(Malvern, PA) – People’s Light continues its trademark holiday tradition with The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto, running from November 18, 2015 through January 10, 2016. Associate Artistic Director Pete Pryor directs. People’s Light is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355. For tickets, call 610.644.3500 or visit peopleslight.org.
Celebrated Philadelphia theatre artists Dito van Reigersberg and Robert Smythe join People’s Light for this year’s madcap holiday panto, The Three Musketeers (The Later Years). Along with director Pete Pryor and a high-energy mix of fresh and familiar faces, they’ll create an updated version of Kathryn Petersen and Michael Ogborn’s outrageously silly swashbuckling adventure, last seen on the Malvern stage in 2010.
“Three Musketeers drew huge crowds in 2010 and we had a great time making it,” says Pryor. “But we’re not interested in repeating ourselves. Guests like Dito and Robert help us re-imagine the production.
“The panto is a beloved holiday tradition at People’s Light,” he continues, “A multi-generational event, something that families look forward to doing together every year. We care about that. We want to bring them our best work, so we push ourselves to keep innovating within the panto form.”
Producing Director Zak Berkman concurs. “We bring in guest artists like Dito and Robert to infuse us with the energy of new ideas and different skill sets,” he notes. “When we combine that with our resident artists’ years of experience creating pantos, we can make the shows better each time—wittier and more surprising and fun for our audiences.”
Van Reigersberg, co-founder of the highly respected Pig Iron Theatre Company, has established himself as a gifted clown and fearless physical comedian, as well as one of the city’s most beloved cabaret performers, appearing regularly as alter ego Martha Graham Cracker. He’ll play Horace the Hound in this year’s panto. “Dito is a one-of-a-kind, iconic artist,” says Berkman. “Hilarious. Tender. Outrageous. His imagination is limitless. And he’s a terrific presence in the room.”
Master puppeteer Robert Smythe, who created the titular beast in last season’s Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon, returns to People’s Light in a dual capacity. He’ll perform as the Musketeer D’Artagnan and help create a section of the show inspired by the Czech tradition of Black Light Theatre. As the founder and Artistic Director of Mum Puppet theatre, Smythe has written, directed and performed over 20 original productions using puppets, masks and human actors. As an actor, he’s worked with many of the region’s top theatre companies. Director Pryor notes, “It’ll be a blast to have Robert play D’Artagnan. And we’ll also benefit from his renowned expertise as a master puppeteer. He’ll help us elevate the final battle sequence of the production to epic proportions, good versus evil.”
The cast of the production features a mix of panto regulars and lively newcomers. People’s Light company member Mark Lazar, the Theatre’s Dame-in-Residence, reprises his role as Queen Agnes of Malvaria. Other returnees include Brad DePlanche as Porthos, Laura Giknis as Kestral, Pete Pryor as Lord Mazarotti, and Tom Teti as Aramis. Longtime resident artist Susan McKey appears as Gyrfalcon. Katie Johantgen, last seen in Getting Near to Baby (2008), plays Peregrine, while Meera Mohan, who last appeared as Princess Mai Tai in Aladdin (2013), plays Colette. Leah Walton, last seen in Noises Off (2013), plays Henrietta the Chicken. Newcomers include Tabitha Allen as King Hughy, Marissa Barnathan as Aplomado, and Owen Pelesh as Porthos. Robert Smythe plays D’Artagnan and Dito van Reigersberg makes his People’s Light debut as Horace the Hound.
Director Pete Pryor shares staging responsibilities with Assistant Director, Choreographer, and Fight Director Samantha Reading. Director of Design James F. Pyne, Jr. creates the set and Thom Weaver designs lights. Bridget Brennan recreates Alisa Kleckner’s costumes from the original production. Lucas Fendlay designs sound, while Robert Smythe designs and builds the puppets. Geoff Langley serves as Music Director and plays piano. Kanako Omae Neale is on drums. Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale dramaturgs and company member Kate Fossner stage manages.
RELAXED PERFORMANCE People’s Light offers a Relaxed Performance of The Three Musketeers (The Later Years) on Saturday, January 9 at 2:00 p.m. This specially adjusted, sensory-friendly show provides a welcoming, judgmentfree theatre experience for individuals with a wide range of sensory, learning, and communication differences. This includes people on the autism spectrum, young children, and anyone else who might benefit from a low-stress environment. Performance adjustments include reduced sound levels, softened lighting effects, an open invitation for audience members to vocalize and leave their seats during the show as needed, and more. For the full list of performance adjustments, please visit the Three Musketeers page at www.peopleslight.org and click on the “More Information” tab.
PANTO BRUNCH WITH THREE MUSKETEERS CHARACTERS Join us at 11:45 am at The Farmhouse Bistro for brunch before the December 20th Sunday matinee and meet your favorite Panto characters. If you already have performance tickets, you can add brunch for $25 for adults and teens and $15 for children. Brunch packages include brunch with the characters and 1 ticket for The Three Musketeers. $75 for Adults, $70 for teens (13-17), and $60 for children 12 and under. Members of the cast will be performing and greeting guests from 12:15 to 12:45. For reservations, call 610.644.3500 or visit PeoplesLight.org.
TICKET INFORMATION The Three Musketeers (The Later Years) previews on Wednesday, November 18, Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November 20 at 7 pm. The play opens on Saturday, November 21 and runs through Sunday, January 10. Audiences are encouraged to join the artists for a conversation about the production after the Thursday performances on December 3rd, 10th, and 17th, and January 7th.
Standard single tickets start at $40. Community Night tickets are $27 for the 7 pm performances on November 18 and 19. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610.644.3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Create-your-own subscription packages are still available for the 2015-2016 season and start at $99. Productions include The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto (November 18, 2015January 10, 2016), Sense and Sensibility (February 10-March 20, 2016), Richard III (Mar 16-April 24, 2016), A Single Shard (April 27-May 29, 2016), The Harassment of Iris Malloy (June 15-July 10, 2016), and Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash (July 20-Aug 14, 2016). The Discovery Series packages for children ages 5-12 start at $54 and include The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto (November 18, 2015-January 10, 2016), and A Single Shard (April 27-May 29, 2016). The Teen Series (Pick 3 or 4) for children ages 12-19 includes The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto, Sense and Sensibility, Richard III and A Single Shard and starts at $72 (additional service charges will apply). Visit peopleslight.org or call 610-644-3500 to order.
Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Contact the Box Office for more details.
ABOUT PEOPLE’S LIGHT - Now in its 41st season, People’s Light, a professional, not-for-profit theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration. Founded in 1974, we produce eight to nine plays each season, in two black box theatres with 340 and 160 seats respectively, mixing world premieres, contemporary plays, and fresh approaches to classic texts for our 7-Play, Discovery, and Teen Series.