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Quintessence Theatre Group to Stage LOVE'S LABOR'S LOST and THE BROKEN HEART in Rep


Quintessence Theatre Group continues producing progressive classic theatre with its spring 2017 repertory productions of William Shakespeare's Love's Labor's Lost and John Ford's The Broken Heart.

All performances are at the Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave., Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, 19119. To purchase tickets, visit or call 215.987.4450.

Two of drama's greatest romances, performed in rotation by an ensemble of fourteen actors, will explore the effects of romantic desire on the human mind and body. By juxtaposing Shakespeare's high comedy with Ford's bloody revenge tragedy, Quintessence seeks to enrapture Philadelphia audiences with the power of language and love.

Love's Labor's Lost: The King of Navarre and his entourage swear off women and promise to cloister themselves for three years to enrich their minds. The following day, the Princess of France and her retinue arrive with business for the King. Can the gentlemen and their oath survive the intelligence and beauty of their newly arrived female guests? William Shakespeare's early romantic comedy explodes with wit and revelry and includes some of his greatest romantic poetry.

Quintessence favorite Josh Carpenter (Hamlet, Iago, Mephistopheles) will transform into the quixotic Spanish soldier Don Armado. After three seasons away, John Williams (Sganarelle, Alceste) returns from his celebrated off-Broadway performance in Richard Strand's Butler as the witty royal best-mate Berowne. Quintessence ensemble members Mattie Hawinson (Lavinia Mannon, Happy Prince) and Lee Cortopassi (Bolingbroke) take on the royal couple, and Dana Kreitz makes her Quintessence debut as the resplendent Rosaline.

The Broken Heart: In the military state of Ancient Sparta, an ambitious young soldier marries his twin sister to a powerful older gentleman, despite their deceased father's promise that she would marry her first love, a poor student. The marriage elevates the soldier and, along with his triumphs in war, puts him in line to marry the daughter of the king. But his sister collapses into despair from her loveless marriage with a jealous husband, and her student lover swears he will risk all to avenge his loss, even if it means bringing down the kingdom. One of the first plays to explore women's mental health and eating disorders, John Ford's romantic revenge tragedy proves that one can die from a broken heart.

Mattie Hawkinson and Josh Carpenter are the lovesick couple, while Ebony Pullum stars as the royal princess and Daniel Miller as the ambitious young war hero. John Basiulis is the stern father of the heartbroken student, and Gregory Isaac (Doctor Faustus) takes on the jealous husband.

The Love and Longing Repertory will be directed by Quintessence artistic director Alexander Burns, with lighting by David Sexton and stage combat by Ian Rose. The costumes for Love's Labor's Lost will be designed by Christina Lorraine Bullard. The Broken Heart will feature an original score by award-winning composer Steven Cahill and costumes by Quintessence's resident designer Jane Casanave.

Quintessence Theatre Group is a professional classic theatre dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of literature and drama for the Contemporary Stage. Its approach attracts both nationally recognized and local actors who find challenge and inspiration in Quintessence's thought-provoking, innovative productions.

As Quintessence Theatre Group's home, the Sedgwick Theater, a 1928 Art Deco movie palace designed by William Lee, has regained its place as a jewel in Philadelphia's cultural landscape.

Named Best of Philly 2015 for up-and-coming company, Quintessence Theatre Group has produced four Barrymore-recommended shows out of its last five. This past fall at the Barrymore Awards, E. Ashley Izard won the Charlotte Cushman Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for her role in Quintessence's Happy Days.

Love Labor's Lost plays March 15-April 21 and The Broken Heart from March 29-April 23. Special PAY WHAT YOU CAN previews will be presented on Wednesday, March, 15, at 7:00pm for Love's Labor's Lost and Wednesday, March 29, 2017, for The Broken Heart. Post-show talkbacks with the cast and director will take place on Sunday, April 2, and Thursday, April 13, for Love's Labor's Lost and Sunday, April 9, and Thursday, April 20, for The Broken Heart.

On two Saturdays, April 8 and April 15, audiences can experience the entire repertory in one day. Special packages which include dinner at a local Mt. Airy restaurant are available.

Performances are scheduled Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. There are special Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2pm. Please check the performance schedule at for exact performance times and schedules.

Tickets are $27-$34 general admission, $25 for seniors (65 and over), $15 for students/youth (21 and under). To purchase tickets, visit or call 1.215.987.4450. For ticket information please email


JOHN BASIULIS (Sir Nathaniel/Crotolon): Quintessence: Mother Courage and Her Children, Doctor Faustus, Saint Joan. Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Marin Shakespeare Company, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Theatre in the Square, Springer Opera House, American Shakespeare Center, Commonweal Theatre, People's Light and Theatre Company.

Josh Carpenter* (Don Armado/Orgilus): Quintessence: Doctor Faustus, Saint Joan, Romeo & Juliet, The Mandrake, Mourning Becomes Electra, The Wind in the Willows, Hamlet, She Stoops to Conquer, Othello, The Seagull, The Venetian Twins, The Merchant of Venice, The Importance of Being Earnest, Henry V, The Three Musketeers (as co-author). Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Theater at Monmouth, American Shakespeare Center, Miami Theater Center, GTA SouthernStage, Growing Stage, Cherry Lane Theatre, Target Margin Theater, Manhattan Theatre Source, Gotham Radio Theatre, Arden Theatre.

Ashton Carter (Longaville/Prophilus): Quintessence: Wilde Tales, Mother Courage and Her Children, As You Like it, Richard II. Azuka Theatre, Arden Theatre.

Lee Cortopassi (The King of Navarre/Groneas/Nearchus): Quintessence: Mother Courage and Her Children, The Three Musketeers, As You Like It, Richard II.

KRISTEN DEVINE (Maria/Euphrania): Connecticut Repertory Theater, Woodstock Playhouse, Emerald Coast, Park Slope Arts Festival, McCarter Theatre, Kimmel Center.

Michael Gamache (Constable Dull/Armostes/Phulas): Quintessence: Wilde Tales. Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Delaware Shakespeare Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Bootless Stageworks, Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Virginia Shakespeare Festival.

CHRISTOPHER GAROFALO (Dumaine/Lemophil): Arden Theatre, Philadelphia Young Playwrights.

Mattie Hawkinson* (Princess of France/Penthea): Quintessence: Wilde Tales, Mourning Becomes Electra, Arms and the Man, The Misanthrope, The Three Musketeers (as co-author). Northlight Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Centerstage, Theatre at Monmouth, Cincinnati Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep.

Gregory Isaac (Holofernes/Bassanes): Quintessence: Mother Courage and Her Children, Happy Days, Doctor Faustus, Saint Joan, Romeo & Juliet, The Mandrake, The Three Musketeers. Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The ALLIANCE THEATRE, Steppenwolf Theatre, Writers' Theatre, TimeLine Theater, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Scranton Shakespeare Festival, Titan Theatre.

Dana Kreitz (Rosaline/Philema/Grausis): Meadow Brook Theatre, Nevada Conservatory Theatre, The PIT, Walnut Street Theatre, Revolution Shakespeare, Curio Theatre Company.

DANIEL MILLER (Costard/Ithocles): ?Quintessence: Mother Courage and Her Children. Thingamajig Theatre Company, Texas Shakespeare Festival.

ANEESA NEIBAUER (Katherine/Chrysalla): Quintessence: Wilde Tales. Philadelphia Fringe Festival, New Freedom Theatre, Ritz Theatre Company, Gladys G. Davis Theatre, Vivian Davis Michael Theatre, Gamut Theatre Group, Open Stage of Harrisburg, Hershey Area Playhouse.

EBONY PULLAM (Jacquenetta/Calantha): Quintessence: Mother Courage and Her Children, King of Prussia Players, Steel River Playhouse, Robert Moss Theater, June Havoc Theater, Temple University, Centre Theater.

JOHN G. WILLIAMS* (Berowne/Tecnicus/Amyclas): Quintessence: The Misanthrope, Antigone, Don Juan, Measure for Measure. 59E59 Theatre A, Majestic Theatre, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Between the Lines Production, New Jersey Repertory, Peppermint Creek Company, Looking Glass Theater, Shoestring Players.

*Actor appears courtesy of Actor's Equity Association

ALEXANDER BURNS (Director/Artistic Director): Quintessence: Mother Courage and Her Children, Happy Days, Doctor Faustus, Hansel & Gretel, Romeo & Juliet, The Mandrake, The Three Musketeers, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, As You Like It, Richard II, The Wind In The Willows, She Stoops To Conquer, Hamlet, The Misanthrope, Arms and the Man, The Diary of a Madman, Othello, The Seagull, Antigone, The Merchant of Venice, The Venetian Twins, The Importance of Being Earnest, Don Juan, Apology, Henry V, Measure for Measure. Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Trinity Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC @ Carter Barron), Henri Gabler, Diabolique, The Maids (Exigent Theatre). Philadelphia: Macbeth (Arden Theatre).



Wednesday, March 15 at 7:00pm Pay What You Can Preview

Thursday, March16 at 7:00pm Preview

Friday, March 17 at 8:00pm Preview

Saturday, March 18 at 8:00pm Opening Night

Wednesday, March 22 at 7:00pm

Thursday, March 23 at 11am & 7:00pm

Friday, March 24 at 8:00pm

Saturday, March 25 at 8:00pm

Sunday, March 26 at 3:00pm

Thursday, March 30 at 11:00am

Sunday, April 2 at 3:00pm Talkback

Wednesday, April 5 at 2:00pm

Friday, April 7 at 7:00pm

Saturday, April 8 at 2:00pm

Thursday, April13 at 7:00pm Talkback

Saturday, April 15 at 8:00pm

Sunday, April 16 at 3:00pm

Wednesday, April 19 at 7:00pm

Friday, April 21 at 8:00pm Closing


Wednesday, March 29 at 7:00pm Pay What You Can

Thursday, March 30 at 7:00pm Preview

Friday, March 31 at 8:00pm Preview

Saturday, April 1 at 8:00pm Opening Night

Wednesday, April 5 at 7:00pm

Thursday, April 6 at 7:00pm

Saturday, April 8 at 8:00pm

Sunday, April 9 at 3:00pm Talkback

Wednesday, April 12 at 7:00pm

Friday, April 14 at 8:00pm

Saturday, April 15 at 2:00pm

Thursday, April 20 at 7:00pm Talkback

Saturday, April 22 at 8:00pm

Sunday, April 23 at 3:00pm Closing

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