New Leadership Takes a Bold New Look at Philadelphia Theatre Company
Philadelphia Theatre Company today announced a plan for the 2017-2018 season that departs from the organization's traditional schedule of producing a five-play series. Under the leadership of Paige Price, PTC's new Producing Artistic Director, Philadelphia Theatre Company will offer a season of presented and curated activities in the theater, as the new leadership uses this period to re-focus, re-build, and re-launch.
Beginning in September, PTC will offer a season of varied programming, ranging from presenting companies that complement the aesthetic of PTC, to readings of new plays, comedy, speakers, music, and concert-format musicals. Already in discussions to appear at PTC are monologist Mike Daisey, author and diplomat Ken Adelman, author and New York Post columnist Michael Riedel. Theatrical luminaries who have offered to join PTC next season include Tony Award® winners Kelli O'Hara, Adam Guettel and Bebe Neuwirth. PTC has also begun a collaboration with local theater companies and artists to host a Philadelphia version of the 24-hour Play Festival.
Coinciding with this change, PTC will be introducing a multi-level Membership, a benefit of which will be first access to the PTC programming.
"When Sara Garonzik and I began to plan next season, it became clear that the model itself had to change in response to ongoing financial challenges. Sara, who recently stepped down after 35 years at the helm of PTC, certainly knows more about this theatre than anyone else, and agreed that with Paige about to start, this was the right moment to take a fresh look," said Interim Managing Director Amy Kaissar. "From there a new plan was born."
"This is an incredible opportunity to explore a new direction as I learn where PTC fits in the Philadelphia theatrical landscape. The goal is to actively engage with our audience and supporters, and the variety of offerings will help us rediscover what they want to see," explained Price. "PTC is respected for producing great theatre, and I will honor and perpetuate this reputation. We are using this gap year to determine responsible ways to create a new financial model that supports great art sustainably - for example, finding new earned income streams, expanding the calendar with additional programming and by continuing to forge creative partnerships with commercial producers."
"We are excited to tell our audiences and subscribers that, while not following the traditional subscription model, the theater will not be dark, and in fact it may even be a more active space than before," said E. Gerald Riesenbach, PTC's Board Chair. "Paige, with her vast professional connections, resourceful creativity and abundant enthusiasm will use this period strategically to reorganize our operational model and build upon the forward-thinking theatre making that is Sara's legacy."
"I am excited and encouraged as PTC embarks on this new course with new leadership. This opportunity is exactly what the company needs to be doing to continue to be an important Philadelphia cultural institution," continued David Cohen, Vice President of the Board.
Next Monday, PTC will host a gala to celebrate Garonzik's extraordinary accomplishments and honor the theatre's namesake SuzAnne Roberts. The evening also marks the 10th anniversary of the SuzAnne Roberts Theatre, and will feature entertainment by artists who performed in productions over those years.
Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) produces, develops, and presents entertaining and imaginative contemporary theater focused on the American experience that ignites the intellect and touches the soul. PTC is a leading regional theater company committed to balancing its Philadelphia roots with a national point of view that combines a taste for adventure with a dedication to new American plays and musicals. Under Garonzik, PTC supported the work of a growing body of diverse dramatists who participated in more than 140 world and Philadelphia premieres. More than 50% of PTC's world premieres have moved on to New York and other major cities, helping to earn Philadelphia a national reputation as a hub for new play development.