Old Academy Players Proudly Presents PURLIE VICTORIOUS by Ossie Davis!

by Patricia Bradford

PHILADELPHIA, PA – East Falls’ historic Old Academy Players proudly celebrates the opening of the 97th season by presenting its 521st production, PURLIE VICTORIOUS, a thought-provoking satirical dramedy, written by Ossie Davis. Directed by Loretta Lucy Miller, stage managed by Kimberly Hess, and produced by Mary Jane Fullam, show dates are September 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29, 2019; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

Dynamic, traveling preacher Purlie Victorious Judson returns to his small Georgia town hoping to save Big Bethel, the community’s church, and emancipate the cotton pickers who work on oppressive Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee’s plantation. With the assistance of Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins, Purlie hopes to pry loose from Cotchipee an inheritance due his long-lost cousin and use the money to achieve his goals.

The New York Herald Tribune review described the play as “A bucketful of bristling laughs. Wild, outrageous fantasy…A rich and rollicking irony. Unique in style, rich in its highly individual humor.” PURLIE VICTORIOUS is set in 1960 when a Southern plantation owner, upended by desegregation laws, is held accountable by a Gospel preacher. The play was written by Ossie Davis, American film, television and Broadway actor, director, playwright, and civil activist. Davis and his wife, Ruby Dee, starred in PURLIE VICTORIOUS on Broadway and in the 1963 film, “Gone Are the Days!” based on the play. In 1970 the play was adapted into the Tony-Award nominated musical, PURLIE. Deception, fun, satire, and high jinx — with serious undertones — lead to a triumphant ending!

Old Academy Players’ stellar cast includes Jerome Scott as Purlie, Tiffany Bentham Gross as Lutiebelle, Anthony Wilcox as Gitlow, Morgan Grace Glanton as Missy, Mort Patterson as Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee, Vanessa Ballard as Idella, Jason Corn as Charlie, Norm Burnosky as The Sherriff and Rich Geller as The Deputy.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Parking for all performances is free. Ticket price is $20 per adult; $10 per student with valid ID. Buy tickets online at www.OldAcademyPlayers.org/. Old Academy welcomes groups! Take advantage of group discount pricing ($17 per person with 15 or more people in a group). Call 215-843-1109 for more information and tickets.

Old Academy Players, where Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky made their stage debuts, is a non-profit community theater located at 3544 Indian Queen Lane in East Falls (Philadelphia), the urban village on the Schuylkill River. Constructed in 1819, the Old Academy building has been the OAP home since 1932. Old Academy Players has provided continuous community theater since 1923 and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

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

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