EgoPo Classic Theater’s ‘The Childrens Hour’
Romeo and Juliet / The Mandrake
Quintessence Theatre Groups fall repertory a rarity in these parts, where most theaters produce one play at a time, not two in rotation balances Shakespeares romantic tragedy with Niccolo Machiavellis Italian sex comedy, translated by Wallace Shawn. Young dynamo Alex Burns directs both, with all the actors doing double-duty.
Romeo and Juliet, Sept. 30-Nov. 7; The Mandrake, Oct. 14-Nov. 8; Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave.; quintessencetheatre.org.
Arden Theatre Company makes a splash with Mary Zimmermans retelling of Ovids classic myths: Director Doug Haras production features a 2,600 gallon pool that represents a magical place where gods and mortals interact. Hara acted in the original Lookingglass Theatre production in Chicago, and has given many fine performances at the Arden.
Oct. 1-Nov. 1, Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St., ardentheatre.org.
The Childrens Hour
EgoPos American Giants season featured only male playwrights, so its only fitting that their sequel season include only women, starting with Lillian Hellmans powerful 1934 tragedy. Guest director Adrienne Mackey (Swim Pony Performing Arts) guides a great cast, including Emilie Krause, Cheryl Williams and Keith Conallen.
Oct. 9-25, EgoPo at the Latvian Society, 531 N. Seventh St., egopo.org.
Tom Reings new island company consistently delivers fascinating new plays from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. While they await construction of their new home, The Drake, they present this spooky Irish comedy by Gillian Grattan featuring Rachel Brodeur, Corinna Burns and Barrymore Award winner Charlie DelMarcelle upstairs at Fergies.
Oct. 7-25, Inis Nua at Fergies Pub, 1214 Sansom St., inisnuatheatre.org.
Ayad Akhtars powerful 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama receives its area premiere from the Philadelphia Theatre Company, and focuses on a Pakistani-American lawyer and his wife. PTC stalwart and Barrymore Award winner Mary B. Robinson directs.
Oct. 9-Nov. 8, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St., philadelphiatheatrecompany.org.
Playwright Bruce Graham has new plays at four area theaters this season, but most eagerly awaited is this Theatre Exile adaptation of ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonios best-seller about infamous Philly mayor Frank Rizzo. Scott Greer plays the title role, and Joe Canuso directs. Expect the shit to hit the fan.
Oct. 15-Nov. 8, Theatre Exile at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St., theatreexile.org.
The Handmaids Tale
Im really excited about Joseph Stollenwerks adaptation of Margaret Atwoods prescient 1985 novel, directed by M. Craig Getting at Curio Theatre Company. Paul Kuhns troupe has successfully staged challenging literature before Kurt Vonneguts Slaughterhouse-Five (2012) and Franz Kafkas The Trial (2008), for example and this one-woman version features Isa St. Clair.
Oct. 15-Nov. 14, Calvary Center, 4740 Baltimore Ave., curiotheatre.org.
All in the Timing
The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium stages a few absurdist classics each season, but also produces smaller-scale shows at LEtage Cabaret, the 50-seat theater above Crêperie Beau Monde where Tina Brocks company premiered nearly a decade ago. This fall, they revive David Ives brilliant collection of six one-acts, including The Philadelphia, which posits that were all prone to capture by anomalous reality pockets named for cities; a Los Angeles can be great, but a Philadelphia Well, at least its not a Cleveland.
Oct. 28-Nov. 7, IRC at LEtage Cabaret, 624 S. Sixth St., idiopathicridiculopathyconsortium.org.
Lights Rise on Grace
Azuka Theatre Company has joined the National New Play Network, which provides Chad Beckims New York Fringe hit about race, sex and family for a rolling world premiere, meaning that several companies around the country will produce it this season.
Nov. 4-22, Azuka at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., azukatheatre.org.
Also in the Fall Arts Guide our picks for the upcoming season in: