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Philadelphia Theatre Company Releases Short Documentary About Upcoming 2022 World Premiere


Behind the scenes documentary on 2022-2023 commissioned world premiere musical “The Tattooed Lady: MAKE YOUR MARK” available June 29.

To get audiences excited about a World Premiere Musical coming in 2022, Philadelphia Theatre Company debuts a short behind-the-scenes documentary about the development of the company's first commission under Producing Artistic Director, Paige Price.

The Tattooed Lady: MAKE YOUR MARK, a new mini-documentary directed by Price, offers a glimpse into the creation of The Tattooed Lady, a developing new musical from Max Vernon and Erin Courtney, along with director and co-developer Ellie Heyman, will be available for free on the company's YouTube channel. The film and more information are available on the PTC website at

The Tattooed Lady: MAKE YOUR MARK, will introduce audiences to The Tattooed Lady in this 21-minute mini-documentary, revealing the creative team's process in making a new musical during "pandemic times." Featuring a mix of behind the scenes collaboration, musical segments from Joe's Pub, and other surprises from Philly artists, this teaser will make its mark on audiences, and show why the company is excited to commission these artists. The documentary also highlights the musical's early development at the Kimmel Center and showcases Fishtown tattoo artist Kristel Oreto.

"When Covid created a situation whereby artists couldn't create together, we sought a solution to not only make that opportunity happen, but also to document it," said Price. "The Tattooed Lady was awarded a Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Project Grant for 2020, which is a big deal for us and allows PTC to support an artistically ambitious production, and so we want to document the 'making of' this musical for archival purposes, as well. We were able to support a retreat for the artists to work - in person - together for two weeks, which included time for writing, a zoom reading with actors and then more rewriting. Now our audiences can become more invested in the project with an up-close idea of who these artists are and what they're making."

Price directed the documentary, which was edited by Stefania Bulbarella. Bulbarella's work as a projection designer is currently on display in Lynn Nottage and Miranda Haymon's The Watering Hole at the Signature Theatre in NYC, which was recently extended through the summer. Nevin Steinberg, Sound Designer and Sound Editor of The Tattooed Lady: MAKE YOUR MARK recently won the Tony Award for Sound Design for Hadestown and designed Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, among others.

The story of The Tattooed Lady highlights one of sideshow's biggest stars, Ida Gibson, in a moving, fantastical tale that reveals the ultimate bond between mother and daughter. Featuring a parade of beguiling characters with both visible and invisible marks, the musical celebrates the resilience of women whose bold choices liberate them. The Tattooed Lady is a musical meditation on beauty, perversity, the shattering of taboos, and a woman's right to control her body.

The Tattooed Lady features a libretto by Erin Courtney and Max Vernon, music and lyrics by Max Vernon and is directed by and developed with Ellie Heyman. PTC Resident Artist Jeffrey L. Page will be the Choreographer for the premiere. The Scenic Designer is Tony Award winner Rachel Hauck (Hadestown). Clint Ramos (Once on this Island, Slave Play), also a recent Tony Award winner for Eclipsed, is the Costume Designer. Mary Ellen Stebbins is the Lighting Designer and Sound Design is by Nevin Steinberg (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown). Heyman directed the Drama League Award-winning The Great Work Begins, which featured Glenn Close, Laura Linney, and Brian Tyree Henry, named on the "Best of 2020" lists of the New York Times and New York Magazine.

"I am interested in this team of artists, who have been developing the idea for this musical for a few years," said Price. "Up to this point, I've been involved with the process in a small way. Taking it a step further, we wanted to commission and then commit to a full production at PTC, because when artists make a new musical, the ever elusive 'first production' is a huge hurdle. Now, the team can dream up their production knowing it will see the light of day. Philadelphia Theatre Company is really excited to do more world premieres and I think this production will be game changing for us. This musical will be audacious, ambitious, as well as tuneful," said Price. " We hope that the physical production will leap out and envelop the audience in a way that they have not yet experienced here."

The Tattooed Lady is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. The Tattooed Lady has been developed with support from the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, the Kimmel Center, National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) and Joe's Pub at The Public Theater.

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