Photo Flash: Philadelphia Theatre Co Presents Kathleen Turner In RED HOT PATRIOT

Philadelphia Theatre Company announces that two-time Tony Award-nominee and film actress Kathleen Turner will star in the world premiere of Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins by Margaret Engel and Allison Engel. Directed by award-winning director David Esbjornson, this one-woman play based on the writings of the late political journalist Molly Ivins will take the slot previously slated for Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck. 'Red Hot Patriot' runs through April 18, 2010.

In 'Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins', Kathleen Turner portrays the unsinkable Molly Ivins, the famously brassy newspaper columnist and best-selling author. A true Texas original, Ivins was a sharp-tongued wit who skewered the political establishment and the "good ole boys" with her unforgettable humor and wisdom. Written by twin sisters, themselves longtime journalists, the play celebrates Ivins' courage and tenacity - even when it seemed like a complacent America wasn't listening.

"We are thrilled at the happy and unexpected opportunity to produce this new play that celebrates the life of one of journalism's most colorful and iconic figures," said Sara Garonzik, PTC's Producing Artistic Director. "We are especially delighted to be working with the brilliant Kathleen Turner. With her high-profile stage, film and television career, it is rather miraculous that this window of opportunity has opened in her schedule, permitting her to devote time to developing a new play. When we learned of it, we seized the moment, even though it meant postponing our production of Mauritius, a play we hope to produce in another season."

Molly Ivins' column was syndicated in nearly 400 newspapers nationwide. Her feisty voice was developed in the early 1970s as the co-editor of the rowdy and biting biweekly political magazine The Texas Observer, which remained her spiritual home. She coined the nickname "Shrub" for George W. Bush, the subject of her two of her five best-selling books - Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush and Bushwhacked. A graduate of Smith College, she began her newspaper career at the Houston Chronicle and Minneapolis Tribune (now the Star Tribune). She worked at The New York Times for five years before moving back to Texas to work at the Dallas Times Herald and then The Fort Worth-Star Telegram. She also wrote for Esquire, Atlantic Monthly and The Nation and appeared on 60 Minutes. She died in 2008 after a very public and courageous battle with breast cancer.

Arena Stage had an early hand in the development process of Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, hosting a workshop and producing an invited reading in August 2009 with Kathleen Turner.

Kathleen Turner last appeared on Broadway as Martha opposite Bill Irwin in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, earning her second Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Play and an Olivier nomination during its London run. She also received a Tony nomination for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Other Broadway successes include Indiscretions and The Graduate. Turner first came to national prominence following her role in the movie Body Heat with William Hurt. She subsequently won two Golden Globe Awards for Romancing the Stone and Prizzi's Honor, and an Academy Award nomination for Peggy Sue Got Married. Her two other partnerships with Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito (The Jewel of the Nile and War of the Roses) were also box office successes. She was also the speaking voice of cartoon femme fatale Jessica Rabbit in the toon-noir Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Turner is chairperson for Planned Parenthood of America and on the board of People for the American Way.

David Esbjornson directed the Broadway production of The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee and The Ride Down Mt. Morgan by Arthur Miller at The Public Theater. Most recently the Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre, he has headed New York's Classic Stage Company, directing many of its productions and winning an Obie for Therese Raquin. Nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Iphigenia and Other Daughters, his other New York credits include The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer, The Play About the Baby by Edward Albee, and Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher, adapted from Mitch Albom's best selling memoir.?

Playwright Margaret Engel directs the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the oldest journalism writing fellowship program, and helped create the Newseum in Washington, DC. A former Washington Post reporter, she is the co-author with her husband, Bruce Adams, of three guidebooks about baseball in America. Co-playwright and twin sister Allison Engel is the Director of Communications at the University of Southern California. Allison, a former reporter at the San Jose Mercury and Des Moines Register & Tribune, has co-authored, with Margaret, three editions of Food Finds: America's Best Local Foods and the People Who Produce Them, a book that spawned a television show on the Food Network.

Single tickets for Red Hot Patriot will go on sale after February 1, 2010. Until then, orchestra tickets may be obtained by purchasing a 3-play, 4-play or flexible subscription to Philadelphia Theatre Company. Subscription packages start as low as $105.

Philadelphia Theatre Company is Philadelphia's only not-for-profit professional theater dedicated exclusively to producing world and regional premieres of works by contemporary American Playwrights. Sara Garonzik has been the company's Producing Artistic Director since 1982, and in 2007, Diane Claussen became its Managing Director. Philadelphia Theatre Company continues to experience ever-increasing national impact, having produced 34 world premieres of new American plays and musicals in its 34 seasons. Recent world premiere productions include: Unusual Acts of Devotion by Terrence McNally; The Happiness Lecture by Bill Irwin; Nerds://A Musical Software Satire by Jordan Allen-Dutton, Erik Weiner, and HAl Goldberg; Some Men by Terrence McNally (later produced at the Second Stage); Adrift in Macao, a musical by Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick (produced at Primary Stages); Bruce Graham's According to Goldman; Jeffrey Hatcher's A Picasso (later produced at Manhattan Theatre Club); Daniel Stern's comedy Barbra's Wedding (moved to the Westside Arts Theatre in 2003); John Henry Redwood's No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs (later produced at Primary Stages); J.T. Rogers' White People; David Ives' Lives of the Saints; three-time Tony Award-winning Master Class by Terrence McNally, starring Zoe Caldwell; Bunny Bunny by Alan Zweibel (Lucille Lortel Award, 1997); and the American premiere of Birdy by Naomi Wallace, among others.

Philadelphia Theatre Company has received numerous "Best Theater Company" citations from media sources such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia Style Magazine, and Philadelphia City Paper. Since 1995, Philadelphia Theatre Company has received 135 nominations and 36 awards from Philadelphia's Barrymore Awards.
PTC is in its third season in its new home, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, designed by the award-winning firm of KieranTimberlake Associates LLP. This new state-of-the-art venue on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts was built as the result of an innovative partnership between PTC and Philadelphia developer Carl Dranoff. The project promotes the city's leading arts district both regionally and nationally and represents a model for civic development that capitalizes on the ability of the arts to reinvigorate urban districts for residential and commercial revival.

For further information on Philadelphia Theatre Company, call 215-985-0420 or visit PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org.


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