Philadelphia Theatre Company to Present 2016 PTC@Play Festival of New Work

Philadelphia Theatre Company presents the 2016 PTC@Play Festival of New Work celebrating the American playwright in Philadelphia on March 3-6 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The festival will present staged readings showcasing three new plays by national and local talent including new work by Mark St. Germain, Philadelphia playwright Sam Henderson, and playwright/performer Rinne Groff. A new addition to PTC@Play will be an evening of short plays, all written and rehearsed within one twenty-four hour period. All events are free.

The Festival kicks off at a fast pace with The Elemental Plays: An Evening of Breakneck Shorts on Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 PM. It's a race against time as four directors, four playwrights, and eight actors are given 24 hours to write a short play. After only one rehearsal, the audience will see four plays so new the ink is still wet! This evening is presented in collaboration with Directors Gathering, a service organization advancing the craft of theatre directing through community, advocacy, and education, and The Foundry Playwrights, offering local emerging writers the opportunity to develop their craft while also giving them insight into the business of theater and providing networking opportunities.

PTC@Play continues on Friday, March 4 at 6:30 PM with Fire In Dreamland by Rinne Groff. In this powerful coming-of-age story from Guggenheim Fellow and Whiting Writers Award winner, Rinne Groff, Kate is seduced by the vision of an upstart Dutch filmmaker who has thrown himself into an epic film about the tragic 1911 fire on Coney Island. As past and present converge in this haunted, battered landscape, Kate must find a way to rebuild her own life amidst the ruins.

Rinne Groff is a playwright and performer. Her plays and musicals, including 77%, Compulsion, Saved, What Then, Jimmy Carter was a Democrat, Orange Lemon Egg Canary, Inky, The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem, and The Ruby Sunrise, have been produced by the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, P. S. 122, Target Margin Theater, Clubbed Thumb, and Andy's Summer Playhouse, among others. Ms. Groff is a founding member of Elevator Repair Service Theater Company and a member of New Dramatists and the Dramatists Guild. TV: staff writer on Weeds, Season Two. A recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Obie Award grant, Ms. Groff was trained at Yale University and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she currently teaches.

Saturday evening, March 5 at 7:30 PM will see a reading of Relativity by Mark St. Germain. From the playwright who brought us Freud's Last Session and Becoming Dr. Ruth comes a play that pulls genius down to earth in Princeton, NJ. In 1902 Albert and Mileva Einstein had a baby daughter. After 1904 she was never seen or spoken of again.

Mark St. Germaine has written the plays Freud's Last Session (Off-Broadway Alliance Best Play), Becoming Dr. Ruth, Camping With Henry and Tom (Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award), Out Of Gas On Lover's Leap, Best Of Enemies and Forgiving Typhoid Mary (Time Magazine's "Year's Ten Best"), Ears On A Beatle, The God Committee and Out Of Gas On Lover's Leap. His play Dancing Lessons premiered in August, 2014 at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires. Television credits include Writer and Creative Consultant for The Cosby Show, and Dick Wolf's Lifestories and Crime And Punishment. His musical, Stand By Your Man, The Tammy Wynette Story was created for Nashville's Ryman Theater and has toured nationally. He co-wrote the libretto for Charles Strouse's American Tragedy. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists, where he was given the Joe A. Callaway Award, a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writer's Guild East and an Associate Artist of the Barrington Stage Company. He was awarded the "New Voices in American Theatre" award at the William Inge Theatre Festival.

PTC@Play concludes on Sunday, March 6 at 7:30 PM with The Brownings by Sam Henderson. Direct from the hilariously twisted mind of Philadelphia's own Sam Henderson comes an unusual marriage play about one of the most familiar couples in literature. Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning write, love, hate, fight, slam dope, and have weird sex in an immoderate re-telling of the great love of the 19th century. The Brownings is an unconventional, rudely comic exploration of the purpose of art and the nature of love.

Sam Henderson is a Philadelphia actor and 2nd year Foundry member. His work has appeared at the Plays & Players 2013 24-Hour Play Festival and the 2014 Solow Festival. Readings include the 2013 215 Festival, Writer's Night In America, and the 2014 Philadelphia New Play Initiative Local Writer's Weekend. He is a first-year member of Interact Theatre's Core Writer's Program 2014-2016.

PTC@Play is an outgrowth of PTC's annual STAGES program, established in 1986, which also includes commissions, workshops and the Terrence McNally New Play Award. Through STAGES, PTC has developed 90 plays, half of which have gone on to production or publication. Readings that have made it on to the PTC mainstage include the world premieres of Jeffrey Hatcher's A Picasso and Bruce Graham's According to Goldman. Two of PTC's commissions have been After Ashley by Gina Gionfriddo which premiered at the Humana Festival and Bruce Norris' The Pain and the Itch which premiered at Steppenwolf. On the mainstage PTC has produced 38 new plays and musicals. Recent world premieres include Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins by Margaret Engel and Allison Engel, Terrence McNally's Golden Age, Bill Irwin's The Happiness Lecture, and the recent musical, Stars of David which also had a reading at PTC@Play

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 guidance of PTC's Executive Producing Director, Sara Garonzik, since 1982 and PTC Executive Managing Director Priscilla M. Luce, since 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 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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