Charming, Whimsical, Absurd, Harrowing, and Hilarious — Old Academy Players Proudly Presents a Season of American Playwrights, Classic to Contemporary!

by Patricia Bradford

PHILADELPHIA, PA – East Falls’ historic Old Academy Players celebrates its 94th season by presenting a mix of inspiring and thought-provoking comedies and dramas by American playwrights. Old Academy Players has a show for every palate, seasoned to perfection and bound to thrill the audience!

Nominated for the 2014 Tony Award for Best Play, OUTSIDE MULLINGAR by award winning American playwright, screenwriter, John Patrick Shanley, who also wrote, Doubt and Moonstruck is directed by Christopher Wunder. It is a romantic comedy set in rural Ireland. Anthony and Rosemary are lovelorn farmers. Full of dark humor and poetic prose, this tenderhearted portrait reminding us it’s never too late to take a chance on love begins the season opening September 16 – October 2, 2016.

Directed by Annie Hnatko, THE FOURTH WALL (1992 & 2002) is a delightful, absurd comedy by A.R. Gurney, American playwright, novelist and academic known for the play LOVE LETTERS. Peggy has become obsessed that her life is a play, redecorating the living room with one wall completely blank, the “fourth wall,” representing the “audience.” Her delusion is compounded when everyone entering the room sings Cole Porter songs. The play runs from November 4 – 20, 2016.

Premiering in 2002, MELANCHOLY PLAY is a contemporary farce by award winning American playwright Sarah Ruhl whose poetic writing is the counterpoint in this offbeat, poignant comedy about both the beauty and the sadness of life. Running January 13 – 29, 2017 and directed by Jane Jennings, MELANCHOLY PLAY is accompanied by the mellow, warm, sonorous, and passionate strains of the cello.

The 1958 stage classic SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER is a one-act play by Tennessee Williams, American playwright. A prominent southern family mourns the sudden and unexpected loss of their only son, Sebastian. His cousin Catherine was there and saw what happened. If his mother, Violet, has her way, what Catherine saw will be cut from her brain…forever. Running March 3 – 19, 2017 this most poetic and most shocking of William’s plays is directed by Philadelphia native and NYC-based playwright Rob Rosiello.

A hilarious, contemporary comedy, MEN ARE DOGS, by American playwright, Joe Simonelli, is directed by Terri Bateman. What do you get when you mix 6 women, 2 men and group therapy sessions? A wonderful mix of people trying to work through the ups and downs of their crazy relationships – just what the doctor ordered! The insanity will be running high from April 21 to May 7, 2017.

American playwright and screenwriter, Paul Osborn’s, MORNING’S AT SEVEN, is a heart-warming, hilarious comedy, televised live on several occasions, and has won multiple Tony and Drama Desks awards. The year is 1938; the place is a small Midwestern town, where the four aging Gibbs sisters share in each other’s lives. This beautiful play will take you on a journey of emotions which can only be found in a loving family – jealousy, pride and deceit – all redeemed by empathy, forgiveness and great love! Running June 9 – 25, 2017, Loretta Lucy Miller directs this insightful and tender comedy.

For two weekends in July 2017 Old Academy will present its special one-act festival — the annual SUMMER ONE-ACT BONANZA — featuring lots of comedy, new works, new directors and plenty of laughs! Please note: this production is not included in the regular season ticket package.

Subscribe to Old Academy Players’ Season and see six great shows for one low price of $75 – a savings of $20! Individual ticket prices are $15.

Located at 3544 Indian Queen Lane in East Falls, the urban village on the Schuylkill River, Old Academy Players has provided continuous community theater since 1923, and featured the acting debuts of both Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 pm; Sunday matinée performances are at 2 pm.

Old Academy welcomes groups! If you have 15 or more in your party, you can take advantage of discount pricing. Parking for all performances is free. For information and reservations, call 215-843-1109 or visit the theater’s website at

Theater/Organization OLD ACADEMY PLAYERS
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: 3544 Indian Queen Lane Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (215) 843-1109

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