Highlights include J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World and a Synge Festival,
The Dreams and Madness Repertory, and Angelina Weld Grimké’s RACHEL.
For the holidays, audiences will fall in love with a unique adaptation of THE WIZARD OF OZ.
Quintessence Theatre Group, a professional theatre company located in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, turns ten years old during the 2019-20 season. The company is celebrating with a series of programming that highlights the magic and dreams of the theatre in a season that features a span of work unlike anything that Quintessence has produced before. Subscriptions are currently available.
Season X, or The Magic and Dreams Season, kicks off with The Playboy of the Western World and a Synge Festival, from September 16 – October 27, 2019. In celebration of one of Ireland’s finest writers, Quintessence Theatre will present the complete works of J.M. Synge in performance and recitation, including his most famous work, The Playboy of the Western World. In addition, Quintessence will stage The Synge Triptych, where three of Synge’s celebrated short plays will be performed in one evening. “In the Shadow of the Glen.” “The Tinker’s Wedding,” and “Riders to the Sea” will be presented in the spirited production. Following each performance there will be special “Pint and a Poem” gathering in which Synge’s poetry will be recited and Irish stout will be served, and on festival weekends the company will present readings of Synge’s other plays: “The Well of Saints” and the unfinished “Deirdre of the Sorrows.”
For the holiday season, L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz will arrive at Quintessence from November 27 – December 29, 2019. Swept away from her Kansas farm by a cyclone, Dorothy lands in Oz and on top of an evil witch. An epic adventure ensues as Dorothy tries to find the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and convince him to show her the way back to Kansas. Quintessence’s production will explore L. Frank Baum’s fantasia as political allegory and transform the Sedgwick Theater into an Oz you’ll never forget.
In the new year, Quintessence will explore Angelina Weld Grimké’s Rachel. Running January 29 – February 16, 2020, Grimké’s American classic depicts an African-American family at the turn of the 20th century striving to find life, liberty, and happiness in a Northern city. Haunted by her family’s Southern past, Rachel, an ambitious high-school graduate, struggles to find a vocation, love and hope in the face of systemic racism, ultimately choosing to reject marriage and motherhood. Inspired by the writing of Chekhov, Grimké’s Rachel opened in New York on April 25, 1917, and was the first play by an African-American author with an all-black cast to be performed before an integrated audience.
In the spring of 2020, Quintessence will present its first three-show repertory. Each play explores the danger of love, the difference between dreams and madness, and the destructive power of authority and government. Aptly titled The Dreams and Madness Repertory, the productions will run March 25 – May 10, 2020. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s most beloved comedy, starts the rep, featuring romance, fantasy, and soaring poetry. It will be followed by Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Life Is a Dream. Barca’s Spanish Golden Age existential political thriller explores the nature versus nurture paradigm and the connection between reality and our hopes and dreams. It concludes with Albert Camus’ Caligula, a humorous and philosophically explosive exposé of political science and the dangers of absolute power.
Subscriptions are currently on sale by visiting quintessencetheatre.org. Single tickets go on sale Monday, August 12. Full details on the season are below.
Quintessence Theatre Group presents
Season X: The Magic And Dreams Season
The Synge Festival, September 16 to October 17, 2019
The Wizard of Oz, November 27 to December 29, 2019
Rachel, January 29 to February 16, 2020
The Dreams and Madness Repertory, March 25 to May 10, 2020
Performed at The Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119