by Patricia Bradford

Old Academy Players proudly presents THE ELEPHANT MAN, by American playwright and poet Bernard Pomerance. Old Academy’s 514th production is directed by Jane Jennings and produced by Carla Childs and Janine Lieberman, co-produced by Dale Mezzacappa, costume design by Helga Krauss, and technical design by Jesse Friedman. Show dates are: June 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, & 24, 2018; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm.

Synopsis: In Victorian England 1884, John Merrick, grossly disfigured by a rare disease, is rescued from a carnival where he had been exploited as an object of curiosity and horror. Discovered by a young doctor, he is taken to the London Hospital where his condition is studied, and where he is given refuge. Though initially repulsed by his appearance, his doctor and other visitors become his first friends, discovering the intelligent and sensitive soul within. He begins to see himself as fully human, deserving of love and respect.

THE ELEPHANT MAN is based on the life of Joseph Merrick, a horribly deformed young man, a victim of rare skin and bone disease, called Proteus Syndrome. The play opened in London in 1977. It premiered on Broadway in 1979 and won all of the major theater awards, including three Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. It was revived in both 2002 and 2014.

You will leave the theater with profound gratitude for you own existence and a deep understanding and appreciation of the suffering of others afflicted with this terrible disease. Old Academy Players will be donating the proceeds of its 50/50 to the Proteus Syndrome Foundation.

Timothy Schumann stars as John Merrick. Cast in singular roles are: Leah O’Hara as Mrs. Kendal, Michael Pillsbury as Porter, and Richard Maurer as Cellist. Cast in multiple roles are: Ben Kendall as Ross/Bishop Walsham How/Snork, Dale Mezzacappa as Princess Alexandra/Nurse Sandwich/Pinhead, Elliott Rotman as Lord John/Pinhead Manager/Policeman, Ilana Brookshier as Duchess/Pinhead, Michael Tarringer as Frederick Treves/Policeman, and Nick Lutwyche as Carr Gomm/Conductor.

Old Academy Players, located at 3544 Indian Queen Lane in East Falls, has provided continuous community theater since 1923, and featured the acting debuts of both Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky. Tickets for this powerful show are $20 each. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 pm; Sunday matinée performances are at 2 pm. Parking for all performances is free. Purchase tickets online at, call 215-843-1109 for reservations, or visit the theater’s website at for more information.

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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