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Human Interest Feature

Scottish Artistic Influence at People’s Light & Theatre in Greater Philadelphia

Now in its 38th season, People’s Light & Theatre is one of the largest professional non-profit theaters in Pennsylvania. From the first production in 1974 to the present, People’s Light has always made Chester County its home. In 1979, the Theatre moved to their current location in Malvern, PA. Producing between seven and nine plays a year, People’s Light is known for its resident ensemble of artists, eclectic productions, and innovative work with young people. People’s Light & Theatre approached the BABC in the summer of 2012, and became a member in anticipation and preparation for their newest artistic influence: Scottish Theater.

People’s Light held an innovative Research & Development Lab (R&D Lab) in the summer of 2011. Supported by the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, the focus of the Lab was to explore the intersect of art and learning. 18 young people between the ages of 13-15 from the region and 25 adult professional artists from People’s Light, Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, the National Theatre of Scotland, and New York’s Epic Theatre Ensemble came together in a collaborative effort to investigate the text and world of Shakespeare’s play, A Winter’s Tale. That experience gave birth to the much anticipated January 31- March 3, 2013 production of A Winter’s Tale.

In a first time collaboration with People’s Light & Theatre, acclaimed director Guy Hollands was selected to direct this piece following his involvement in the 2011 R&D Lab. Mr. Hollands is currently Associate Artistic Director of Citizens Theatre and a guest director for the National Theatre of Scotland. People’s Light Artistic Director Abigail Adams observed Mr. Hollands in rehearsal and performances during visits to Scotland: “When I watched Guy directing Three Sisters I was struck by how he would go up to an actor, have a brief very intimate (I could barely hear it) conversation and then the next time the actor did the scene it made a leap in clarity and purpose. I watched this happen again and again.”

Mr. Hollands has brought with him a team of talented colleagues for the production. Philip Witcomb is a set and costume designer and a 15 year veteran in the UK. He was a finalist for the Lindbury Prize, UK’s most prestigious award for stage design. Composer and musician Michael John McCarthy will serve as composer, arranger and musical director for the production. The music will be based in British folk traditions and played live. Mr. McCarthy’s music for The Not-So-Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo by Vox Motus was nominated for Best Music at Scotland’s 2011 Critics’ Awards for Theatre.

For many years, Ms. Adams has wanted to produce A Winter’s Tale; “The play’s structure, the huge shifts of change from tragedy to romance is compelling.” She waited to produce the play until the company had sufficient preparation to create a production that would be dynamic for young people as well as adults. Under Guy Holland’s direction, the production will be fast paced, funny, tender and timely. The production will be the center piece of an outdoor festival involving food, dance and music.

The BABC is thrilled to support the influence of Scottish Theater in the Greater Philadelphia area.

To purchase tickets and for ticketing information click here

Save the date and join the BABC at the Annual Holiday Luncheon on December 12, 2012 for a chance to win tickets to A Winter’s Tale.

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