The Wilma Theater presents

Heroes of the Fourth Turning

by Will Arbery
directed by Blanka Zizka

Production Designer: Matt Saunders 
Director of Photography/Editor: Jorge Cousineau
Sound Designer/Mix Engineer: Christopher Colucci
Costume Designer: Vasilija Zivanic

Stage Manager: Patreshettarlini Adams 
Assistant Director of Photography: Taj Rauch
Sound Engineer: Joe Samala
Wardrobe Supervisor: Morgan Porter 
COVID Officer: Missy Furth
Fight Consultant: Eli Lynn
Producer: Kellie Mecleary


TERESA: Sarah Gliko
KEVIN: Justin Jain
JUSTIN: Jered McLenigan
EMILY: Campbell O’Hare 
GINA: Mary Elizabeth Scallen



A town of 7,000 in western Wyoming.


August 19, 2017

Two days before the solar eclipse.

One week after the Charlottesville riot.

The night of Gina’s inauguration as president of Transfiguration College of Wyoming.



Lead Artistic Director, 2020-21 Season: Yury Urnov
Co-Artistic Directors: Morgan Green, James Ijames, Blanka Zizka
Managing Director: Leigh Goldenberg


Honorary Producers

Herman and Helen Fala
Linda and David Glickstein
Mari Shaw


Special thanks to SAG-AFTRA


Heroes of the Fourth Turning is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Playwrights Horizons, Inc., New York City, produced the World Premiere of Heroes of the Fourth Turning in 2019

Heroes of the Fourth Turning was developed by The Cape Cod Theatre Project, Hal Brooks, Artistic Director

Written by Townes Van Zandt
©1970, JTVZ Music (ASCAP), Katie Bell Music (ASCAP), Will Van Zandt Publishing (ASCAP)


Captured digitally as a site-specific production, created in a closed quarantine “bubble” at a private location in the Poconos, following strict health guidelines. 


We acknowledge that our theatre is located on land that is not ours. We acknowledge that the Lenni Lenape people are the original people of this land and that they continue to be a vibrant community.

We acknowledge that we benefit from systems that are rooted in capital created and expanded by the free labor of Black people, in the form of chattel slavery and legal and cultural segregation. We stand in solidarity with Black people in fierce advocacy for equality and justice.​





Mary Elizabeth Scallen—who goes by MB—serves as both performer and researcher for ‘Heroes of the Fourth Turning.’ In the midst of rehearsal, she penned the following in response to the play’s characters and ideas.

In this beautifully written, compelling work
Playwright Will Arbery acts as


Four young friends shaped by a strict Catholic college reunite after years in the secular world
But things have changed
As they wrestle with demons
                                    Metaphoric and not
Arbery exposes the thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and fears
On which fanatics and doubters rely
The whip-smart debate
      And horrifies

But Arbery’s most shocking move in the course of the play
      A radical act
Is to humanize American religious conservatives  


Let’s consider how polarization
Prompts each side to other the other
And stop their own ears

If I, as a leftist, engage with a right-winger’s argument
I fear that I’m
     Dignifying haters
     Elevating lies
     Polluting myself
Or simply wasting time better spent doing any small good

How can I listen when there’s so much to protect?
I foresee
The tabernacle armoring my softest hidden hope
                                                              My good
      Spattered with the spume of beasts

So heresy—no wonder—to acknowledge and receive


Arbery’s play features crisp, smart writing 
Fiery minds that snap at big ideas
Deep, mercurial characters who listen really listen to what they don’t want to hear
It’s a fugue for five voices, a crush
A thrilling rush of fast water

But for me, the remarkable part
Is the humanness of these conservative Catholics
      They question and hope and fight like I do      
And though I cannot agree neither can I deny
                                                            They are no more ‘other’ than I

They remind me that a true Church and a true Republic
Are made of people people people
Who long for
                  And love
Who seek homes for their bodies and homes for their souls

Don’t we all yearn for a real home



Arbery’s HEROES—the brazen opposition—
With searching hearts, hungry minds, and incendiary thoughts
Wander the road with the rest of us
     Achingly real

Doing their best before darkness falls

     To just come home



Fat Ham playwright and Co-Artistic Director James Ijames




The ghost of Juicy’s dad haunts him and asks for revenge – on Juicy’s uncle, who has now married his widowed mom. Sound familiar? Yes, but … 

This contemporary adaption of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, set on a pig farm in the American South, explores big issues (like toxic masculinity and cycles of violence) with a light touch. Fat Ham is the latest from award-winning playwright and Wilma Co-Artistic Director James Ijames (Kill Move Paradise).




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If your name has been omitted or misprinted, please accept our apologies and kindly notify us by contacting the Development Department at 215-893-9456 x108.

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Lead Artistic Director2020-21 SeasonYury Urnov
Co-Artistic Directors: James IjamesMorgan Greenand Blanka Zizka
Managing Director: Leigh Goldenberg


Producing DirectorKellie Mecleary
HotHouse Company: Ross BeschlerTaysha Marie CanalesKeith ConallenMelanye FinisterSarah GlikoSuli HolumJustin JainAnthony Martinez-BriggsJered McLeniganCampbell O’Hare, Jaylene Clark OwensBrandon Pierce, Steven RishardBrett Ashley RobinsonMatteo ScammellLindsay Smiling
Artistic and Education Associate: Briana Gause
Literary and Artistic Intern: Hanna Yurfest


Education DirectorAnne K. Holmes
Education AssistantRachel Beecher
Teaching Artists: Ezra Ali-Dow, Rachel Beecher, Jake Blouch, Taysha Marie Canales, Madeline Charne, Jess Conda, Elaina DiMonaco, Kirstie Floyd, Briana Gause, Nick Hatcher, Danielle Lenee Thomas, Donovan Lockett, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Lee Minora, Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez, Campbell O’Hare, Taj Rauch, Scott Sheppard, Arielle Silar, Devon Sinclair, Josh Totora, Sisi Wright

Portable Studio Program

Program DirectorLee Ann Etzold
Program Coordinator: Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez
Portable Studio Artists: Patreshettarlini Adams, Ezra J. Ali-Dow, Nick Hatcher, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Lillian Ransijn, Bethlehem Roberson


Individual Giving ManagerRachel Spause
Institutional Giving ManagerAlix Rosenfeld
Project CoordinatorCasey Berner


Marketing DirectorBill D’Agostino
Marketing AssociateAlyssa Cole
Visual Communications ManagerKristin Finger
Publicist: Bryan Buttler


Business ManagerLesley Katz
Associate Business ManagerSisi Wright


Production ManagerChris Nelson
Associate Production and Facilities ManagerChelsea Sanz
Resident Stage ManagerPatreshettarlini Adams
Technical DirectorMatt Zumbo
Master ElectricianMichael Hamlet
Head Carpenter: Benjamin Henry

Box Office

Box Office ManagerJames Specht
Assistant Box Office ManagerSarah Blask




Wray Broughton, Chair
Katherine Kelton, Vice Chair
Clare D’Agostino, Secretary

Board Members

Daniel Berger
Mark S. Dichter, Former Chair
Herman C. Fala, Former Chair
Linda Glickstein
Jerry Goldberg
Peggy Greenawalt, Former Chair
Jeff Harbison, Former Chair
Jane Hollingsworth
Cindy Lewis
Lewis H. Johnston, Former Chair
David E. Loder, Former Chair
Thomas Mahoney
Donald F. Parman
John D. Rollins, Former Chair
Tim Sabol
Ellen B. Solms
A.E. (Ted) Wolf, Former Chair


Leigh Goldenberg
Morgan Green
James Ijames
Yury Urnov
Blanka Zizka  


Harvey Kimmel   
Sissie Lipton
James F. McGillin
Dianne Semingson
Mari Shaw,
Former Chair
Evelyn G. Spritz
David U’Prichard, Former Chair
Dr. R. J. Wallner
Jeanne P. Wrobleski

Wilma HotHouse Company

Wilma HotHouse is, at its heart, Wilma’s investment in the artistic community of Philadelphia. It serves as the central vehicle to bring our work to audiences. Launched in 2016, Wilma HotHouse has become an incubator for artists, artistic exploration, learning, and practice; allowing us to dive more deeply into new projects and develop them over longer periods of time. The core group of actors performing on our stage are members of Wilma Hothouse.