia Players), The Bride of Frankenstein (Robert Moss Theater), The Fantasticks (Center Theater), Shrek (Steel River Playhouse). Training: Northampton College.

*Actor appears courtesy of Actor's Equity Association

ALEXANDER BURNS (Director/Artistic Director): Quintessence: Happy Days, Doctor Faustus, Hansel & Gretel, Romeo & Juliet, The Mandrake, The Three Musketeers, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, As You Like It, Richard II, The Wind In The Willows, She Stoops To Conquer, Hamlet, The Misanthrope, Arms and the Man, The Diary of a Madman, Othello, The Seagull, Antigone, The Merchant of Venice, The Venetian Twins, The Importance of Being Earnest, Don Juan, Apology, Henry V, Measure for Measure. Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Trinity Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC @ Carter Barron), Henri Gabler, Diabolique, The Maids (Exigent Theatre). Philadelphia: Macbeth (Arden Theatre). Alexander was a Directing Fellow at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Training: Northwestern University, LCT Directors Lab, the Jack O'Brien Directors Lab.

David Hare (Translator): is a playwright and film-maker. He has written over thirty stage plays which include Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton), The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Skylight, Amy's View, The Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, South Downs, The Absence of War and The Judas Kiss. For film and television he has written more than twenty screenplays which include Licking Hitler, Dreams of Leaving, Saigon: Year of the Cat, Wetherby, Damage, The Hours, The Reader and The Worricker Trilogy: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. He has also written English adaptations of plays by Brecht, Gorky, Chekhov, Pirandello, Ibsen and Lorca.

Michael Friedman (Composer): Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Off-Broadway: Pretty Filthy, Canard Canard Goose, Paris Commune, Gone Missing, Nobody's Lunch, This Beautiful City, In the Footprint, The Great Immensity, Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns and the company's 2012 TED Talk (The Civilians); The Fortress of Solitude; Love's Labour's Lost (Public Theater); Saved (Playwright's Horizon). Awards: MacDowell Fellow, Princeton Hodder Fellow, Princeton Barron Professor, artist-in-residence at Spring Workshop Hong Kong. OBIE Award for sustained achievement. Training: Harvard University.

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