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Touchstone's annual showcase performance of exceptional, original plays written by Lehigh Valley students during the theatre's Young Playwrights' Lab. At the Festival, celebrate the creative spark that burns within these students, as you witness their words brought to life in truly Touchstone style, with a slew of professional and community artists. Then, help us foster that spark at the Gala, where monies raised support the Young Playwrights' Lab in the following school year. Festivities are held at Zoellner Arts Center.
Join us before the show for a family friendly preshow party with snacks, basket raffle, and a chance to meet the playwrights!
American Canvas tells the fascinating story of Philadelphia painter Thomas Eakins through his personal relationships and in the subjects he so carefully studied and rendered – all taking place in a country fresh from war, on the cusp of a new age of industry, and in the middle of a shift in social attitudes.
Leapin' lizards! Celebrate the holiday season with one of the world's best-loved musicals! Annie is a spunky orphan in 1930s New York City determined to find her parents. In one adventure after another, she foils Miss Hannigan's evil schemes, befriends President Roosevelt, and finds a new home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. This Tony Award-winning musical for the entire family features some of the greatest musical theater songs ever written, including "It's the Hard-Knock Life," "Easy Street," and "Tomorrow," an enduring anthem of optimism.
Adapted from the classic children's book series by Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Berenstain Bears LIVE! brings everyone's favorite bear family to life in a thrilling theatrical experience that kids as well as their parents will treasure for many years to come. As always, Bear Country is not without its complications: Brother Bear's grades are slipping, Sister Bear still has a few things to learn about making new friends, and Papa Bear just can't stop eating junk food. Thankfully, we can always depend on Mama Bear and her loving patience to help set things right. The Berenstain Bears LIVE! will give boys and girls of all ages the chance to fall in love with these characters, just as their parents did when they were growing up.
Vanessa Williams, the Grammy Award-, Emmy Award-, and Tony Award-nominated superstar, makes her Broadway Up Close concert series debut. SiriusXM radio personality Seth Rudetsky costars as pianist and host. Other stars appearing in the series this season will be Tony Award winners Alice Ripley (Next to Normal) and Chita Rivera.
What differentiates Broadway Up Close from other concert series is its mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories from Broadway's biggest stars — prompted by Rudetsky's probing, funny, revealing questions — and their stellar singing of musical theater repertoire.
It's Big Daddy's birthday and no one's talking about what's really going on - except Maggie the Cat, who wants the truth at all costs. Written by Tennessee Williams.
What's holy in our lives - church, spirituality, music, or football? How about activism, veganism… Star Trek fandom? Emma Chong walks a labyrinthine pilgrimage in this one-woman show about the things we hold sacred, the lengths to which we go for them, and the souvenirs we pick up along the way.
There will be brief post-show talkbacks following each performance.
Famine threatens the city of Rome and the people's hunger swells to an appetite for political change. A war hero from a powerful family, Coriolanus seems certain to be elected to the city's governing Consul, but the people find his pride an unforgivable insult, exploding the long-simmering tensions between the elite few who defend and rule and the deprived masses. A timely portrayal of a fractured state and the ambitions of those causing its demise, Coriolanus is a story of radical class division and a compelling psychological portrait of both the title character himself and his politically savvy mother, Volumnia, played by internationally acclaimed actress, director, and author Tina Packer.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a Tony Award-winning play by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon's best-selling novel and directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott. Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion of killing his neighbor's dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.
A seven-time Tony Award-winning musical, Evita captures the complexity of an illegitimate child who came to be "the spiritual leader of the nation" and one of history's most dramatic figures. The show's dazzling score, influenced by pop, jazz, and Latin music, is filled with showstopping numbers, including "Don't Cry for Me Argentina."
A one-of-a-kind peek into the creative process of original theatre making. Experience solo and ensemble-based works in progress, created by Touchstone's 2016-2017 apprentices with the guidance of the Touchstone family. Always fresh, sometimes provocative, never ordinary.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a nonstop laugh-fest in which Pseudolus, a crafty slave, struggles to win the hand of a beautiful but slow-witted courtesan named Philia for his young master, Hero, in exchange for freedom. The plot twists and turns with cases of mistaken identity, slamming doors, and a bevy of beautiful showgirls.
On a Southern porch in a small town in Alabama, two friends get together again. He is an internationally renowned author, embarking on an adventurous new idea for his next novel. He cannot do it alone. She is a talented writer, secure in the quiet safety of home, unable to bring her story to life. They have each other and they have a gift. Fact and fiction may lie beneath the truth. What is the secret of the Mockingbird? When these two writers join forces, each becomes whole and The Gift finds a place in history for them both. The World Premiere was at the Walnut in 1998!
A Founding Father, a Victorian literary celebrity, and a Russian aristocrat-anarchist walk into a — no, it's not the start of an old joke, but of a provocative new comedy that sets three of the world's greatest thinkers against each other in a battle of wits and wills. Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Leo Tolstoy find themselves locked in a room that seems to have no exit. Attempting an escape, they ransack the philosophies of their lives and work, searching for a truth that will set them free. But tempers flare, accusations fly, and they start behaving more like the Marx Brothers than brothers in arms. From playwright and former stand-up comedian Scott Carter (writer of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher), this whip-smart comedy examines what happens when great men of history are forced to repeat it.
Come and participate in two hours of continuous dance/movement improvisation with live music. Leaders Manfred Fischbeck and Brigitta Herrmann guide the group through a series of movement meditations, improvisational structures and games to inspire spontaneous self-expression and collective creation. All of these allow for new and spontaneous explorations of the mind and body in relation to oneself, space, others, and sound.
Five-time Barrymore Award winner Mary Martello comes to the Arden stage as the indomitable Mama Rose. Set in the fading days of the vaudeville circuit, Gypsy features a legendary score that includes "Let Me Entertain You," "Together, Wherever We Go," and "Everything's Coming Up Roses." One of Philadelphia's greatest actresses takes on Mama Rose – this promises to be a not-to-be-missed event!
After 62 consecutive years and more than 2,200 performance, Mark Twain Tonight! has not stopped evolving. In this one man show, Hal Holbrook depicts the famous writer, reciting excerpts from more than fifteen hours of favorite Twain selections, cutting through today's chorus of opinions with a voice soaked in humor and history as it happened over a century ago.
Holbrook has aged but his Mark Twain has not. The show was developed in a Greenwich Village nightclub in 1956, landed on the Ed Sullivan show and opened off-Broadway in 1959 with an unknown actor never before seen on a New York stage. In 1966, Holbrook won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Twain in the show, a role he continues to tour today at 91 years old.
The good children of Cypress, Texas, are taught to obey the Bible in order to evade Satan's hand. But when students at the Christian Puppet Ministry put those teachings into practice, one devout young man's puppet takes on a shocking personality that no one could have expected. In this hilarious and lightning-paced comedy, a foulmouthed sock puppet named Tyrone soon teaches those around him that the urges that can drive a person to give in to their darkest desires fit like a glove.
Winner of over 20 Best Play awards in 2016, including the Tony Award!
After a restless night, Erik Blake has brought his family from Pennsylvania to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter's new apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the crumbling pre-war duplex, mysterious things go bump in the night, and family tensions reach a boiling point. The angst, anguish, and amity of the American middle class are first coaxed — then shoved — into the light in this sidesplitting, hopeful, and heartbreaking play.
You can never be too (two) Earnest. The results would be a world filled with chaos, mistaken identity and uncontrollable laughter! But when you're Wilde, you have to take that chance. The Importance Of Being Earnest tells the story of two bachelor friends, dandy Algernon Moncrieff and reliable John (Jack) Worthing, as they take on double lives to court the attentions of the desirable Gwendolyn Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. But the gallants must then grapple with the uproarious consequences of their ruse… and with the formidable Lady Bracknell. Oscar Wilde's much loved and exhilarating masterpiece, with its high comedy and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance Of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play.
Spend an evening with the music of Jerry Herman and you too will cheer for Broadway's electrifying tribute to this all-American master of song. Taking center stage are some of Broadway's best musicals, including Hello Dolly!, Mame, Mack and Mabel, Dear World and La Cage Aux Folles. Jerry's Girls celebrates glamour, optimism, love, melody and women! The all-female cast reminds us how Jerry Herman has given voice to some of Broadway's biggest legends, with his unique ability to write comedy, ballads and show-stoppers. He's won multiple Tony, Grammy, Olivier and Drama Desk Awards but, first and foremost, he's also won our heart!
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, which changed the face of musical theater when it debuted on Broadway in 1971, is a remarkable retelling of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth as seen through the eyes of his betrayer, Judas Iscariot. This powerful musical, filled with emotional intensity and explosive theatricality, features chart-topping songs such as "Everything's Alright," "I Don't Know How to Love Him," "Gethsemane," and the high-octane title song. See the groundbreaking rock opera that reinvented musical theater for the modern age!
A young couple arrives at a bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, looking to spend a weekend visiting the historical sites of the famous battlefields. They are welcomed by a cheerful innkeeper into a home filled with tchotchkes, dolls, and other ghosts of the past. John is a beautiful and moving new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker about spirituality, relationships, and other scary stories.
Junie B. is one busy first grader. Between new friends, getting glasses and not being allowed to play in the kickball tournament, there's a lot going on! Good thing she's sharing her "Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal." Kids love this funny and colorful musical!
Neil Simon, America's most popular playwright, gives a peek into the writer's room of a hit 1950s television show in Laughter on the 23rd Floor. People everywhere gather around the TV each week to watch their favorite comedian, Max Prince. He's loud, brash, and larger than life. His temper tantrums and one-liners have the power to make careers or make misery for the writers working around him. The network censors want to change the show to make it more "advertiser friendly." But messing with Max can only mean the jokes and jabs will get funnier and wilder in an uncertain future as the world of television heads for change.
Based on a Scottish legend by George MacDonald, this new musical tells the story of a teenager who has no gravity of any kind – in addition to having no feelings for others she floats in the air, unable to ever touch the ground. Filled with wonderful characters and a beguiling score, this enchanting, clever and wickedly funny new musical will delight kids and parents alike.
Put on your platform shoes, your feather boas, and get ready for one of the most popular musicals of all time: Mamma Mia! On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The storytelling magic of ABBA's songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter, and friendship. This production includes ABBA's greatest hits, among them "Super Trouper," "Lay All Your Love on Me," "Dancing Queen," "Waterloo," and more! Over 60 million people around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story, and the music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good musical!
A Midsummer Night's Dream is Shakespeare's most beloved comedy. In it, an enchanted forest becomes the perfect setting for the follies and foibles of fairies, humans, and amateur actors putting on a play. The Arden is known for accessible Shakespeare, and this new and vibrant interpretation, stacked with Philadelphia's brightest young talent, promises to engage and delight all ages.
Sweet Miss Nelson has some very naughty students in Room 207. Well, Miss Nelson has had enough! When Miss Viola Swamp – the worst substitute ever – takes her place, the students of Room 207 vow to find Miss Nelson. Hopefully they will find her before it's too late – for them! Based on the books by Harry Allard, this lighthearted musical reminds us all to show respect and appreciation to those we value.
Brace yourself for comic chaos with Noises Off, the rip-roaring play within a play. The opening night performance of the farce Nothing On is just hours away, and as the actors stumble through their final dress rehearsal, things couldn't be going any worse. With lines being forgotten, love triangles unraveling, and sardines flying everywhere, it's complete pandemonium...and we haven't even reached intermission! Can the cast members pull their act together on the stage even if they can't behind the scenes?
R.U.R. is a science fiction play from 1920. In it, a robot rebellion threatens the existence of the human race. Written by Karel Capek, R.U.R. introduced the term "robots" to the world. The Insect Play, also by Capek, explores the cycle of life from birth to maturity to reproduction to death. Both works have been adapted by James Guckin.
Put on your "Boogie Shoes" for Saturday Night Fever, one of the most loved dance stories of all time! The year is 1979 and in Brooklyn, New York, Tony Manero, a young man with a dead-end job and an extraordinary ability to dance, has only one ambition in life - to become the disco king. When he meets Stephanie, who also dreams of a world beyond Brooklyn, they decide to train together for a dance competition and their lives begin to change forever. Based on the 1977 film that became a cultural phenomenon, the electrifying score is packed with legendary hits from The Bee Gees including the classics: "Stayin' Alive," "Night Fever," "Jive Talking," "You Should Be Dancing" and "How Deep is Your Love?"
Skippyjon Jones is a little kitten with big ears and even bigger dreams! He longs to be someone different, so he transforms himself into Skippito Friskito, the greatest canine sword fighter in old Mexico. But when Skippyjon is challenged, will he be a 'fraidy-cat' or the top dog?
The songs of legendary hitmakers Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber come to life in Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Music of Leiber and Stoller, a rock-and-roll musical revue. Packed with memorable tunes such as "Hound Dog," "Love Potion #9," "On Broadway," and "Stand by Me," Smokey Joe's Cafe is the longest-running revue in Broadway history.
Dinosaurs, aliens, and bears oh my! Sword of the Unicorn at the Drake Theater will blow your mind with pure awesomeness. The dark dragon rules over the cosmos. Travel through space, fight mythical beasts, and clam the a weapon of ultimate power. This scifi fantasy epic will compel you in ways you never felt possible.
Uncle Vanya, by Anton Chekhov, is an examination of humor, hope and loss: loss of love, of ambition, of ideals, and of illusions. Vanya and his niece Sonya have toiled for years to keep the family estate going. Sonya's father, Professor Serebryakov, and his dazzling young wife Yelena return for a visit, and all old resentments explode and secret longings come to light. Though the play is over a hundred years old, Uncle Vanya probes at timeless questions of human nature and reminds us that Chekhov's understanding of them is as acute as ever.
Leonard stands accused of murder and his wife can prove his innocence. But when she takes the stand, she shockingly denies his alibi. In true Agatha Christie form, audiences can expect twists and turns, emotional outbursts, and quirky characters as his lawyers untangle the truth in this vintage "whodunit" that keeps the audience guessing until the very last scene. After all, they don't call Agatha Christie the Queen of Crime for nothing!