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THE WILMA THEATER Announces the 2015/16 Season: The selection of plays will explore issues from the unburied dead to altruism vs. egoism; from racism in America to contemporary Christian theology.

Contact: Sara Madden
215-893-9456 ext. 102 | smadden@wilmatheater.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April, 2015


PHILADELPHIA – The Wilma Theater is pleased to announce the four plays that will make up its upcoming 2015/16 Season. The Wilma will open the season with Sophocles’ Antigone translated by Marianne McDonald and directed by Theodoros Terzopoulos, the renowned founder of Attis Theatre in Athens, Greece. Antigone will be followed by The Hard Problem by Wilma favorite Tom Stoppard directed by Wilma’s Artistic Director, Blanka Zizka, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon directed by Joanna Settle (Rapture, Blister, Burn).  Closing out the season will be a co-production with Syracuse Stage of Lucas Hnath’s The Christians directed by Syracuse Stage’s Producing Artistic Director Timothy Bond.

ANTIGONE
by Sophocles
translated by Marianne McDonald
directed by Theodoros Terzopoulos 
October 7 - November 8, 2015

With Antigone, The Wilma Theater launches the Wilma Hothouse – an ensemble-based approach to creating theater – through a unique collaboration with Attis Theatre of Athens, Greece. The renowned director Theodoros Terzopoulos (AJAX the madness, co-presented with FringeArts in 2013) will lead eight Philadelphia actors and four Attis actors to create an original adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone. This production merges a physically rigorous methodology with a classical text performed in both English and ancient Greek by an international ensemble. A project initially inspired by a New Yorker essay about the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, Antigone invites conversation around moral, religious, and political dilemmas regarding the unburied dead.

“Feted the world over, [Terzopoulos] has created a theatre that seems very much his own.” – The Guardian

THE HARD PROBLEM
by Tom Stoppard
directed by Blanka Zizka
January 6 – February 6, 2016

Tom Stoppard’s first new play since Rock ‘n’ Roll introduces us to Hilary, a 22-year-old psychology student applying for a coveted position with the Krohl Institute for Brain Science. As Hilary prays for strength to move beyond personal regrets, she passionately explores the blurred lines between science and psychology with her colleagues and her sometimes-lover Spike. Ethics are called into question as they delve into the “hard problem” of consciousness versus gray matter, and debate whether altruism even exists. Following a sold-out run at the National Theatre in London, the Wilma – “synonymous with Tom Stoppard in Philadelphia” (Metro) –is proud to be among the first to bring The Hard Problem to U.S. audiences.

“A rich, ideas-packed work that offers a defense of goodness whatever its ultimate source.” – The Guardian

AN OCTOROON 
by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
directed by Joanna Settle
March 16 – April 10, 2016

Obie Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins takes the plot of Dion Boucicault’s 1859 antebellum melodrama, The Octoroon, and smashes it with a 21st century sensibility. Presented through the eyes of the onstage playwright BJJ, this pre-Civil War tale set in the Deep South tells of a slave owner’s affections for a woman whose blood is one-eighth Black. Ignited by Joanna Settle’s bold direction, the production will feature choreography and original music to create a theatrical event that is equally hilarious and moving, subversive and provocative. The Wilma’s An Octoroon promises to be ripe for audience conversation around race in today’s society, and the role that theater plays with this dialogue.

“This decade’s most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today.” – The New York Times

THE CHRISTIANS
by Lucas Hnath
directed by Timothy Bond
co-produced with Syracuse Stage
May 4 - May 29, 2016

Over the course of two decades, Pastor Paul has turned a modest storefront of a church into a Megachurch complete with a coffee shop and bookstore in the lobby, a congregation of thousands, and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. On the celebratory day that the church’s debts are paid off, he decides to preach a controversial sermon. It shakes the foundation of his church’s beliefs, as well as his marriage, and congregants begin to question his motivations. The Wilma has cultivated a relationship with Syracuse Stage over the past two years, and is thrilled to co-produce The Christians with them in a production that includes a live community choir.

“Mr. Hnath is quickly emerging as one of the brightest new voices of his generation. What’s fresh about his work is how it consistently combines formal invention with intellectual inquiry.” – The New York Times

Special Events

Throughout the season, the Wilma will offer opportunities to attend special chats with members of the artistic team and Onstage Conversations on themes related to the season’s plays. Audience members will be able to take advantage of networking and social events like Beer Tasting Night and Young Friends Night, among others. 

Wilma WynTix, Subscriptions, and Tickets

With the 2015/16 season, The Wilma Theater will continue the bold initiative to make theater affordable and available with Wilma WynTix  – Big Theater. Small Prices. Subsidized tickets by the Wyncote Foundation. All tickets, including subscription tickets, for all days and times throughout the full four-week mainstage run of Wilma productions will be enjoyed by the general public at the subsidized rate of $25 and $10 for students and theater artists. The Wilma will continue to provide the same quality productions and explore the same topical subjects. The only difference is that the barrier of cost will be greatly diminished for those who are on a budget. This initiative is based on the belief that artistic encounters are meant to be experienced by all; that arts organizations have a responsibility and a desire to reach more deeply into Philadelphia communities; that the makeup of Wilma audiences can and should more accurately reflect these communities; and that Wilma productions will continue to represent a range of voices, viewpoints, and styles. Wilma WynTix is a ticket subsidy program made possible by a generous grant from the Wyncote Foundation at the recommendation of Leonard C. Haas.

A four-play subscription will total just $100 for the general public and $40 for students and theater artists. This is the only way to guarantee seats. Subscribers will continue to enjoy the same exchange privileges and restaurant discount benefits. Subscriptions are available by calling 215-546-7824, visiting The Wilma Theater box office located at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia, or online at wilmatheater.org. 

Mission
The Wilma Theater creates living, adventurous art. We engage artists and audiences in imaginative reflection on the complexities of contemporary life. We present bold, original, well-crafted productions that represent a range of voices, viewpoints, and styles.

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