People's Light Has Announced Their 45th Anniversary Season

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People's Light Has Announced Their 45th Anniversary Season

The 2019-2020 season at People's Light features world premiere musicals, hilariously relatable characters, big questions, hard truths, and the most talked-about new plays in American theatre.

Three critically acclaimed contemporary dramas make their Philadelphia premieres: Dot, by Colman Domingo; Lucy Kirkwood's Tony Award-nominated disaster dramedy The Children, and Amy Herzog's Mary Jane, a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist. Two world premieres - Little Red Robin Hood: A Musical Panto and Bayard Rustin: Inside Ashland, an original work commissioned and developed by People's Light - explore new modes of music-infused storytelling. The season also includes Hold These Truths, a solo play inspired by the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi; Lee Hall's popular stage adaptation of the 1999 film Shakespeare in Love; and Songs for Nobodies, a one-women powerhouse performance featuring the music of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, and Maria Callas.

"Rarely do we choose a theme for our season," explains Artistic Director and CEO Abigail Adams, "but sometimes themes reveal themselves in retrospect. It's as if the collective conscience, the shared heartbeat of People's Light, leads us to make a season of plays that embraces the needs of now.

"Little did we know, until we put it all together, that our 45th Anniversary Season would be an exploration of courage: physical, spiritual, moral-every kind of courage you can imagine. One character after another summons the strength to make challenging decisions despite difficulty or danger, takes action, and embraces the consequences. There's pain, but there's also laughter, triumph, and revelation. We hope our 2019-2020 season invites all of us to make the hard choice, to stand and be counted, and to celebrate our truth."

THE 2019/2020 SEASON


September 18 - October 20, 2019

Steinbright Stage

Written and directed by Colman Domingo

A West Philly family gathers for the holidays in this hilarious and heartfelt dramedy from Colman Domingo (co-author of Lights Out: Nat King Cole; star of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead). Dotty's memory is slipping as her three children - an overwhelmed attorney, a gay musicologist with marital problems, and an aspiring actress hoping to appear on Celebrity Mud Fight - clash over how best to care for their proud, lovable matriarch.


November 13, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Leonard C. Haas Stage

By Kathryn Petersen

Music & Lyrics by Michael Ogborn

Directed by Bill Fennelly

Fairytales collide in our brand new holiday panto - Robin Hood is dead, his merry men are in hiding, and Nottinghamshire is taken over by a greedy villainess. (Gasp!) Can a new hero, or heroine, emerge from Sherwood Forest and save the day? Set in the 1940s with a dash of the medieval, this hilarious, musical mashup is our most inventive panto yet.


January 15 - February 9, 2020

Steinbright Stage

By Lucy Kirkwood
Directed by Abigail Adams

Hazel and Robin, both retired nuclear physicists, live a quiet life in a cottage by the sea. Outside, the world is plagued by earthquakes, tsunamis, and a nuclear meltdown. When an old colleague turns up after forty years with a shocking request, the three friends must reckon with their shared culpability in this darkly funny disaster drama.


February 26 - March 29, 2020

Leonard C. Haas Stage

Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard

Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall

Music by Alex Bechtel

Directed by Matt Pfeiffer

Will Shakespeare has writer's block. Low on funds and out of ideas, the young playwright finds his muse in Viola de Lesseps, a beautiful, intelligent noblewoman with dreams of the stage. Will and Viola begin a passionate affair that becomes inspiration for Shakespeare's next play, Romeo and Juliet.

A solo play inspired by the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi

March 18 - April 19, 2020

Steinbright Stage

By Jeanne Sakata

Directed by Desdemona Chiang

Gordon Hirabayashi, University of Washington student and practicing Quaker, struggles to reconcile his fervent belief in the U.S. Constitution with the government's orders to incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. His work ultimately leads to the 1943 Supreme Court case, Hirabayashi v. United States.


May 13 - June 7, 2020

Leonard C. Haas Stage

Written and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III

Chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and openly gay Civil Rights activist, Bayard Rustin was nearly written out of the history books. This world premiere musical play soars with African American spirituals and offers a glimpse into a transformative moment for young Rustin - his 1944 prison sentence in Ashland, Kentucky. As he incites nonviolent protests against prisoner segregation and refuses to hide his sexuality, Rustin is branded a "troublemaker."

Mary Jane

June 24 - July 19, 2020

Steinbright Stage

By Amy Herzog

Directed by Giovanna Sardelli

Mary Jane, a single mother with a chronically ill two-year-old son, draws strength from the unwavering community of women surrounding her. Pulitzer Prize Finalist Amy Herzog's new play is a beautifully intimate portrait of love, grace, and resilience.


August 5-30, 2020

Leonard C. Haas Stage

By Joanna Murray-Smith

Directed by Rob Lindley

Music Direction by Andra Velis Simon

Featuring Bethany Thomas

A one-women powerhouse performance weaves the music of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, and Maria Callas throughout a mosaic of stories told by the everyday women who encountered these musical icons. Featuring favorites like "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Crazy," and "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do," Songs for Nobodies celebrates the healing power of song.

People's Light offers a variety of customizable subscription packages, ranging from $105-$312. For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit or call 610.644.3500. Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Service charges are non-refundable.

Standard single tickets range from $35-$58, including fees. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, or to purchase group tickets, call Kelly Benedict at 610.647.1900, x111, or email .

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