On June 30th, Lantern Theater Company concluded its 2014/15 Season, the company’s 21st season of operation and the 19th in its current home at St. Stephen’s Theater, at an all-time high.
The season started off strong with the company receiving four Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre at the 2014 Barrymore Award Ceremony in October, representing the highest number of awards earned by any one company for the production of plays in 2014. The Lantern’s first production of the season, Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, was extended for a week due to both popular demand and critical acclaim. Arcadia represents the company’s second-highest grossing production in its history, behind only the 2011 production of New Jerusalem.
Following successful reception of the five productions in the 2014/15 season from both audiences and critics alike, the Lantern reached more single ticket buyers than ever before in their history. Further, the company set a new record with its highest-ever number of subscribers for 2014/15. The number of renewing subscribers for the 2015/16 season sits well above average at a current retention rate of 80%, and the company continues to grow its subscribership with an increasing amount of new subscribers already engaged for next season.
According to Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon, 2014/15 “was a year of geniuses and fools. It was an incredibly diverse season in terms of the types of material we took on and the styles in which the different plays were presented, from intense and brilliant drama to absurd comedy, but across the board we had an extraordinary group of actors on our stage this year and it marked some exceptional work by the designers.”
Lantern Theater Company is proud of its growth and finds itself poised to take on new challenges and expand its artistic vision in the 2015/16 season, which features five full subscription productions including two Philadelphia premieres and a world premiere. The full mainstage season includes Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler, Underneath the Lintel (An Impressive Presentation of Lovely Evidences) by Glen Berger, Oscar Wilde: From the Depths by Charles McMahon, William Shakespeare’s As You Like It and 36 Views by Naomi Iizuka. Lantern has also added a new In Conversation series as part of its Audience Enrichment program, which features wide-ranging discussions on themes present in the company’s work on stage.
Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen’s Theater at 10th and Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia. More information is available at lanterntheater.org or 215-829-0395. 5-play Subscriptions and Flex Packages are available starting at $90; the in-conversation series is available for $50; and single tickets go on sale on August 17.
Lantern Theater Company’s 2015/16 Mainstage Season
A Philadelphia premiere by Anna Ziegler; Directed by Kathryn MacMillan
September 10 - October 11 (OPENING NIGHT – September 16)
London, 1953. The race is on among the world’s leading scientists to unlock the secret of life itself: the DNA molecule. The promise of wealth and lasting fame drives the break-neck pace of the research. Then Rosalind Franklin, the one woman in this crowded field of male scientists, makes a break-through. In an environment of desperate ambition, with its shifting rivalries, alliances and betrayals, Rosalind Franklin has the talent and grit to win it all – if she can get in the game.
UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL (An Impressive Presentation of Lovely Evidences)
By Glen Berger; Directed by Kathryn MacMillan
November 5 - December 6 (OPENING NIGHT – November 11)
A mystery begins with the return of an overdue book to the Hoofddorp Public Library - 113 years too late! A librarian’s quest to solve the mystery takes him across the globe and brings him face to face with a solitary figure from Jewish antiquity, a man whose life is a triumphant example of human resilience and fortitude. In this new production of the Lantern's 2003 gem, Peter DeLaurier recreates the role of The Librarian for which he won a Barrymore Award. Don't miss DeLaurier’s tour de force that the Philadelphia Inquirer called a "masterly performance."
OSCAR WILDE: From the Depths
A World Premiere by Charles McMahon; Directed by M. Craig Getting
January 14 - February 14 (OPENING NIGHT – January 20)
This new play pries open the imagination of Oscar Wilde, the most original and artistic mind of his generation. At the height of his literary success and incandescent celebrity he is brought to sudden and catastrophic ruin. Now, desolate and alone in his cell at Reading Gaol, he struggles to overcome the darkness that threatens to engulf him. Conjuring up a cast of characters from his memory, he revisits the stories from his meteoric career and unconventional personal life in search of transformation and salvation.
AS YOU LIKE IT
By William Shakespeare; Directed by Charles McMahon
March 10 - April 10 (OPENING NIGHT – March 16)
Oppressed and exiled from Court under threat of death, Rosalind, Shakespeare’s most charismatic and irresistible heroine, escapes with her cousin into the wild and unpredictable Forest of Arden. Disguised as a boy, she is able to create a world of her own, reveling in her newfound independence. But chance encounters with the love-struck Orlando complicate this new life. Winding through the enchanting thickets of the forest, Shakespeare creates a wondrous comedy that celebrates redemption, family, and the liberating power of love.
A Philadelphia premiere by Naomi Iizuka; Directed by Peter DeLaurier
May 26 – June 26 (OPENING NIGHT – May 1)
A rare and valuable work of art falls into the hands of ambitious art dealer Darius Wheeler. Passion and turmoil overflow from the pages of this ancient Japanese pillow book, changing the lives of Wheeler and his colleague, the enigmatic East Asian art specialist Setsuko Hearn. The mystery unfolds in a series of 36 scenes that expertly weave Eastern artistic traditions and Western theatrical conventions.
36 Views constantly changes its point of view, revealing surprising perspectives on the worlds of art, commerce, and desire.
2015/16 In Conversation Series
Storytelling and the Jewish Diaspora
Monday, October 5, 2015 at 7pm
We will use the stories of Photograph 51 and Underneath the Lintel as a basis to explore how Jewish characters face the challenges of planting roots. Moderated by Dave Heller (host of SkyTalk and NewsWorks Tonight on WHYY-FM), the event will feature panelists Josh Perelman (Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections at National Museum of American Jewish History), Glen Berger (Playwright of Underneath the Lintel), and Kathryn MacMillan (Lantern Associate Artistic Director and director of Photograph 51 and Underneath the Lintel).
Wild(e) Modern Celebrities
Monday, February 1, 2016 at 7pm
An in-depth look at Oscar Wild’s cultivation of himself as a world celebrity and how we craft public personas in today’s society.
Rosalind’s Escape and Why We Should Unplug
Monday, April 4, 2016 at 7pm
Exploring the positive effects of Rosalind’s exile in As You Like It, we consider how – in the constantly plugged-in culture of the 21st century – we never have the chance to find ourselves.
Art-World Movers and Shakers
Monday, June 20, 2016 at 7pm
An examination of works of Asian art specific to 36 Views, the ethics of trading foreign works, and an insider’s perspective on the secrets and surprises in the buying and selling of art.
About Lantern Theater Company
Founded in 1994, Lantern Theater Company is committed to an authentic and intimate exploration of the human spirit in its choice of classics, modern, and original works. The Lantern seeks to be a vibrant, contributing member of its community, exposing audiences to great theater, inviting participation in dialogue and discussion, educating audience members about artistic and social issues, and employing theatrical language and techniques to enrich learning in the classroom. The Lantern has received 82 Barrymore Award nominations, winning 15 times including the 2009 Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service for its innovative education program, Illumination. Lantern Theater Company has been in residence at St. Stephen’s Theater at 10th & Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia since 1996, managing the performance space and developing it into an affordable multi-purpose performing arts venue. For more information, please visit lanterntheater.org.