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Philadelphia Theatre Company Celebrates the Delany Sisters in HAVING OUR SAY

Philadelphia Theatre Company kicks off the new year with the inspiring and warm-hearted Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years by Emily Mann, adapted from the book by Miss Sarah ("Sadie") L. Delany and Dr. A. Elizabeth ("Bessie") Delany with Amy Hill Hearth. Running January 27-February 19 and directed by Mary B. Robinson, the cast features Perri Gaffney and Cherene Snow as the two Delany sisters.

Previews of Having Our Say begin on January 27, with opening night on Wednesday, February 1. Performances run Tuesdays through Sundays until February 19. Tickets starting at $15 are available by calling the PTC Box Office at 215-985-0420 or visiting PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org.

Like molasses and vinegar, 103-year-old Sadie Delany and 101-year-old Bessie Delany have always been opposites; but together, these daughters of a former slave grew up in the Jim Crow South, lived in Harlem during its renaissance, and had professional careers as a teacher and a dentist, respectively. While making dinner and baking a cake to remember their father's birthday, the two sisters share their endearing, true story of the last century as they lived it - through stories of racial injustice and personal strife, unified by faith, family, and time.

Throughout the run of the production PTC will host multiple, free community engagement events inviting audience members to "have their say." On January 27-31 PTC will be the first theatre in Philadelphia to participate in the People's State of the Union Action, a nation-wide project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture conducting story circles at the theater that will then be part of a collaboratively composed Poetic Address to the Nation. In collaboration with Mt. Airy Art Garage PTC will host a "Having Our Say" Exhibition, a fine art pop-up show displaying the work of local artists running January 27-February 19 in the second floor lobby. On February 8, PTC will partner with First Person Arts and the PNC Story Sparked Story Booth Project to present audience members with an opportunity to record their own family story and receive a sound file to keep and share.

Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years is based on the 1993 best-selling book of oral history written by the two Delany sisters with New York Times reporter Amy Hill Hearth. On the New York Times best seller list for six months, the book was recognized as one of the Best Books of 1994 by the American Library Association and presented with the Christopher Award for Literature and an American Booksellers Book of the Year Award. The book was adapted for the stage by McCarter Theatre Artistic Director Emily Mann and premiered on Broadway in 1995.

"Given the tumultuous times in which we live, this is the perfect moment for us all to hear from these two wise and inspirational women," said PTC's Executive Producing Director Sara Garonzik. "Besides being extremely entertaining, they are also living witnesses to an American century that laid the groundwork for where we are as a nation today."

Mary B. Robinson (Director) returns to PTC where she has directed Disgraced, Outside Mullingar, 4,000 Miles, At Home at the Zoo, Third, Dinner with Friends, This is Our Youth, Molly Sweeney, and Three Viewings. Her work is also known to Philadelphia audiences from her five years as Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Drama Guild, where she directed A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, A Moon for the Misbegotten, A Normal Life, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Of Mice and Men (Barrymore Award), among others. In New York, she directed Women on Fire at the Cherry Lane, with Judith Ivey, and String Fever at Ensemble Studio Theatre, with Cynthia Nixon. She was nominated for the Drama Desk Award in 1986 for her production of Lanford Wilson's Lemon Sky at Second Stage, and she was the first recipient of the Alan Schneider Award in 1987. She's worked most recently at Shakespeare on the Sound, Westport Country Playhouse, Arena Stage in Washington DC, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City. She teaches at Brooklyn College, and her book Directing Plays, Directing People: A Collaborative Art was recently published by Smith and Kraus.

Perri Gaffney (Miss Sarah L. (Sadie) Delany ) is the winner of both the Black Theatre Alliance Award and the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago Award for Best Actress in The Resurrection of Alice, which also garnered her a Helen Hayes nomination and an AUDELCO nomination. She has received two additional AUDELCO nominations for her work in The Waiting Room and Harlem Duet, a Helen Hayes nomination for Polk County, and a Theatre Tampa Bay nomination for Steel Magnolias. Regionally she has appeared at Syracuse Stage, Arena Stage, McCarter Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Geva Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Cherene Snow (Dr. A. Elizabeth (Bessie) Delany) appeared on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and in the world premieres of Walking Down Broadway and The Last of the Thorntons. Her regional credits includes the Goodman Theatre in The Little Foxes, Cincinnati Playhouse in Civil War Voices, and both Hartford Stage and Cleveland Playhouse in Doubt, as well as performances at Ford's Theatre, George Street Playhouse, and ATL Humana Festival. On television she has co-starred in Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Third Watch, and Caroline in the City.

Having Our Say brings together a creative team of set designer Jason Simms, lighting designer Dennis Parichy, costume designer Sarita Fellows, Sound Designer Christopher Colucci, and projections designer Chrisopher Ash. A PTC veteran (Disgraced, Outside Mullingar, 4000 Miles, and Venus in Fur), Jason Simms has received two Barrymore nominations and the 2012 USITT/Live Design Rising Star Award. Born in Sierra Leone and raised in Sudan, Zimbabwe and Uganda, Sarita Fellows has worked at Playwright Horizons, Westside Theater, and Signature Theater. The recipient of an Obie Award, three Tony nominations, a Drama Desk Award, three L.A. DramaLogue awards, and two Maharam awards, Dennis Parichy has designed Outside Mullingar and Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike at PTC, 17 Broadway productions and over 40 productions at People's Light & Theatre Company. With seven Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Sound Design and Original Music, Christopher Colucci has designed PTC's productions of Disgraced and Outside Mullingar. Christopher Ash recently designed PTC's opening season production of Rizzo.

Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company is a leading regional theatre company that produces, develops and presents entertaining and imaginative Contemporary Theatre focused on the American experience. By developing new work through commissions, readings and workshops, PTC generates a national impact and reaches broad regional audiences. Under the guidance of PTC's Executive Producing Director, Sara Garonzik, since 1982 and Executive Managing Director Priscilla M. Luce, who joined the leadership team in early April of 2013, 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 57 Barrymore Awards and 180 nominations. PTC's home on the Avenue of the Arts, the SuzAnne Roberts Theatre which opened in October 2007, has helped revitalize of Center City Philadelphia's thriving arts district.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: PTC's SuzAnne Roberts Theatre, Broad & Lombard Streets

Monday-Friday 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM call (215) 985-0420 or online at PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org


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