Patina Miller Headlines Philadelphia Theatre Company's Benefit Gala, 3/1

Patina Miller headlines Philadelphia Theatre Company's annual fundraiser on Friday, March 1 at the Loews Hotel in Center City. The event, which benefits PTC's education outreach program, will honor PNC Arts Alive and Julia and Gene Ericksen for their many years of supporting Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Philadelphia arts community.

"As esteemed members of the Philadelphia community and the PTC family, Julia and Gene serve as a testament to PTC's mission as a social force in the arts and the world at large. PNC Arts Alive, a program of PNC Foundation, has always believed the engagement in the arts enriches lives and builds longer, more vibrant communities. We are thrilled to recognize the contributions of PNC Arts Alive and the Ericksens," said Priscilla Luce, President of PTC's Board of Directors.

Patina Miller, who was part of PTC's inaugural season at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, just finished the role of the Leading Player in The American Repertory Theatre's Broadway-bound revival of Pippin. On Broadway she received a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of disco diva wannabe Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act, a role that also earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations. Prior to her stint on Broadway, she performed the role in the London production of Sister Act, earning a Laurence Olivier Award nomination. Miller also starred as Linda in the City Center Encores production of Lost in the Stars. In 2007, she was cast in All My Children and appeared in 30 episodes of the daytime soap opera.

PNC Arts Alive is designed to support visual and performing arts organizations. The goal is to increase engagement in the arts and make the arts more accessible to diverse audiences in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and Southern New Jersey. To date, PNC Arts Alive has funded nearly 125 projects representing a wide range of disciplines, audiences and participatory experiences from arts groups large and small, city and suburban, including PTC's 35Under35 initiative to grow younger audiences.

Julia Ericksen, a PTC Board member for fourteen years, currently serves as its Vice President, having previously chaired the Education Committee. A Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Temple University specializing in sexuality and gender relations, she won every teaching award possible from Temple including the Great Teacher Award. She is the author of numerous articles and three books including, most recently, Dance With Me: Dancing and the Promise of Instant Intimacy, inspired by the love of ballroom dancing she shares with her husband.

Gene Ericksen is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Statistics at Temple University, with a reputation as a foremost expert in problems relating to issues of data measurement and the accuracy of data. He serves on the board of Ballet X and on the visiting board of FINCA, a micro-finance organization working in 21 countries.

Tickets to the Gala are available by calling the Philadelphia Theatre Company Development Office at 215-985-1400 ext. 117.

Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company is a leading regional theatre company whose mission is to produce, develop and present entertaining and imaginative Contemporary Theatre focused on the American experience that both ignites the intellect and touches the soul. By developing new work through commissions, readings and workshops, PTC generates projects that have a national impact and reach broad regional audiences. Under the leadership of PTC's Producing Artistic Director Sara Garonzik since 1982 and Managing Director Shira Beckerman, who joined PTC in August, 2011, PTC supports the work of a growing body of diverse dramatists and takes pride in being a home to many nationally recognized artists who have participated in more than 140 world and Philadelphia premieres. PTC has received 46 Barrymore Awards and 155 nominations. In October 2007, PTC opened the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, their home on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts, which has helped contribute to the revitalization of Center City Philadelphia's thriving arts district.

For further information, please call 215-735-7356.

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