ON STAGE AND OFF
W ha t ’s Inside:
Special Opening Celebrations
and Gala Supplement Inside!
Spreading His Wings
An Interview with Playwright
David Henry Hwang
Set Designer Michael Fagin
The World of M. Butterfly
Yellowface, Lotus Blossoms and other
The Many Lives of Madame Butterfly
Additions & Advancements
Meet the newest members of PTC
M. Butterfly Synopsis
Based on a true story, M. Butterfly is a
provocative and captivating story of
lust, politics, and betrayal. A French
diplomat falls in love with a Chinese
opera singer who is to him, the "perfect
woman," yet this Chinese butterfly of
his passions is ultimately revealed to
be far more than she seems. Inspired
by Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly,
David Henry Hwang's stunningly
theatrical Tony Award-winning Best January 18 - February 24, 2008
Play illuminates the stereotypes that
underlie and threaten relations
between East and West - and men By David Henry Hwang
Directed by Joe Calarco
“Act well your part, there all the
- Alexander Pope
We join all of Philadelphia in welcoming the Philadelphia
Theatre Company’s Suzanne Roberts Theatre to the
Avenue of the Arts.
Message from Sara Garonzik
Producing Artistic Director
Last season, while reading about David Henry Hwang's newest script Yellow Face, I
also began thinking about his career-defining masterwork, M. Butterfly. As I reflected back
“David Henry on that piece, it occurred to me that Winter 2008 would mark exactly 20 years since its
Broadway debut starring John Lithgow and B.D. Wong, directed by John Dexter.
Hwang's wise and
mocking views on I remember, as a young director, walking out onto the streets after experiencing
the production and feeling stunned, as if I had witnessed something so important that I
both gender and
could not readily process its scope. This has always signaled to me that I was in the
East-West relations presence of something great. Its many theatrical references borrowed freely from sources
as diverse and far- flung as Brecht, Chinese Opera and the best American psychological
made it timely and
memory plays, yet its vivid theatricality was not achieved at the expense of rich
original, yet its characterizations. David Henry Hwang's wise and mocking views on both gender and
East-West relations made it timely and original, yet its unsparing look into the limitless
unsparing look into
depth of the human heart rendered it timeless and classic. Twenty years later, the play has
the limitless depth become for me less about sexual deception than about sexual collusion and to what
of the human heart extent the human heart will go to keep from breaking.
rendered it timeless While the play is international in scope, taking place in Asia and France, I cannot
and classic. ” help but think that the it speaks directly to American presumptions regarding its place in
the world. M. Butterfly's message continues to be as urgent as ever and to celebrate its
many themes, we have created a series of panels during the run that will provide a
platform for further conversation. Please have a look at the back cover of your Playwise,
or visit us online for where and when these events will take place.
Finally it gives us great pleasure to welcome back director Joe Calarco whose
work for us includes two recent musicals, both Barrymore winners, Jason Roberts Brown's
The Last Five Years and William Finn's Elegies: A Song Cycle.
We look forward to greeting you again for M. Butterfly, our second production in
our new home, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre!
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 | 1
Spreading His Wings:
A Chat with David Henry Hwang
While rehearsals were underway for his new play, YELLOW FACE, which recently
played the Public Theater in New York, David Henry Hwang took some time out to
chat with PTC dramaturg Warren Hoffman about the creation and legacy of his Tony
winning play M. Butterfly.
WH: This is the 20th anniversary of the play. Does it seem WH: Where did the idea for this play come from? Had you
that long ago that the play came out? already been thinking about writing a play about Asian
stereotypes and the West, or did you read an article about
DHH: Not really. It's scary that 20 years have gone by. We the actual case and that set things in motion?
went into rehearsal in January 1988 and it doesn't feel that
long ago. DHH: In general, I was interested in these sorts of issues and
had addressed them in earlier works, but the catalyst was
WH: How has the reception for or impact of the play hearing this particular story and figuring out a way to tell it.
changed in that time? I decided to conflate the plot of Madame Butterfly with the
DHH: I think there was a way in which the play was a little spy story and that opened up this arena which was ripe to
shocking or, for lack of a better word, "naughty" 20 years discuss these issues. Perhaps I was attracted to the story on
ago that really wouldn't apply today. When I've seen more some unconscious level because it would be a good forum
recent productions of the play, I get the sense that the for things I wanted to talk about, but I wasn't aware of that
sensational aspect of the show, the ways in which the show at the time. I simply felt it was an incredibly intriguing story
was transgressive, is not so true today. However, what that and found myself attracted to it.
does is enable people to receive the play with more WH: There are some significant differences between the
attention to what the play is actually saying and doing as facts of your play and the true-life case. For example, when
opposed to this layer of sensationalism being placed on it. Boursicot (Gallimard) meets Shi Pei Pu, the opera singer, he
WH: Have the changing politics of the world also impacted first meets him as a man, whereas in your play, he is dressed
the way in which the play is received? as a woman.
DHH: In terms of how the issues resonate, we do happen to DHH: The things that are "true" about the play in terms of
be unfortunately in a sort of M. Butterfly war at the moment. the actual events are actually coincidental. All I had was
I noticed in recent productions when the French really the newspaper article from the New York Times, which
ambassador says, "The Americans always love to hear how was like one column on Page 24 or something. It wasn't
welcome they'll be," the line now gets a big laugh that it easy for me to do more research at that point, not only
didn't 20 years ago. So there's that. And twenty years ago, because it was pre-Google, but also because I wasn't really
in terms of East/West issues, the West was just starting to interested in the details of the actual case. I just wanted to
become aware of the way in which the power balance was use the actual incident as a jumping off point for my own
shifting and that has certainly continued over the last 20 story.
years with the rise of China, some of the confusion in WH: So this isn't a historical retelling of the case?
needing to reassess the power balance that the
Gallimard/Song relationship represents still seems relevant. DHH: No. There's no docudrama element to it. It's just
inspired by the actual events. What was kind of freaky was
WH: You can't open the paper without still seeing these that as the play was getting done, certain things did
issues, albeit in different contexts. coincide with reality. I didn't know for instance that the
DHH: Yes, but it's interesting, because I always saw Edward French diplomat actually tried to commit suicide. I didn't
Said's Orientalism as an inspiration for this show and, of know that the intelligence liaison, whom I named Comrade
course, Said was writing about Orientalism in the Middle Kang in the play, was named Kang in reality. When Bernard
East as opposed to East Asia. Boursicot, the actual French diplomat on whom the play is
based, saw M. Butterfly on opening night in London he felt
that the show was fairly accurate to his experience, which
he expressed to Joyce Wadler who wrote Liaison, a book
2| PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY
based on the actual case. Subsequently, Boursicot tends to other hand, I can't imagine rewriting it. You could write a
show up at different productions of M. Butterfly around the whole new libretto and keep the music, I guess. Even for
world and people I guess take him out for drinks and stuff. me, who is not that much of a purist, I feel the Puccini piece
Who knows, you may see him in Philadelphia! works and you don't want to mess around with something
that works. And, moreover it's an example of how more
WH: Have you had the chance to chat with Boursicot? changes over time, how something that is progressive in
DHH: No, I never met him. I heard he was at different one era, calcifies and becomes regressive in another.
productions and when David Cronenberg made the movie, WH: Is there anything you find positive about Madame
Boursicot was in touch with him. I read newspaper clippings Butterfly?
now and then about productions of the show in, say,
Bucharest and Boursicot shows up. DHH: At the time Puccini wrote Madame Butterfly it was a
progressive. To make the Japanese woman the virtuous
WH: How much did you know about opera before writing character and the American sailor the bad guy. Puccini was
the play? trying to make a statement somewhat radical for his time. It
DHH: I really knew very little about opera. My mother was a goes into the canon though and a hundred years later, it's
classical pianist and I grew up with a lot of instrumental not exactly radical anymore. I think one has to say it's
music, but I didn't know much about opera at all. As a beautiful music and you can listen to it for the music, that's
matter of fact, when I had the idea to use the plot of definitely true, but you can also contextualize it in terms of
Madame Butterfly, I hadn't yet heard the opera, so I went to a how it relates to the time in which it was written. That's
record store, (which existed in those days) and purchased it. another way to look at these pieces with problematic
I listened to the Puccini music a lot during rehearsal and content elements.
grew to be quite fond of it. Subsequently I was asked to WH: Should Puccini's opera still be performed today?
work on some operas and, at this point, have a sideline as an
opera librettist; I am much more involved in the world of DHH: Oh yeah. I don't have a problem with Madame
opera than I expected to be when I wrote M. Butterfly. Butterfly being performed.
WH: And what about Chinese opera which also plays a large WH: How did M. Butterfly change your career as a
role in the play? playwright?
DHH: Chinese opera was not something I grew up with. I DHH: It's still the play that defines me in the minds of
saw it once or twice when I was in Taiwan visiting my theatergoers.
grandparents, but it wasn't something that was present in
my life. When we did my first play FOB at the Public in 1980, WH: Does that bother you?
we decided to interpolate some Chinese opera tropes and DHH: It sometimes does, but over the years I've come to feel
John Lone, a cast member who had grown up in the Chinese that your hit or breakthrough piece becomes your albatross,
opera in Hong Kong, taught me some things. I also learned and I don't take that personally. Arthur Miller is associated
from Jaime Guan who choreographed the original with Death of a Salesman and Edward Albee with Who's
M. Butterfly and have since worked on other projects which Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Everybody has their signature
have involved Chinese opera. What I know about Chinese piece. It would be really fun to have another signature piece
opera, which is admittedly rather limited, I learned on the at some point, but you can't really focus on that. You just
job. have to do the best work you can and if you're lucky, maybe
WH: Recently you adapted Rodgers and Hammerstein's it will happen again.
Flower Drum Song for Broadway and wrote a new libretto for
the show. You once said that the original show was a guilty WH: Do you feel differently about the play now? Are there
pleasure. In what ways was Flower Drum Song recoverable things you would change about it?
as a cultural property that Madame Butterfly was not? DHH: My views of things have become more nuanced, but
DHH: Flower Drum Song was rewritable because it's not the good part of having M. Butterfly as my albatross as it
considered to be one of the great Rodgers and were is that I still really like the play. When I see it and get to
Hammerstein musicals. I don't think they're letting anyone the end I think, "That's a good play!" I'm proud that's the
rewrite South Pacific. Flower Drum Song is an anomaly in the work with which I'm associated.
R&H canon because it's not considered one of their
top-drawer shows, but it also was a commercial hit. That’s
why I could "mess-around" with it. Madame Butterfly, on the
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 | 3
Set Designer Michael Fagin
PTC Dramaturg Warren Hoffman spoke with M. Butterfly set designer Michael
Fagin about his approach to the visual world of David Henry Hwang's play and
his entry into the world of scenic design.
What is your process in designing a set for a show? What's your role in the construction of the set?
The first step is always to read the play and usually I'll do that I draw the show as an architect would and produce
several times, and then I'll speak to the director. For most of blueprints. The shop takes those and builds from them. I'll
the productions I've done with director Joe [Calarco], there's produce a color model from which the painters will paint the
such a shorthand that it's actually a set. I'll come down several times during
pretty quick process. I have a sense of the process of construction to oversee
Joe's theatricality and know what's things. Then the set is loaded in, the show
important to him and because we've is teched where we see the set under lights
and where further changes are made, and
worked together so much, we share a
then the show opens and I walk away.
common aesthetic. M. Butterfly actually
went through many designs and we How did you get into set design?
ended up going back to our initial
version. Sometimes I'll go from an initial I started in high school and came from a
rough hand sketch, but I do a lot of work painting background. I had a fabulous
in Photoshop now where I can explore high school teacher in St. Louis who ran a
things in detail very quickly. Then usually theater department that was very
I go to a model. Michael Fagin’s set design for M. Butterfly technically sophisticated in terms of a high
school theater. I was going to go to
How long did it take to design this show? architecture school and this teacher had a meeting with my
parents to convince them to let me give theater a shot.
The first sketch was about two months ago and we're still
working on it. We work with the lighting designer and What personally drew you to set design?
costume designer to adjust our designs, accordingly, and to
marry the designs and concepts together to present a clean I love that it's a process of exploration. For example in
whole world. M. Butterfly, you're exploring social themes, interpersonal
themes, and history. One challenge with this play, is this a
What is the concept for the show? Chinese story or a Japanese story? Butterfly is a Japanese
story, but the play takes place during the Cultural Revolution
There isn't a big concept, but there are themes in the play of
with Chinese characters. We were going back and forth.
deception, fantasy, and the idea of East and West that
Should it look Chinese? Should it look Japanese? Do people
contributed to the design. Some of the big visual scenes deal
know the difference between the two? Do we know the
with Gallimard's fantasy of what Oriental femininity is, so the
difference between the two?
framework of the set is an abstracted image of a parasol,
which is a feminine, Oriental, and "exotic" object. Actually, one You've also designed for television, how does that differ from
of the first images I had before anything was of a circle. designing for the stage?
Whenever I hear or think of the opera Madame Butterfly, I
think of Butterfly waiting in silhouette in a circle. Joe wanted It's very different. A lot of the television work that I've done,
a space where things can change throughout the play. there isn't a text that exists. It's much more about designing a
space, like an architect. There isn't a text to hang your hat on.
You designed the set for our production of The Last Five Years. I prefer designing for the theater. Television work is based
Is it different designing in our new theater space? more in reality and in the theater you can allow a big idea to
fly and have a very theatrical presentation. It becomes alive
It's a fantastic space. There's a lot of depth to this set and we'll and real, where television doesn't allow for the suspension of
be using a lot of the fly space. We're having the space thrust
out a bit into the house.
4 | PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY
Save the Date! Sunday, February 10, 2008 ATTENTION
Philadelphia Theatre Company's 2008 SUBSCRIBERS!
Sweethearts' Brunch & Auction in the Grand
Ballroom at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue
Monday, January 21st
Join us for our fabulous Valentine's tradition and feast on
a delicious brunch, and bid on dazzling auction items Come explore the characters, themes and design
including getaway vacations, sports memorabilia, art, fine
elements of M. Butterfly in a special Subscriber
dining, and entertainment packages.
Workshop led by PTC Director of Education,
The 2008 Sweetheart’s Award Recipient is Maureen Sweeney.
To RSVP, call Jessica Waber, Programs Coordinator,
The Sweethearts' Brunch & Auction raises essential at 215.985.1400 x122 or e-mail
funding for Philadelphia Theatre Company's firstname.lastname@example.org
productions and our community and education
and outreach programs. Workshop is limited to 25 participants.
For an invitation, sponsorship information, auction
donations or to volunteer at the event, please 5:30 – 7:30pm
contact Sharon Kling at 215-985-1400, ext. 116 or by 2nd floor lobby
email to email@example.com, or visit Suzanne Roberts Theater
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 | 5
The Many Lives of Madame Butterfly
By Carrie Chapter
The story of Puccini's Madame Butterfly has a long genealogy that begins with
the Western fascination with the East during the Victorian era. During this
period, the Japonisme movement - the French term for the influence of
Japanese arts on the West - became very trendy in Europe. In material arts, for
example, Impressionist artists such as Degas, Manet, and Whistler were
infatuated with Japanese culture, especially the craftsmanship of the
Japanese wood-block prints. This fascination even extended to Gilbert and
Sullivan's operetta The Mikado (1885), which was inspired by a Japanese
exhibit in London. This sense of romance and exoticism, typified by
Japanese customs like geisha-houses and mixed-bathing, particularly
affected the Western male psyche. In time, stories from the East developed a
theme: the conquest of the Japanese woman by the adventurous Western man.
In 1887, Pierre Loti, a naval officer, wrote the French novel Madame Chrysanthemum.
Loti’s protagonist, Miss Chrysanthemum, falsely professes love and then soon returns to counting her money while
waiting for her next "husband." Loti's novel was well received despite its contemptuous, prejudiced depictions of
the Japanese and the story was so idolized that it was used as a guide book by Russian naval officers on their way to
In 1898, Philadelphian John Luther Long wrote a short story for the January issue of Century Magazine entitled
"Madame Butterfly." In his tale, Lt. Pinkerton is exiled to a station in Nagasaki, Japan from his Mediterranean
headquarters. While in port, he contacts a marriage broker who finds Madame Butterfly for Pinkerton. Long's story
was not as joyously received as Loti's version eleven years earlier, and many American sailors wrote angry letters
chastising the harsh portrayal of Pinkerton.
Working with John Luther Long, David Belasco wrote the one-act play Madame Butterfly as a "filler" piece of
entertainment to be performed on the same night as the farce Naughty Anthony for the Herald Square Theater in
1900. The plot mirrored Long's short story with few exceptions and was an enormous success. When the production
moved to Duke of York's Theatre in London in the same year, Giacomo Puccini was in the audience on opening night.
He was so overwhelmed by the story that he sought out playwright Belasco backstage to gush over the play's
possibilities as an opera. He was smitten by Belasco's haunting, elegant atmosphere, and assigned Luigi Illica and
Giuseppe Giocosa to write the libretto. The writers, though, wrote a new first act, showing the arrival of Pinkerton in
Japan. However, when the opera premiered at La Scala in 1904, it was booed and withdrawn after one performance;
the story was deemed too coarse and the score thought lacking in operatic power and fluidity. When it reappeared
three years later in Paris, revisions were evident. Pinkerton became a sympathetic tenor and was given an extended,
elaborate aria to soften his image and his American wife Kate, too, was written more compassionately, and with
greater respect for the plight of Butterfly. The audiences fell in love with the opera, and it was a total triumph.
The history of Butterfly's story is a cultural landmark situated between high art and a legacy of problematic racial
stereotypes. Too often, because of Madame Butterfly’s canonization in the world of opera, these pernicious
depictions are often forgotten or ignored by audiences. David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, however, re-examines and
reconsiders the long history of this significant piece of music.
6 | PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY
Yellowface, Dragon Ladies, and other Stereotypes
While David Henry Hwang's In what became a sort of signature retelling of Madame Butterfly set
M. Butterfly sets out to critique the role, Oland also went on to depict the during the Vietnam War by the
long legacy of Asian other most notorious composing team of the smash-hit
stereotypes that have stereotypical Asian male Les Miserables, Miss Saigon caught
filtered into the West, as an figure: Charlie Chan. Chan flack from multiple Asian American
Asian American writer, was quite different from activists who complained that the
Hwang also deals with the the menacing Fu Manchu, show reinforced the image of the
legacy of stereotypes that but despite the former's subservient Asian woman who kills
have infused U.S. society. bow-tie wearing detective herself for the love of a white man.
The number of offensive persona, Chan was hardly This now-seemingly archetypal
Asian figures who litter the a figure to emulate. An stereotype seems to have no national
popular imagination is early example of the boundaries at all, adapting itself from
sadly quite long and such "model minority" Asian Japan (Madame Butterfly) to China
characters have made whose lack of (M. Butterfly) to Vietnam (Miss Saigon)
sting impressions on confrontation also emphasizing the notion that for
American pop culture. positioned him as effem Western audiences, Asia is all alike.
For Asian American men, inate, Chan spoke in vague Notably, David Henry Hwang
two of the most offensive characters aphorisms with a stilted quasi-Asian himself played a major part in the
in entertainment are Fu Manchu and accent reinforced Chan's supposed protesting of Miss Saigon, particularly
Charlie Chan. Fu Manchu who Asian “inscrutability” to American challenging the fact that
became the embodiment of what was audiences. the Eurasian role of the
known as the "Yellow Peril,” was the If Asian and Asian Engineer was played by
sinister villain of the novels of Sax American men were white actor Jonathan Pryce,
Rohmer. With his long fingernails and considered effeminate and as opposed to an Asian
flowing robes, he hardly registers as even asexual, the Asian actor, thereby not giving
masculine and has become the woman was turned into an Asian actors the chance to
ur-figure of the weak, effeminate exotic "lotus blossom" of work. Despite such
Asian man. This legacy of effeminacy sexual desire. This image
protests, Miss Saigon racked
is evoked by David Henry Hwang late received its most insidious
up over 4,000 perform
in M. Butterfly, when Song complains, incarnation in the twentieth-
ances and almost 10 years on
"I am an Oriental. And being an century figure of Suzie Wong, a char-
Broadway, proving that audiences
Oriental, I could never be completely acter who first emerged in book form
were still ready to welcome Asian
a man." On screen, Fu Manchu also in 1957, and was followed up by stage
stereotypes and pay big bucks for it
had a and movie versions in 1958 and 1960,
too. Happily, the work of David Henry
lasting respectively. The World of Suzie Wong Above: Caucasian actor
emphasizes Suzie's sexuality, theater groups such
Hwang and otherWarner Oland in the roles of
foregrounding her relationship with a and Ma-Yi Pan Asian
as Pan Asian RepFu Manchu and Charlie Chan.
white man, like in Madame Butterfly. Rep in New York have offered
Yet if these early and mid- multiple challengesNancy Kwan as Suzi Wong
to this long
twentieth century examples seem history of visual and theatrical
dated, one only has to recall the injustice.
Oland (a brouhaha that occurred in 1991
white man in around the Broadway musical Miss
yellow face). Saigon. Essentially an updated
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 | 7
Additions & Advancements
Welcome, mindy a. beers, PTC’s new Resident Teaching Artist and
After her undergraduate work at Washington College and graduate work at Miami University of Ohio,
mindy moved to Philadelphia and found a home at Philadelphia Theatre Company as Directing Fellow in
the ‘04-’05 season. During that time mindy discovered a great interest in PTC's innovative Educational
Programming. Hired part-time as the Education and Community Projects Associate in ‘06–’07 and now a
full-time staff member, mindy authors the 10 Out of 12 Student Programs and has taught over 160 work-
shops with 33 classes in 12 schools. As a Director, she has assisted on the following PTC productions:
Orson's Shadow, Adrift in Macao, Take Me Out, Elegies and The Story. Mindy is also the Artistic Director of The Cardboard Box
Collaborative, most recently directing their productions of Dream On, 30 Minutes til Om... and “says Eugenia”. None of this
would have been possible without the love and support of her mother, father, and Michael.
Philadelphia Theatre Company welcomes new Board member
A partner with Drinker Biddle's Investment Management Group in the Business and Finance Department,
Audrey has over 20 years of legal experience in investment management, corporate and securities, and
general corporate law matters, as well as considerable experience in matters involving federal and state
securities law compliance, public and private offerings and securities registration and compliance matters
related to the financial services industry. She has served as Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, chair of the
Philadelphia Bar Association's Business Law Section, chair of its Board of Governors and co-chair of the Investment Companies
Committee, and is also a member of the American Bar Association, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the
Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and is a member of the Leadership Council of the Philadelphia Volunteer
Lawyers for the Arts. She has lectured and written about money managers and investment companies. Her community
activities include the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Zoo, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Bar
Foundation and the Board of Managers of Moore College of Art and Design.
PTC’s Education Department promotes one of its own!
Jessica Waber is thrilled to be joining the staff as Programs Coordinator for PTC's vibrant and rapidly
growing Education Department. In May of ‘06, Jessica graduated from The Pennsylvania State University
with a B.A. in Theatre, where she was the recipient of The French Undergraduate Award in Theatre, given to
a student who demonstrates outstanding commitment to performance and who participates fully in all
aspects of training. Following graduation, Jessica came to PTC as a Casting Intern. She also took on
various responsibilities and jobs for the Production and Education Departments. In November of '06, Jessica became the first
Education Apprentice at PTC, and discovered how to couple her passion for theatre with her passion for youth
education and community outreach. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, Jessica is delighted to be working in such an
exciting theatre city, and to be coming on board at such a remarkable time for Philadelphia Theatre Company.
8 | PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY
Philadelphia Theatre Company Announces
Wallace Foundation Award
Philadelphia Theatre Company is pleased to announce a recent $410,000, four-year grant award from the Wallace Foundation,
as part of its Wallace Foundation Excellence Awards, a $5.3 million investment for 10 leading companies in the Greater
Philadelphia region "in recognition of their commitment to community and audience building activities." In addition to the
Excellence Award grants, The Wallace Foundation is collaborating with The Philadelphia Foundation and the Greater
Philadelphia Cultural Alliance to create a learning network for all Philadelphia arts organizations and to foster arts engagement
in Philadelphia. The awards were announced November 14, 2007, at the Philadelphia Theatre Company by The Wallace
Foundation President, Christine DeVita.
Philadelphia Theatre Company will use the grant to support a marketing initiative designed to diversify and broaden its
audiences, and to establish new programming for families, including family theater productions.
The Wallace Foundation chose Philadelphia as one of four sites for this effort because of the city's high concentration and
variety of arts organizations. San Francisco is the other city chosen for Wallace Excellence Awards grants in 2007. Chicago and
Boston were chosen in 2006. Philadelphia Theatre Company offers its most profound thanks to The Wallace Foundation, and
congratulates the other grantees of this important new initiative for our region.
Mainstage & Lobby Reception Rentals Are Now Available
Have Your Next Celebration or Business Event at Philadelphia’s
Newest Cultural Landmark on the Avenue of the Arts!
For specific details and additional information
on our fees and availability, please contact
PTC’s Theatre Operations Department at
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 | 9
PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY - CENTER STAGE CAMPAIGN
Your Name in Lights, Forever, on the Avenue of the Arts
With a gift to The Founders Club ($100,000+) or The Cornerstone Society ($25,000—$99,999),
donors are permanently and prominently recognized on the Philadelphia Theatre Company Donor
Wall at the entrance to the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.
This sparkling, faceted, multi-dimensional mosaic greets the public as
they step inside the Theatre and provides a vibrant, theatrical backdrop to
thank the Theatre’s true stars. Gifts are fully tax-deductible and payable
over three to five years and New Founders Club and Cornerstone Society
donors will be unveiled during the October 2008 Celebrations.
Photo courtesy of Sensitile
The Mainstage Auditorium: $3,500,000
Space of the Month
Here is where great theater happens, and your name
can be associated with it for now and always. This is a
Photo courtesy of Jessica Samph
unique opportunity to be a patron of the playwrights,
directors and actors featured in this prized
performance space. Your name will welcome
audiences on the way into their seats, and it will
precede the announcement of every production.
“Now appearing on The NAME HERE Mainstage, the Philadelphia premiere of
David Henry Hwang’s visionary work M. Butterfly.”
The Preferred Hospitality Parters
The Center Stage Campaign thanks the following members of the new Preferred Hospitality
Partners Program (PHP) who have made significant in-kind contributions of their exceptional
goods and services. Keep members of the PHP in mind when planning a pre-Theatre, in-Theatre
or personal special event.
PHP Caterers PHP Party Planners PHP Restaurants
Inquiries from the hospitality industry may be made to 215-985-1400, ext. 115, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all of our wonderful Campaign donors! The Center Stage Campaign is still
raising the remaining $10 million of its $30 million goal. Please consider a gift to the
Center Stage Campaign and be permanently recognized on a signature site, the Donor Wall
or a Seat in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.
For more information contact the Center Stage Campaign at 215.985.1400, x115, or
10| PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY
PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY - CENTER STAGE CAMPAIGN
Take a Seat - Center Stage - on the Avenue of the Arts
You may now have a permanent seat on the Avenue of the Arts through a gift to the Center Stage
Campaign. Handsome brass plaques, prominently placed on the back panels of each seat in the
Mainstage, will identify you as the major PTC supporter that you are. You may name a seat as a
special occasion, birthday or anniversary gift, or as a tribute to a loved one. A gift acknowledgement
will be sent to all seat honorees as well as an invitation to join you at the October 2008 Celebrations
when the plaques are unveiled.
Individual gifts of $2,500 or more are payable over two years but some seats have been named through
collective donations from family, friends, and colleagues. All seat donations are fully tax-deductible.
Mainstage seats in Philadelphia Theatre
Company’s Suzanne Roberts Theatre.
Seat Opportunities: Coming upon the
$2,500 Mezzanine Seat $7,500 Premium Orchestra Seat contemporary auditorium, dressed
$5,000 Orchestra Seat $10,000 Mezzanine Loge Seat with authentic richness
in golds, reds and purples, is like
discovering a fabulous chocolate
To make a gift today, simply complete the enclosed pledge envelope or visit our website at truffle…When you sink into one of
www.philadelphiatheatrecompany.org. For more information, contact Jessica Samph, Campaign the plush seats, it’s as if you’ve
Associate, at 215.985.1400, x110, or email@example.com arrived at an intimate club, or
Please note that a seat recognition plaque does not guarantee you will sit in that particular seat for all performances, although
maybe an affluent friend’s
accommodations will be made whenever possible for specific requests. lavish home screening room… and
no matter where you sit, you are
likely to feel that you can make eye
contact with the actors on the deep
proscenium stage, and
that they are talking to you.
Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Photos courtesy of Mark Garvin
The Curtain Will Rise Again… The Encore Society
The Encore Society has been created to ensure that Philadelphia Theatre Company, now a prominent and permanent landmark on the
Avenue of the Arts, continues to present the best in new American theater for future generations. You can become a part of The Encore
Society by including Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) in your estate plans. Planned gift options include:
A Bequest: A donor leaves a specific amount, a specific percentage of the full estate, or the entire estate to PTC.
A Gift of Life Insurance: A donor may name PTC as one of the beneficiaries or the sole beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
IRA and Other Retirement Assets: Donors aged 70.5 or more may donate up to $100,000 directly to PTC from an IRA or
Rollover IRA without the gift being taxed as ordinary income.
There are additional structured planned giving options that you may want to discuss with your financial advisor. To notify Philadelphia
Theatre Company that it has been included in your estate plans and to enroll in The Encore Society (members are listed in the Company
Program), please contact Lisa Ketcham at 215-985-1400, ext. 115, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 | 11
Off Stage during
Artists Circle News
On Sunday, November 11, 2007, Carl and Roberta Dranoff hosted a reception in
the Symphony House Club rooms at Symphony House, just above the new
Suzanne Roberts Theatre, for Artists Circle Members, PTC board members, and
special guest Billy Porter to celebrate PTC's Philadelphia premiere production
of Being Alive. Porter and members of the cast were interviewed by PTC
dramaturg Warren Hoffman, and took questions from the guests about the
work. A real theater insider event!
These fun and intimate theater-insider events are available
exclusively to PTC's Artists Circle members. For more information on (Top to bottom
[left to right])
the benefits of becoming an Artists Circle donor please contact Being Alive creator and
James J. Lynes, Director of Development at 215-985-1400 ext. 103, or director Billy Porter
with PTC Dramaturg
by e-mail at email@example.com. Warren Hoffman.
Being Alive cast
member Leslie Odom,
Jr. with guest Peter
O The stars come out on PTC
Photo top left: Rev. Leonard Smalls, Being
Alive creator and director Billy Porter, and
Board member Evelyn Smalls
Photo top right: Bud Rubel, cast
member Bryan Terrell Clark,
June and Steve Wolfson
Photo bottom left: Cast member Jesse
Nager, Board member Rick Burke, Tracy
Burke, and their son
Photo bottom right: Suzie Dietz, Broadway
legend Tommy Tune, Board President Jerry
Riesenbach, and Billy Porter
12| PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY
How big dreams
get off the ground.
US Airways is proud to be the season host sponsor of Philadelphia Theatre Company. As your
community partner, we’re pleased to support the arts. After all, big dreams deserve the
chance for an encore.
Where Theater and Community Meet
Special Events and Performances Happening during M. Butterfly at Philadelphia Theatre Company
Beyond Stereotypes: A Panel Conversation About the Spreading His Wings:
A Panel Conversation About Cultural Politics of the Opera An Interview with
Asian American Theater Madame Butterfly David Henry Hwang
Saturday, January 26 Sunday, January 27 Sunday, February 3
following 2pm performance following 3pm performance following 3pm performance
Meet the Artists Nights Open Captioned Performance
Thursday, January 24 after 8pm performance Saturday, February 9, 2pm
Thursday, February 7 after 8pm performance For hard of hearing and deaf audience members. Personal
Tuesday, February 12 after 8pm performance captioning devices are provided which scroll text of the
Get the inside scoop on the creation of Philadelphia lyrics/dialogue across the device’s screen, in tandem with
Theatre Company’s premiere of M. Butterfly. Join members the lyrics/dialogue of the performance.
of the cast as they discuss their work and process.
Audio Described Performance
NEXT, The Young Patrons of & Sensory Workshop
Philadelphia Theatre Company Saturday, February 16
Saturday, January 26 after 8pm performance Workshop: 12:30pm, Performance: 2pm
Join NEXT, the Young Patrons of Philadelphia Theatre For low-vision and blind audience members. Workshop
Company. "Own your own opinion" by sharing your participants experience various elements of the production
thoughts at NEXT's post-show parties, which will include prior to the performance. Wireless headsets are provided,
cutting-edge culture, cocktails, and more! through which a trained audio describer fills in the details
of action on the stage, which might otherwise have been
Night OUT! visually missed. Large Print, Braille, and audio cassette
programs available upon special request. Please contact
Thursday, January 31, 6:30pm
Jessica Waber at 215-985-1400 x122 to make a reservation
A pre-show LGBT -friendly reception for theater lovers. for this workshop and/or performance.
Enjoy cocktails, sandwiches, sweets, and great company
before the 8pm performance of the premiere of M. PTC’s accessibility programming is sponsored by the Lincoln Financial Foundation
Butterfly. For tickets to the evening’s performance, contact and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Accessibility to the Arts in Pennsylvania for
Individuals with Disabilities Program. Accessibility technology in the Suzanne
our Box Office at 215.985.0420. To RSVP for the party, Roberts Theatre was made possible by a grant from the Lincoln Financial
E-mail: NightOut@philadelphiatheatrecompany.org. Foundation.
230 South Broad Street, Suite 1105
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.985.1400 FAX: 215.985.5800
Premier Season Sponsor: