(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company announces a final list of performers for the Master Storyteller Award ceremony and concert on Monday, June 1, 2015. The award will be bestowed upon Composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim , who will accept the award at a ticketed ceremony and concert, which is a fundraising benefit for the Arden’s extensive educational and outreach programs. Composer and Lyricist Jason Robert Brown will present Mr. Sondheim with the award.

Held in the Arden’s F. Otto Haas Stage at 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, guests will be treated to a concert that features the work and music of Mr. Sondheim, performed by artists who have appeared in previous Arden Sondheim productions, and accompanied by a 14-person orchestra.

Additional performers and presenters, announced: Jason Robert Brown, Rob McClure, Darren Michael Hengst and Elisa Matthews. Mathew Mastronardi, Elena Camp and Leigha Kato have also been announced as performers, but have not appeared in Arden Sondheim productions.                                                     

JASON ROBERT BROWN has been hailed as “one of Broadway’s smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and his “extraordinary, jubilant theater music” (Chicago Tribune) has been heard all over the world, A composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director and performer – his scores include The Last Five Years, his debut song cycle Songs for a New World, Parade (for which he won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Score and three Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre when it was produced at the Arden in 2014), The Bridges of Madison County, and the recent Honeymoon in Vegas, which premiered on Broadway in January, 2015. 

ROB McCLURE is a Broadway performer who was seen recently as “Jack Singer” opposite Tony Danza in Jason Robert Brown’s Honeymoon in Vegas. For his starring role as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin, he received Tony Award, Drama League, Astaire, and Outer Critics Circle Nominations, and won the TheatreWorld and Clive Barnes Awards. He performed in the staged concert of Where’s Charley at New York City Center Encores! and was seen as Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q. He calls Philadelphia home and has appeared locally at the Arden Theatre Company (The Flea & the Professor – world premiere - and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and at the Walnut Street Theatre (Amadeus, The Producers, Oliver!).

Performers previously announced: Tony Braithwaite, Billy Bustamante, Rachel Camp, Rich Ceraulo, Jen Childs, Derrick Cobey, Jeff Coon, Ben Dibble, Caroline Dooner, Krissy Fraelich, Robi Hager,Todd Horman, Alex Keiper, Josh Lamon, Larry Lees, Mary Martello, Ben Michael, Chris Mullen, James Sugg, and Rob Tucker.

Tickets are on sale now for $250, and include the award ceremony, concert and post-show reception. Visit www.ardentheatre.org/support/masterstoryteller.html for details or call Genvieve Goldstein at 215.922.8900, ext. 49. Tickets will also be available through the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122.

The Arden Theatre Company’s productions of Stephen Sondheim’s works include: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (2006), A Little Night Music (1995 & 2013), Assassins (2008), Company (1997), Into the Woods (2000), Merrily We Roll Along (1998), Pacific Overtures (2003), Passion (May, 2015), Sunday in the Park with George (1994 & 2010), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1993 & 2005). In the fall of 2008, they produced the Royal National Theatre’s version of Candide, with additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show (2008, originally titled Bounce), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971, revised in London 1987 and in New York 2001), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962); as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear a Waltz (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973).  Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), and Putting it Together (1992, 2000) are anthologies of his work.  For film he composed the scores for Stravinsky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (Academy Award, 1990).  He wrote the songs for television’s Evening Primrose (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and the play Getting Away with Murder (1966), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961), and Twigs (1971).  He won Tony Awards® for Best Score of a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Little Night Music, Follies, (1971), and Company.  All of these shows won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, as did Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George, the latter also receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1985).  Mr. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981, and in 1983 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1990, he was appointed the first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University, and in 1993 was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. He published two books: Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes and Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany. In 2014, Into the Woods was made into a major motion picture and was recognized with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy.

About the Arden Theatre Company

Founded in 1988, the Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. Five Mainstage and two Arden Children’s Theatre shows are produced each season. The Arden provides extensive arts education programs including Arden For All, a program in schools in the Greater Philadelphia area. In the fall of 2013, The Arden completed construction on the Hamilton Family Arts Center. Located a few doors down at 62 N. 2nd Street, it is the home to Arden Drama School and has six classrooms, a rehearsal hall, and an 80-seat Studio Theatre.