Tag: 6 degrees of kevin bacon
Fresh on the heels of a highly successful Philly Fringe show I am delighted, surprised, and thrilled to have been named one of Philadelphia’s three 2011-12 PDC@Plays & Players Playwrights-in-Residence.
The Philadelphia Dramatists Center (PDC) is a membership community of playwrights, collaborating artists and audience members dedicated to creating and nurturing new work. PDC develops resources, stimulates creative partnerships and participates in the ongoing national dialogue about how and why theater is created.
The historic Plays & Players Theatre turns 100 this year. It began in 1911 as a private social club, similar to the Players Club in Manhattan, devoted to expanding and developing new theater experiences for and by its wealthy membership. The first President, actress Maud Skinner, was the wife of the famed American actor Otis Skinner. The Plays & Players Theatre building on 17th and Delancey, then called the “Little Theatre of Philadelphia,” first opened its shows to the public in 1913 with a mission to produce “American plays of ideas.” And they meant it. Plays & Players sought out and produced cutting edge work by America’s newest playwrights including Philadelphia premieres in 1916 and 1919 of some of the earliest plays by Eugene O’Neill (Before Breakfast) and Susan Glaspell (Suppressed Desires and Trifles), the world premiere in 1949 of Bevan & Trzcinski’s acclaimed Stalag 17 before it moved to Broadway, and an early performance by actor Kevin Bacon in 1974. Once an exclusive club, Plays & Players has grown over the years into a professional quality theatre devoted to supporting established and emerging Philadelphia artists in practicing and performing their crafts.
I know what you’re wondering: is it haunted? Finding out will be my first order of business. I am told that many of the bar staff who work on the 3rd floor in the members-only Quig’s Pub have spotted the ghost of deceased longtime bartender Leon passing through the room on occasion, then there’s the oft-spotted ghost of a little boy standing on the mainstage, and others insist the ghost of Maud Skinner haunts one of the dressing rooms. We shall see…
Here too is a terrific video tour of Plays & Players made by mysterious stranger Lance Davis last month.
Randy Dalton is the Community Education Center (CEC)’s long time artist-in-residence and the creator of the Blue Grotto permanent art installation in the CEC cellar. The CEC is a non-profit, community-based arts and education center housed in an 1837 former Quaker meeting house and school in West Philadelphia. The CEC’s mission is to strengthen the sense of shared community and values among peoples of differing backgrounds and cultures through the arts. The Meeting House Theatre on the 2nd floor is its mainstage and primary performance space. Dance studios and rehearsal spaces on the 1st floor and are available for rental. The CEC recently received a $50,000 community development grant from Maxwell House to make improvements to the historically significant building. While it was still a functioning Quaker school in the 1920s actor Kevin Bacon’s father Ed was a student here. It was sold to Drexel University in the 1940s and was their main theatre for awhile before becoming the Community Education Center in the 1970s, during which time Kevin Bacon’s mother Ruth was a teacher and community activist there.
Therefore, you should come and see Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead opening 9/7 in the Blue Grotto for only 8 performances. Tickets to this otherworldly Philly Fringe event are onsale now. I bet Kevin Bacon would like it. I bet you will like it.
[image via wikipedia]