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Quintessence Theatre Presents Seamus Heaney's THE CURE AT TROY This Month


The production starts previews January 26, with an Opening Night on Saturday, January 29.

Quintessence Theatre Presents Seamus Heaney's THE CURE AT TROY This Month

Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia's professional classic repertory theatre, continues Season XII: Breaking the Cycle with Seamus Heaney's poetic rendition of the final episode of the Trojan War: The Cure at Troy starts previews January 26, with an Opening Night on Saturday, January 29.

One man holds the sacred weapon that will end the Trojan war, but can Odysseus find a way to convince the outcast Philoctetes to rejoin the Greek army and heal the society that spurned him? Inspired by Nelson Mandela's release as well as the violent conflicts in Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney's The Cure at Troy is a fresh adaptation of Sophocles' rarely produced Philoctetes. Unlike any tragedy you've seen, the choice between revenge or forgiveness was never more important.

The production stars Steven Anthony Wright (Seven Deadly Sins, Oliver!, and Uncle Vanya) as Philoctetes, Joseph Langham (The Playboy of the Western World) as Odysseus, and Jo Vito Ramírez making their Quintessence debut as Neoptolemus. The Chorus will be made up of Quintessence favorites Eunice Akinola (The Playboy of the Western World, King Lear), Leah Gabriel (The Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein, Mother Courage and Her Children) and Michael Liebhauser (King Lear, The Wizard of Oz).

The play is directed by Quintessence's Founding Artistic Director Alexander Burns, with lighting design by John Burkland and costume design by Lisa Jane Casanave.

"In 1990, Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland quoted Seamus Heaney's The Cure at Troy in her inaugural address. Her call was for the possibility of "hope" despite the ongoing Troubles in Ireland," said Artistic Director Alexander Burns. "She was joined by many other politicians over the years and around the globe, including President Joe Biden who spoke the same stanzas at his inauguration. And while many only know The Cure at Troy as a poem, it is in fact an explosive work of theatre. Inspired by the vision of Nelson Mandela and his release from the prison on Robben Island, Seamus Heaney has created a searing political drama which makes one believe in the possibility of transformation. Quintessence is excited to offer this timely and majestic myth to our city, desperate to return to life and live theatre, while also in a process of profound healing."

Visit or call 215.987.4450 to purchase tickets to The Cure at Troy. Preview performances will run January 26-28, general admission tickets are available January 29 - February 20.

Quintessence Theatre joins theatres across the region in signing the "Audience COVID-19 Policy from Philadelphia Regional Theatres" published by Theatre Philadelphia. Visitors to the Sedgwick Theater will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to attend indoor performances. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes paper copy of vaccination card, photocopy, electronic copy, photograph, or through the Bindle app. Following the current policy of the city of Philadelphia, patrons are also required to wear masks at all times when inside the theatre.

"Theatre is at its best when it can be experienced live and together," says Executive Director Sam Sweet. "Our audiences have helped us to revitalize the historic Sedgwick by making it a lively, vital cultural hub that brings people together and serves our community. As a nearly 100-year-old building, though, it has many challenges. While the building was closed due to COVID, Quintessence has continued to make improvements for safety and comfort. We have updated our HVAC system, installed a new fire safety system, and purchased new audience risers and seating. Audiences will feel safe and more comfortable while experiencing Quintessence's theatrical magic at the Sedgwick."

Founded in 2009, award-winning Quintessence Theatre Group uses the classics to explore the fundamental question of what it is to be human in today's world. Through intimate, visceral, and innovative productions of epic theatre, Quintessence pursues its vision to become the Delaware Valley's center for progressive humanism and an engine for radical empathy through the classics.

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