The Amish Project is nominated for the prestigious Brown Martin Philadelphia Award at this year’s Theatre Philadelphia Celebration on Nov. 4th
The Brown Martin Philadelphia Award seeks to honor those plays that best lead audiences to a better understanding of the unique experience of particular segments of our global community. Through their accurate and insightful representation of perspectives unique to gender, ethnicity, religion, age and other categories of specialized experience, these plays enlighten us and help us to better appreciate different points of view without demanding that we agree with them. The award carries a $25,000 cash prize and is funded by the Virginia Brown Martin Fund. This year’s nominees are: 1812 Productions for It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project; Arden Theatre Company for Next to Normal; Simpatico Theatre Project/The Renegade Company for The Amish Project; and The Wilma Theater for Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika.
The 2013 Theatre Philadelphia Celebration ceremony is being held on Mon, Nov 4th. Tickets & More Info
Newsworks/WHYY - “The Brothers Size…revs like a high-horsepower engine!”
“It’s a treat to see The Brothers Size, a stirring piece about two adult brothers who mostly get along by not getting along. Part of the reason is because its playwright, Tarell Alvin McCraney, has emerged in the past few years as one of contemporary American theater’s freshest voices. Part of the reason is because Simpatico Theatre Project is giving the play an impressive ride on the fifth-floor stage of Walnut Street Theatre.
…(under James Ijames’ direction) Size revs like a high-horsepower engine. All three actors are excellent, in both their delivery of a rough Bayou English (McCraney sets the play in the Lousiana “distant present”) and their interpretations of the well-sculpted characters.”
- Howard Shapiro, Newsworks, WHYY (full article)
Read Christopher Munden’s review then go behind the scenes of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays with THE BROTHERS SIZE director James Ijames, Artistic Director Allen Radway and Plays & Players AD Daniel Student.
The Brothers Size in the CityPaper
“Theater is especially exciting when a play teaches us how to watch it — when the storytelling is as innovative and fresh as the story. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size, launching the Simpatico Theatre Project’s ninth season, does this and more.” “The story spills out in short, tense scenes, portentous dreams and rousing songs…(in) Director James Ijames’ bold, assured 90-minute production.”
- Mark Cofta, Philadelphia CityPaper (full article)
The Daily News raves – “The Amish Project is remarkable, provocative & memorable theatre”…
“The Amish Project, co-produced by Philly’s Simpatico Theatre Project and the Renegade Company, is not a documentary-like recreation of the bloodcurdling events at Nickel Mines. Instead, it’s a remarkably acted rumination on faith, multiculturalism and, most important, how a rational human being can forgive the unforgivable. That is the central question asked by the 75-minute, intermission-free program. Answers are not provided, but we assume Dickey’s goal was not to explain and mollify but to provoke deep and serious thinking about deep and serious issues. But even those not looking for an intellectual workout are pointed to the fifth floor of the venerable Walnut, where Janice Rowland unfurls some impressive stagecraft.”
- Chuck Darrow, The Philadelphia Daily News (full article)
The Amish Project featured in The Inquirer…
“For the playwright Jessica Dickey, however, the why of the Nickel Mines shooting was never a personal preoccupation. What fascinated her was the decision of the Amish community to forgive Roberts and his family, going so far as to attend the gunman’s funeral and bring food to the widow weeks after the murders. It is the forgiveness that came so easily to the wounded Amish community that helped inspire Dickey to write The Amish Project, which will be presented by Simpatico Theatre Project and the Renegade Company from Tuesday through Feb. 3 at the Walnut Street Theatre’s Studio 5.
“You can’t forgive unless you give up on finding the why,” said Dickey “This play will not look to answer why.”
Dickey will be onstage for a conversation after Friday, January 18th’s performance.
- Alfred Lubrano, The Philadelphia Inquirer (full article)
Photography by Kathryn Raines & Plate | 3
Getting to know Simpatico – Managing Director, Robert Stineman…
“What really sets Simpatico apart,” Stineman explains, “is what we stand for: illuminating issues within the community at large to help educate and hopefully make positive change. Every production we put up is in partnership with another non-profit whose goals and mission statement line up with the piece that we are doing. His artistic beliefs are simple and, yet, all-together rare: “Give me a good story with actors really going through stuff, really listening, really responding, really playing with one another, and then I forget everything but that narrative. Then I go for a ride. Then I really get the visceral experience that theatre can be.”
- Samantha Clarke, The Examiner (full article)
The Reviews are in…
A Bright New Boise
“We know right away that the title of Samuel D. Hunter’s 2011 Obie Award-winning play A Bright New Boise is ironic — the play is set in a bleakly recognizable box-store employee break room, where beleaguered Hobby Lobby manager Pauline (Catherine Palfenier) interviews shy, older Will (Kevin Bergen) for a minimum-wage retail job. It’s 38 hours a week (which is part-time, two hours shy of full-time and benefits). Yes, in director Jill Harrison’s terrific production, we’re in a uniquely American hell. An incisive script and the cast’s fine performances help us realize that providing no easy answers is sometimes the right answer.”
- Mark Cofta, Philadelphia City Paper (full article)
“You keep asking yourself, is this for real? Does this play mean it? How seriously are we supposed to take these characters?…Kevin Bergen in a remarkably nuanced and persuasive performance [with] the excellent Aubie Merrylees.”
- Toby Zinman, The Philadelphia Inquirer (full article)
Photography by Kathryn Raines & Plate | 3
The Reviews are in…
“The Black Monk once again confirms Simpatico as one of the best indie companies in town… (actors) Van Auken and Howey display consistency of character through demanding ranges of tone and emotion. Lorenz walks a line between rationality and madness with skill (the next local production of Hamlet has found its title character)… The production’s excellent use of music is worth mentioning, the onstage performances of violin, piano, and vocal fit perfectly (Elizabeth Zook, John Greenbaum & Shannon Remley)… Attempting to summarize the best modernist short stories is futile; it’s impossible to capture the depth and subtleties that make the stories great… Rabe and Radway succeed magnificently.”
- Christopher Munden, Stage Magazine (full article)
“David Rabe did theater a favor by adapting Chekhov’s short story for the stage. And Simpatico Theatre Project’s production pays it forward.”
- Wendy Rosenfield, The Philadelphia Inquirer (full article)
Photography by Dominic Episcopo. Graphics by Josh Levitas.
“Rabe’s The Black Monk is receiving its first Philadelphia-area staging April 10–29, 2012, as the concluding entry in Simpatico Theatre Project‘s 7th season. The piece is directed by Simpatico AD Allen Radway, who excelled with last season’s productions of Evie’s Waltz and David Mamet’s The Cryptogram. The cast includes former Royal Shakespeare Company actor David Howey as horticulturist Yegor Pesotsky, and two talented young actors who have risen fast in the local theater scene as Pesotsky’s daughter Tanya (Sarah Van Auken) and her suitor, the protagonist Andrei Vasilich Kovrin (Matt Lorenz).”
- click the image for Christopher Munden’s full article
The Philadelphia Inquirer & Stage Magazine are glowing over
The mEEp pROjecT
by Ed Swidey
“The mEEp pROjecT is a giant step in the right direction (for Simpatico) — not just for children, but for everyone who enjoys being transported to a magical place, where joie de vivre is the norm, and even the meanest Others can be won over with a tickle, a flower, and a “meep!”…an enchanting hour of fantasy, with a serious message on the importance of laughter, joy and community.” - Deb Miller, Stage Magazine
Evie’s Waltz named a “Must-see Show of the Spring!” amongst excellent company.