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Wilma Theater Announces Updates To 2020/21 Season


HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING will now be fully produced and captured in a secluded home in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.

Wilma Theater Announces Updates To 2020/21 Season

The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia has shared a series of updates to their previously announced 2020/21 season. To ensure that artists, staff, crew, and audience members are safe during the COVID-19 health crisis, the theater has altered several key features of their upcoming season, including an exciting change to their production of Will Arbery's HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING. Additionally, the company will be producing HotHouse Shorts, a series of original digital productions created by their company of theater artists.

The 2020/21 season is the first that features Wilma's new Co-Artistic Director model, announced earlier in 2020. Founding Artistic Director Blanka Zizka now shares artistic leadership with three acclaimed directors and artists: Morgan Green, James Ijames, and Yury Urnov. Yury Urnov serves as the Lead Artistic Director for the current season; he, along with his co-artistic director peers, have carefully considered the changes to their previously announced programming.

"While in the midst of the pandemic, we stand by the core values of our mission-to create living, adventurous art," said Lead Artistic Director Yury Urnov. "We'll continue using this moment as a call to experiment, and as an opportunity to invent new art forms."

HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING: A Site-Specific Production Produced in a Quarantine Bubble

In the spirit of the Wilma's commitment to groundbreaking theater, the company is pleased to announce that their regional premiere of HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING, directed by Blanka Zizka, will be produced as a fully-staged professional production, captured in a secluded home in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania. HotHouse company members Sarah Gliko, Justin Jain, Jered McLenigan, and Campbell O'Hare are joined by award-winning performer Mary Elizabeth Scallen. HEROES...tells the story of four Catholic conservative friends who gather at a backyard party in Wyoming. Their reunion sparks riveting debates that are by turns hilarious, repulsive, and surprisingly seductive. The celebrated work was the winner of the 2020 Obie Award for Playwriting, Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, and named "Best of the Year" by The New York Times. It was also a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The entire artistic team self-quarantined for two weeks before the start of the production process, and will travel to the site-specific location, an Airbnb house located in the Poconos. There, the team will rehearse and capture the professional production while in quarantine with each other. Subscribers who purchased a WilmaPass will be able to redeem tickets from their package to access the production; individual tickets will go on sale at a later date. Specific dates for the production will be announced at a later date.

HotHouse Shorts Program

The HotHouse, Wilma's resident ensemble of theater artists, has been hard at work creating a series of original digital productions, similar to their critically acclaimed CODE BLUE production that was released earlier in 2020. Six additional Hothouse Shorts will be produced and released starting in late October 2020 through winter 2021. Each of these digital productions will be their own experiment in form and content, from heartfelt personal narratives to groundbreaking music videos to intriguing audio tours. These programs will be available free of charge on

STATE VS NATASHA BANINA from Arlekin Players Theatre

The Wilma will be presenting a limited engagement of the riveting new online interactive performance STATE VS NATASHA BANINA, directed by Igor Golyak and performed by Darya Denisova. This New York Times Critics' Pick from Arlekin Players Theatre is an interactive live arts experience. A girl tells the story of her life in a small-town orphanage, and her desire to be free and break out of her world. From the inside of a "Zoom" courtroom, she will make twists and turns through her unique appeal to audiences as the jurors, letting them into her world where she dreams about love, family, acceptance, adjusting and her future. Ultimately the two worlds collide and you get to decide her fate. The production will run October 22 at 8 pm.

Remainder of the Season: FAT HAM and MINOR CHARACTER

The Wilma is committed to producing their previously announced productions of James Ijames' FAT HAM and MINOR CHARACTER: Six Translations of Uncle Vanya at the Same Time, created by New Saloon (co-founded by Wilma Co-Artistic Director Morgan Green). This November, the Wilma will announce how they plan to proceed with both works, which will depend on the severity of the health crisis and ensuring that artists, crew, staff, and audience members are safe and healthy. Possibilities include a part-streaming hybrid model utilizing the previously announced Wilma Globe, a groundbreaking coliseum-style arena that provides individual seating boxes for a small group of patrons while creating appropriate social-distancing between audience members and actors/staff. Another possibility may be full digital productions. Distinct dates for both productions will be announced at a later date and will be between March and June 2021.

Jackie Sibblies Drury's FAIRVIEW will be postponed until the 2021/22 season, due to the piece's vital artistic requirement that artists and audience members be in close proximity with each other during the production.

Other Projects

In early 2021, The Wilma aims to re-release some of their digital works from 2020 and are exploring ways to collaborate with theaters across the country to share their work with audiences. Similarly to STATE VS NATASHA BANINA, these events will be an opportunity for WilmaPass holders to use discounts, have early access, or to redeem a WilmaPass ticket.


In May, the Wilma announced an innovative new program that provides audience members flexibility and peace of mind about when and how they return to their theater after the COVID-19 health crisis. The WilmaPass is a package that can be used at any time during the 2020/21 season of groundbreaking theater. Audience members can purchase a three-ticket WilmaPass for only $99.

"With this pass, you're showing your commitment to the Wilma, not to a specific night or production, but to our art, to the performers and artists you've grown to love, and to the value of theater in our city," said Leigh Goldenberg, Managing Director of the Wilma. "Each winter, I purchase a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share from local farmers, ensuring they have the funds to plant the seeds to provide me with food throughout the summer. Likewise, we are asking our audiences to invest in us now so we can grow and create throughout the coming year, and deliver artistic work when we are ready."

Patrons and audience members are encouraged to visit to receive updated information regarding show dates and times.

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