15th Anniversary Season Includes Two Philadelphia Premieres
Curio Theatre Company announces its 2019-2020 season, marking its 15th anniversary making affordable, accessible, and professional theatre in West Philadelphia. For this historic season, Curio is presenting a year of comedies — including a Charles Ludlam stage classic and two highly anticipated Philadelphia premieres. The company is also extending its CuriosiTix — PLAY it Forward initiative from last season to the upcoming spring show, which allows patrons to see professional theatre in their neighborhood for a pay-what-you-can ticket price.
Tickets are available online at www.curiotheatre.org by phone at 215-921-8243. All shows are performed at Curio’s home theatre inside the Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Avenue.
The season opens with Charles Ludlam’s madcap quick-change extravaganza The Mystery of Irma Vep. Artistic director and Curio co-founder Paul Kuhn is set to co-star in this biting satire that will give select ticket holders a chance to watch the farce in three acts first in the audience and then backstage as witness to the behind-the-scenes antics.
Amy Conroy’s I ♥ Alice ♥ I, a beautiful and funny love story between two women, both named Alice makes its Philadelphia premiere in February.
And finally, the season will close with another local premiere that celebrates the very nature of live theatre and what can happen on stage — Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Everybody. This 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist and modern riff on the fifteenth-century play Everyman will be pay-what-you-can, as part of the CuriosiTix initiative.
“Fun, joy, and laughter — that was our goal for our fifteenth season and we’ve found it,” said Artistic Director and co-founder Paul Kuhn. “Laugh yourself to oblivion with The Mystery of Irma Vep. Experience the joy of absolute love in I ♥ Alice ♥ I. And finally, let’s have a barrel of fun riffing on the afterlife with Everybody! While we can’t take a day off from the conveyor belt of world events, why not take a night off?”
About the Season
The Mystery of Irma Vep — A Penny Dreadful
By Charles Ludlam
Directed by Steve Wright
October 30-November 23
Opening Night: Saturday, November 2 at 8 p.m.
This definitive spoof of Gothic melodramas, recently revived off-Broadway to raves, is a quick-change marathon in which two actors play all of the roles. A sympathetic werewolf, a vampire and an Egyptian princess are brought to life when her tomb is opened in this a comedy with everything and literally everyone. Curio Artistic Director and co-founder Paul Kuhn is set to star in this hilarious farce.
I ♥ Alice ♥ I
by Amy Conroy
Directed by Gay Carducci
February 5-February 29
Opening Night: February 8 at 8 p.m.
Two exceptional, opinionated women are spotted kissing each other in Dublin’s Crumlin Shopping Centre in this surprisingly funny and heartfelt new work. Now they’re in a show … reluctantly. Defying stereotypes, they’re here to share with the audience something they’ve never dared show before. They are very nervous. And it shows. This is a beautiful love story about two women called Alice. Company members Trice Baldwin Browns and Aetna Gallagher are slated to star in this beautiful new work from Ireland.
by Brenden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Liz Carlson Guerin
April 22-May 16
Opening Night: Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m.
This modern riff on the fifteenth-century play Everyman, from the writer of An Octoroon, follows a handful of Somebodys who journey through life’s greatest mystery — death. This smart and hilarious new work is a theatrical marathon as each actor playing a Somebody has to learn all of the Someboy’s roles. At each performance, each actor draws which Somebody they are playing before the show. Everybody is part of Curio’s CuriosiTix — PLAY it Forward initiative to provide quality theatre programming at a fraction of the cost to patrons who wouldn’t ordinarily see live theatre in Philadelphia. Tickets will be sold online and at the box office for a pay-what-you-can ticket price.
A finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, this show has been lauded as “unlike anything you might have seen … unusual, unconventional and eye-opening” —Huffington Post. “…[a] very meta and saucy adaptation…” —Time Out NY. “Everybody fills the heart in a new and unexpected way.” —The New Yorker.
About Curio Theatre Company
Curio Theatre Company’s mission is to serve audiences in West Philadelphia and beyond with high quality, affordable theatre performances; to develop artistic talent through ensemble, company -based training and rehearsal processes; and to further academic, social, and personal development through arts education. The artistic and the educational arms of the theatre company are intertwined as we make our home in the diverse community of West Philadelphia. The company’s Educational program was awarded the 2017 Victory Theatre Education Award at the Barrymore Awards Ceremony. It marked the company’s first Barrymore Award. Curio Theatre Company is a 501(c)3 non-profit company based in West Philadelphia. The Company was founded by professional artists and administrators who met at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, PA, and incorporated as a non-profit in 2004. After touring locally and internationally for several years, the company began a search for a permanent home. In January 2005, Curio Theatre Company joined in partnership with the Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. This partnership provides Curio with a performance venue and classrooms within the Calvary Center as well as office space and company housing in the adjacent parish house. In return Curio is assisting the Calvary Center in creating a professional Performing Arts Venue in the heart of West Philadelphia.