Plays & Players Presents TITUS ANDRONICUS 9/16-10/2

Plays & Players, Center City Philadelphia's longest continually operating theater at 1714 Delancey Place, will produce William Shakespeare's earliest tragedy Titus Andronicus from September 16-October 2, 2010, with two preview performances during the Philly Fringe.

According to theater critic S. Clark Hulse, Titus Andronicus has "14 killings, 9 of them on stage, 6 severed members, 1 rape (or 2 or 3, depending on how you count), 1 live burial, 1 case of insanity, and 1 of cannibalism - an average of 5.2 atrocities per act, or one for every 97 lines." The play's shock value is infamous - making it the perfect follow up to Plays & Players' recent hits: the world premiere of Zombie! The Musical in the 2009 Philly Fringe and the 2009 East Coast Premiere of William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead.

Titus Andronicus will be directed by Philadelphia-based director/actor Liam Castellan, a longtime ensemble member with Curio Theatre Company. Castellan performed in Plays & Players' Peanuts and Crackerjack New Play Festival earlier this year.

"Titus is a great story of family and revenge, with some phenomenal poetry, but it's been unfairly dismissed as inferior and rarely performed because of its violence," said Castellan. "The most recent professional production of Titus in Philadelphia was at the Walnut Street Theatre in 1839, but most of the violence was purged from the adaptation. Plays & Players will give fans the full production they want to see while showcasing a great example of Shakespeare's early genius."

At the start of the play, Roman general Titus Andronicus retires after a decade of war against the Goths, but finds the political instability and intrigue at home to be even more dangerous. Titus' loyalty is betrayed when newly crowned emperor Saturninus fears Titus' popularity, and the religious sacrifice of a Goth prisoner sparks a cycle of violence and revenge that consumes them all.

Tickets are $20 during the Philly Fringe, and $20 in advance/$25 at door for all other performances. After September 18 tickets will be available for $10 for groups of 10 or more. All performances will be on the Plays & Players Mainstage at 1714 Delancey Place (between Spruce & Pine Streets). Quig's Pub will be open on the third floor of Plays & Players during and after the performance.

For Philly Fringe tickets, contact the Festival Box Office at (215) 413-1318 or visit www.livearts-fringe.org. After the Philly Fringe concludes on September 18, tickets may be purchased at www.playsandplayers.org or by calling (800) 595-4TIX.

LISTINGS INFORMATION
What: Titus Andronicus
When: Sept. 16-Oct. 2, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 4:00pm, with special 11:59 performances on Sept. 17 and Oct. 1.
Where: Plays & Players Mainstage, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia PA
Tickets: $20 in advance at the Festival Box Office (215-413-1318 or www.livearts-fringe.org), or $20 in advance/$25 at door and $10 for groups of 10 or more after September 18. (www.playsandplayers.org or 800-595-4TIX).

ABOUT PLAYS & PLAYERS

Plays & Players (P&P) is at once 99 years old and 1 year old, recently changing from a community theater to a professional quality theater. P&P provides diverse work that ranges from high-voltage, edgy premieres to new takes on classics, and encourages local artists to perform and rehearse in its historic Plays & Players Theatre. Including Titus Andronicus, there is a four show season, a new play festival, a playwright residency program and a continuation of the Super Heroes Who Are Super! and Hear Again Radio Project series. A 100th Anniversary celebration is in the works for November, 2011. Plays & Players offers year-round memberships that include both social and entertainment possibilities. To learn more please visit www.playsandplayers.org.



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