Maybe this should be one of those rubrics of health you see in all of those “Does your city not suck?” type articles: Does your city have a dedicated collective of playwrights who want break the ars dramatica out of its only-old-people-go existential funk? Who are furthermore using numbers and hard data to measure whether or not they are actually successful? Philly has one of those, and it’s called Orbiter 3. And their plan is this: Between 2015 and 2017, they’ve embarked to produce seven new plays by local writers (they’re already four in); next year, they’ll release documentation of of what they’ve done, and see what’s next. Their artistic brief is as simple as it elusive: “Our productions offer Philadelphia inclusive, accessible theater that embraces risk, values local artists, and chases the playwright's vision.”
This week, they’ll be raising funds and blowing out the cobwebs for 2017 by staging a public reading of their next play at PAFA. To be staged in May of this year, with Rebecca Wright directing, Mary Tuomanen’s Peaceable Kingdom is…
“Peaceable Kingdom is a darkly comedic fable about the founding of Pennsylvania, and the Quaker ideal of utopia. The members of the collective will perform the play in front of the very Edward Hicks painting that inspired it.”
Yes, that painting. With actors, and “professional singers.” See? That’s weird. That’s good. That’s some Orbiter 3 stuff.
More info/Facebook invite here.