Photo Flash: EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL Opens Tonight at Philadelphia Theatre Company
Philadelphia Theatre Company continues its 45th Anniversary season with a powerful drama about forgiveness set in Amish Country in Pennsylvania.
PTC is thrilled to begin the year with the Philadelphia Premiere of The Kilroys List Honorable Mention, Everything is Wonderful, by Chelsea Marcantel. Directed by Noah Himmelstein, who helmed the play at the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore last year, this beautiful new work about a nearby community runs February 14 to March 8, 2020. Opening Night is February 19th at 7pm. Tickets are on sale now for $25-$69 at philatheatreco.org, at the box-office, or by calling 215-985-0420. All shows are performed at Philadelphia Theatre Company at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (480 S. Broad Street).
In this heartfelt new work, an Amish couple exhibits an act of unfathomable forgiveness after their two sons are killed in a car accident. Upholding the tenets of their faith, they take in Eric, the wayward young driver of the car. But the accident brings home their eldest daughter, Miri, who was excommunicated five years earlier, and Eric's presence cracks open the family's secret history. As the family struggles to cling to their way of life, they are forced to find a way forward inside their insular community, practicing mercy and forgiveness to heal the wounds of the past.
Everything is Wonderful is directed by Noah Himmelstein, who makes his Philadelphia debut. He directed Andrew Lippa's I Am Harvey Milk (Lincoln Center with Kristin Chenoweth; also in San Francisco with Laura Benanti, Los Angeles and Denver: NY Magazine, LA Magazine Critic's Picks, Playbill's Unforgettable Experience of the Year).
The cast is made up of local favorites, returning PTC favorites, and actors making their PTC debuts. J. Hernandez, who returns to PTC after performing in Sweat last season, is Eric, the wayward young driver of the car responsible for the death of the family's sons. He is a multiple Barrymore nominee and this season was a nominee for the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist. William Zielinski, an eight-time Barrymore nominee who has been a member of four Barrymore winning ensembles, returns to PTC after appearing in Hand to God, to play Jacob, the Patriarch of the family. Philadelphia based actress Stephanie Hodge makes her PTC debut as Ruth. She recently appeared in Hamlet at the Seaport Museum. Lucky Gretzinger makes his PTC debut as Abram, reprising the role he originated in the show's world premiere at Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Katie Kleiger is making her Philadelphia Theatre Company debut as Miri. She recently was part of the Helen Hayes Award-winning Ensemble of The Wolves at The Studio Theatre in Washington DC. Recent Philadelphia transplant Blair Sams makes her PTC debut as Esther. She has Broadway and extensive regional credits and just finished working with Jon Stewart on his upcoming film Irresistible. She has also appeared on Chicago P.D., The Americans, Boardwalk Empire, The Following, Law & Order: SVU, Ed and The Guardian.Himmelstein brought in three members of the creative team from his Everyman Theatre production of Everything is Wonderful. Daniel Ettinger, Scenic Design; Cory Pattak, Lighting Design; and Pornchanok Kanchanabanca, Sound Designer and Composer are working with Himmelstein for the PTC production. He gave the creative team the goal of creating something handmade, yet ethereal. Ettinger's wooden barn structure is hand painted to feel like antique furniture. Chairs and other household objects manipulated by the cast will form different interior spaces with grace and ease.
Janus Stefanowicz returns to PTC as Costume Designer for Everything is Wonderful. For PTC she designed Outside Mullingar, Detroit, Tribes, reasons to be pretty, Ruined and Intimate Apparel, for which she received the Barrymore Award for Outstanding Costume Design. She is the costume shop manager, resident designer and an adjunct faculty for Villanova University's Theatre Department.
Rounding out the team is Neill Hartley as the Dialect Coach, Colleen Hughes is the Intimacy Coach and Eli Lynn is the play's Fight Coach. Stage managers are Allison Hassman and Tori Heikenfeld.
Thai artist Pornchanok Kanchanabanca is the Sound Designer and is composing original music for the show. She has worked with theatre companies across the United States including Lincoln Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf, McCarter Theater, Rattlestick, Geva Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theater, among many others.
Photo Credit: Mark Garvin
William Zielinski and Katie Kleiger
The Cast of Everything is Wonderful
Lucky Gretzinger and William Zielinski
Stephanie Hodge and Katie Kleiger
J. Hernandez and Katie Kleiger
Stephanie Hodge and J. Hernandez
Katie Kleiger and Lucky Gretzinger
William Zielinski and Blair Sams