Press Releases

18.19 Season Announcement

March 2018

THE WILMA THEATER Announces its 2018/2019 Season

The season includes a new play from a Philadelphia favorite, a new spin on a cartoon classic, a return to the Bard, and a world premiere play commissioned by The Wilma Theater.

PHILADELPHIA – The Wilma Theater is pleased to announce its upcoming 2018/19 Season. The season will begin in September with Kill Move Paradise by local playwright and Wilma HotHouse Affiliated Artist James Ijames. It will be followed by Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play which will feature the Wilma HotHouse Company of actors. In 2019, the words of William Shakespeare will come back to the Wilma stage with Romeo and Juliet directed by Wilma Artistic Director Blanka Zizka and featuring HotHouse Company members Matteo Scammell and Taysha Marie Canales in the titles roles. The season will conclude with the world premiere of Dionysus Was Such A Nice Man by Kate Tarker, commissioned by The Wilma Theater.

by James Ijames
directed by Blanka Zizka

Isa, Daz, Grif, and Tiny fall into an unfamiliar, strange place where they grapple with their new situation and the violence that ripped them from their former lives. Local playwright James Ijames’ KILL MOVE PARADISE connects the hyper-theatricality of a journey through antic Elysium with the contemporary immediacy of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is a look at these men not as troublemakers but as heroes slain with a story to tell and beautiful beings to be remembered.

“Mr. Ijames, who has said his play is inspired by the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer three years ago, shows his characters trying to find the logic in the senselessness…it radiates an urgent and hypnotic theatrical energy.” – Ben Brantley, THE NEW YORK TIMES

MR. BURNS, a post-electric play
by Anne Washburn
directed by Yury Urnov

It’s the end of everything in contemporary America. A future without power. But what will survive? Food? Batteries? The Simpsons?

MR. BURNS, a post-electric play asks how the stories we tell make us the people we are, explodes the boundaries between pop and high culture and, when society has crumbled, imagines the future for America’s most famous family. The Wilma HotHouse Company takes on Anne Washburn’s eccentric play filled with the comfort of a good story that can only be described as “ex-cellent.”

“When was the last time you met a new play that was so smart it made your head spin?... Mr. Burns has arrived to leave you dizzy with the scope and dazzle of its ideas... with depths of feeling to match its breadth of imagination.” - THE NEW YORK TIMES

by William Shakespeare
directed by Blanka Zizka

Blanka Zizka’s production brings a gutsy and visceral interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragic love story. Taysha Marie Canales and Matteo Scammell lead the Wilma HotHouse Company in this contemporary exploration of biting language and bi-partisan mentality, traditions of an older generation versus the vitality of the younger and unconditional love matched with unforgivable violence.

“[Zizka is] a rigorous director whom actors praise for the expectations she sets and the way she invites them to expand their craft. She’s been at the forefront of the expanding theater scene that, over the decades, has blossomed into a vibrant community.” – WHYY NEWS

by Kate Tarker
directed by Dominique Serrand

In a wind-up toy universe out in the countryside of Corinth, two shepherds and their daughter drunkenly celebrate their son, Oedipus’ ascension to the throne as King of Thebes. But when Oeddie forgets to credit his shepherd parents, the bacchanal takes a darker turn. Filled with flowing wine and falling cows, DIONYSUS WAS SUCH A NICE MAN is a farcical and timely twist on the Oedipus tale.

“With Kate Tarker the American theatre at long last has a woman comedic anarchist, in the company of Jarry, Orton, Durang, Apollinaire!” – Paula Vogel

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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