FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 12, 2013
ONE DAY â€“ ONE YOUNG IRISHMAN'S HEARTWARMING, EMOTIONAL ADVENTURE
PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! Kicks Off Asolo Repertory Theatreâ€™s 2013-14 Rep Season
â€œIn Philadelphia, Here I Come! Friel understands perfectly the ways the heart leaps and lurches . . . The language is as beautiful as any being spoken on a stage today." â€“ The New York Times
â€œWhile on one level it's about the myriad and confusing ways the past and present continually inform each other, it's even more basically a bittersweet love letter to the joys and pains of growing up and moving away.â€ â€“ Talkinbroadway.com
(SARASOTA, December 12, 2013) â€” Asolo Repertory Theatre opens its 2013-14 rep season with PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! Directed by Academy Award nominee and two-time Tony Award winner Frank Galati, previews for the show will be held January 7 â€“ 9 and the production will run from January 10 â€“ April 12.
Hailed as one of the best playwrights in the English language, Brian Friel's first great play tells the humorous and touching story of a young man embarking on a new life, struggling to find the strength to leave. As 25-year-old Gareth "Gar" Oâ€™Donnell prepares to move from Ballybeg, Ireland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to pursue his American dream, he is plagued by his relationship with his uncommunicative and emotionally unavailable father. Gar must also say goodbye to Kate Doogan â€“ his great love who he regrettably let slip through his fingers. Above all, he is challenged by one simple question
â€“ does he truly want to leave his home?
PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! examines the dynamic relationship between Public and Private Gar â€“ played on stage by two different actors. Friel brilliantly pours life into Gar's subconscious in the form of Private Gar, whose character serves as the vehicle for his counterpartâ€™s secret insecurities, hopes and dreams. On the eve of Public Gar's departure, he and his spirited alter-ego reminisce about the life and people, from childhood buddies to his beloved family housekeeper, they will have to leave behind.
â€œThis brilliant, touching and funny story is about an Irish boy named Gareth who has immense difficulty expressing himself but must say goodbye to everything and everyone he knows and loves,â€ said Michael Donald Edwards, Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Rep. â€œFor Gar, Philadelphia represents a true opportunity, a new life, and freedom from his very confining world. The play takes place over the course of one day, and in that time we inhabit the Irish cultural universe that Gar will bring to his new American world."
â€œGarâ€™s pursuit of the American Dream illuminates the aspirations and sacrifices of millions of immigrants,â€ said Frank Galati. â€œThis tale of longing and hoping for a new life reflects so many of our parentsâ€™, grandparentsâ€™ and great grandparentsâ€™ journeys â€“ generations of people who created the foundation of the American Character.â€
PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! continues the second season of Asolo Repâ€™s exciting five-year American Character Project, which explores this country's social, cultural and historical facets. Since its 1966 Broadway premiere and subsequent Tony nominations for best play, best actor, and more, this timeless story of voyaging outside of what is familiar and safe continues to impact audiences worldwide.
(In order of appearance)
Amanda Lynn Mullen
J. Kenneth Campbell*
Ben Burton/Canon O'Byrne
*Members of Actorsâ€™ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
+Appears courtesy of Actorsâ€™ Equity Association.
SPECIAL PUBLIC PROGRAMMING
Inside Asolo Rep
Wednesday, January 29 at 11am
Asolo Rep's Cook Theatre
Asolo Repâ€™s Dramaturg and Literary Manager Lauryn Sasso will lead this special, in-depth discussion featuring director Frank Galati and other creative artists from the production. Come get a unique perspective on the making of Asolo Repâ€™s PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! Tickets for this insightful behind-the-scenes event are $5 for the general public and free for Asolo Rep donors and Guild members and are available at Asolo Rep's Box Office or at www.asolorep.org.
Discussion Series: Connecting Great Artists to Great Audiences
Tuesday Talkbacks: Share an intimate discussion on the themes of the play following Tuesday night performances.
- Feburary 4 and March 25 following the 7:30pm performance
Meet the Actors: After select Sunday matinee performances, join the cast for a special moderated talkback.
- February 9, March 16 following the 2pm performance
Pre-Show Conversations: A half hour before select performances, speak with Asolo Rep artists and staff to gain insight into the playâ€™s development and explore its themes.
- Thursday, February 13 at 7:30pm prior to 8pm performance
Before and after select performances of PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME!
we will gather to share personal stories of immigration and searching for home. If you have a story to share, or would like to hear stories from others, please join the conversation. Your thoughts could inform this yearâ€™s Faces of Change, a documentary-style theatre piece exploring immigrant experiences in our community.
- Saturday, January 25 following the 2pm performance
- Wednesday, January 29 at 7pm prior to 8pm performance
SELECTED ARTIST BIOS (In Alphabetical Order)
(Private Gar) returns to Asolo Rep after appearing in Frank Galatiâ€™s production of 1776
last season, which recently closed its run at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Previous Chicago credits include productions with Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Writersâ€™ Theatre, American Theater Company, and Drury Lane. Regional credits include multiple collaborations with Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, and Hangar Theatre. Film: Warrior
and Sheâ€™s Out of My League
. Training: Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and Moscow Art Theater School.
(Public Gar) Theater credits include Desire Under the Elms
(Broadway); Tiny Dynamite
(59E59); Other Desert Cities
(Guthrie Theater); Venus in Fur
(Studio Theatre); The Liar
, The Beauxâ€™ Stratagem, Loveâ€™s Laborâ€™s Lost
(Shakespeare Theatre); Angels in America, All My Sons
(Playmakers Rep); The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Bug, King Lear
(Syracuse Stage); Playboy of the Western World
(Hangar Theatre). Christianâ€™s also played five seasons with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, three seasons with the Eugene Oâ€™Neill Theater Center, and one season with The Acting Company. BFA, Rutgers University. www.christianconn.com
(Director) is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. Over the years, he has received nine Joseph Jefferson Awards for his work in Chicago theater: one for acting, five for directing and three for writing. He directed last seasonâ€™s acclaimed production of 1776,
which went on to open this season at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He has also directed My Fair Lady
, and the award-winning Twelve Angry Men
(Asolo Rep). He was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award in 2012 for his adaptation of E.L. Doctorowâ€™s Civil War novel The March
, which he directed at Steppenwolf in Chicago. In 2011 he directed Shakespeareâ€™s The Merry Wives of Windsor (Stratford Festival, Ontario). He won two Tony Awards in 1990 for his adaptation and direction of The Grapes of Wrath (Broadway), and was nominated again in 1998 for directing the musical Ragtime. He has staged operas for Chicago Opera Theater, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1989, Mr. Galati was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay (with Lawrence Kasdan) of The Accidental Tourist. In 2000 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Professor emeritus in the department of performance studies at Northwestern University.
Tickets for PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! and the entire 2013-14 Asolo Repertory Theatre season are on sale now. Tickets for PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! start at $21.To purchase tickets, call 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, visit www.asolorep.org, or visit the Asolo Repertory Theatre Box Office, located in the lobby of the theatre. Asolo Repertory Theatre is located at 5555 North Tamiami Trail in the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts. Box office hours are Monday 10am â€“ 4pm, Tuesday â€“ Saturday 10am â€“ 8pm, and Sunday 10am â€“ 2pm. The box office closes at 5pm when there are no evening performances and phone lines close one hour prior to the start of any performance. Season subscription packages are also available online and by visiting or calling the box office.
Asolo Rep is able to bring PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! to the stage thanks to the generosity of its sponsors. Corporate sponsors are BB&T, Sarasota Bay Club, Plumbing Today, and ABC 7. Asolo Repâ€™s season sponsors are Florida State University, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Designing Women Boutique, Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Womanâ€™s Exchange, Inc. Asolo Repâ€™s artistic programs are paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues. Asolo Rep is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.