Quintessence Theatre Group presents Rutherford and Son as part of the “Shout into the Void” Virtual Play Reading Festival

Githa Sowerby’s classic is available to watch October 12 – 16

Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia’s professional classic repertory theatre, is set to livestream Shout into the Void: A Virtual Play Reading Festival starting October 12. During the festival, a different classic play reading will be presented each Monday at 7:00pm EST and its recording will be available through the following Friday, allowing audience members to choose when they watch. All tickets include a digital program with interviews, articles, and other supplementary materials to enhance the viewing experience.

The Shout into the Void festival kicks off with Githa Sowerby’s Rutherford and Son, streaming October 12 at 7:00pm EST. Written in 1912 during the British feminist movement, Rutherford and Son is a sharp critique of the patriarchal Northern England industrial system. Tyrannical capitalist John Rutherford runs his family and his glass factory with an iron fist. As winter sets in and the business begins to falter, Rutherford systematically alienates both his children and his workers. When the dust settles, there is only his daughter-in-law Mary left to save the business and break the cycle of abuse. Named one of the “100 plays of the century” by the Royal National Theatre, Githa Sowerby’s seldom-produced classic is a powerful exploration of class and gender expectations in revolutionary times.

“I am very excited to be working with Quintessence as they persevere to tell stories and offer theater in this new way,” says director Emily Trask. “Sowerby’s Rutherford and Son is a remarkable study of class and gender politics at a time when both were at a boiling point in their history.  Although written over 100 years ago, this resonates deeply today when we seem to be at another boiling point in history around very similar issues.”


Single tickets to Rutherford and Son and discounted full festival passes are available, visit www.QTGrep.org or call 215.987.4450 to purchase. This festival is a fundraising event for Quintessence Theatre, so all ticket purchases are considered tax-deductible donations.


Titles for the rest of the festival’s run will be announced on a rolling basis. Scheduled to be presented during the run-up to this year’s election, each reading will feature an enduring classic that explores power, politics, and prejudice in ways that provide penetrative contemporary insight. To get the latest information on title announcements, follow Quintessence on social media or sign up for their email newsletter at www.QTGrep.org.


“Since Ancient Greece, the theatre has been an essential space for society to gather and debate the moral and ethical issues of the day. While our physical theatre remains closed due to COVID-19, we will gather virtually with a group of world class artists to reignite four classic plays which are as relevant and revolutionary today as when they were first performed,” said Quintessence Artistic Director Alexander Burns.

Founded in 2009, award-winning Quintessence Theatre Group uses the classics to explore the fundamental question of what it is to be human in today’s world. Through intimate, visceral, and innovative productions of epic theatre, Quintessence pursues its vision to become the Delaware Valley’s center for progressive humanism and an engine for radical empathy through the classics.

Quintessence’s home is the historic Sedgwick Theater, an Art Deco movie palace designed in 1928 by William Lee and located in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia.



Virtual tickets are available for Rutherford and Son for $10. 

Passes with virtual access to the entire festival are available for $30.


EDUCATIONAL PACKAGES: Special rates are available for teachers to purchase ticket packages for classes or other student groups. For information on educational group sales, please call 215.987.4450, Ext. 1, or email BoxOffice@QTGrep.org


We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions:


through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear as part of the Shout into the Void Virtual Play Reading Festival.



7058 Germantown Avenue, Suite 202, Philadelphia, PA 19119




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