The Philidelphia Story

The Philidelphia Story

By Philip Barry

View Current Season Tickets are not yet available for this show.

7:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday Evenings
8:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday Evenings
2:00 p.m. Saturday Matinees


A few words from Jenn Thompson, director of “The Philadelphia Story”

“The time to make up your mind about people is never,” Tracy Lord says in The Philadelphia Story.

The same can be said about plays.

At first glance this classic comedy of class, manners and marriage might easily be dismissed as the ultimate precursor to the modern day rom-com; a frothy and witty peek into the private lives of the high and mighty. When I began my work on this production last spring, the country was dominated by a divisive election and an endless loop of news coverage featuring a sluggish economy and ceaseless chatter about the “1%”. I fretted over how this privileged family might fair through a 2013 lens. Indeed, despite my great and long-standing affection for the piece, I even found myself judging the aptly named Lord family a little, and wondered if today’s audiences might see only their excesses and eccentricities.

Barry knew better. Writing this play in 1938, with unemployment hovering at 19% and the country experiencing yet another economic after-shock of the Great Depression, surely carried its own artistic risks. Yet, it’s Barry’s deep, personal understanding and compassion for his characters that emboldens his audience to look beyond their surface traits and circumstances, even as he asks it of the characters themselves. It seems we must shed our prejudice and blank intolerance together. The fact that the delivery system of such a message is awash in champagne and moonlight makes it all the more intoxicating.

In our modern world of sound bites and snap judgments, of “red” and “blue” states, the flawed, beautiful people who inhabit this play remind us, again, to look beyond our own preconceived notions, no matter how enshrined. To consider the person not the position. This, I believe, is the gift of reviving and revisiting the great plays of our past. Not only do they allow us a glimmer of life and art as they once were, but invite and challenge us to experience and marvel at their continued or renewed relevance.

Turns out, tolerance with a champagne chaser never goes out of style.

~ Jenn Thompson, Director

This production is sponsored by:

Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation