(PHILADELPHIA, PA) -- Lantern Theater Company has announced its upcoming 2023-24 season, which will mark the company’s 30th anniversary of bringing great stories from great writers to Philadelphia and beyond. To celebrate this milestone season, the Lantern will showcase four brilliant plays from some of the world’s best playwrights: Molière's comic masterpiece Tartuffe, directed by Charles McMahon; two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s dramatic gem, Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Faith Healer from legendary Irish playwright Brian Friel, directed by longtime Lantern artistic partner Peter DeLaurier; and William Shakespeare’s lyrical and hilarious The Comedy of Errors, also directed by McMahon. The Lantern will also present its annual adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a Philadelphia holiday tradition co-created by local theater artists Anthony Lawton, Christopher Colucci, and Thom Weaver.
“These plays are richly varied in tone and style but they all treat on a common theme: the ways that we can be complicit in our own self-deception,” said Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon. “These writers have created beautifully complex variations on this psychological theme, giving us stories that are comical, wistful, farcical, and poignant – but always informed by a core of essential truth. For our 30th anniversary season, we look forward to celebrating the endurance of the human spirit in the face of its own folly.”
Season subscriptions and flex packages start at $112 and are available online at www.lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. Single tickets for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol go on sale July 11, 2023; single tickets for Tartuffe, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Faith Healer, and The Comedy of Errors go on sale August 1, 2023.
Lantern Theater Company’s 2023-24 Mainstage Season
TARTUFFE by Molière; Directed by Charles McMahon. September 7 – October 8, 2023. Prim and devout Orgon invites Tartuffe, a charlatan par excellence, into his bourgeois household, laying the scene for equal parts domestic disruption and social outrage. Banned for decades by civil and religious authorities who found the play too close for comfort, this masterpiece from perhaps the most beloved comic playwright of all time is a searing and hilarious study in how we collaborate in our own deception.
CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY by Lynn Nottage ; Director TBA. November 9 – December 10, 2023. Just landed in Brooklyn from the South, the Crump family is seeking their place in the Philadelphia-based Father Divine movement – but their two brilliant daughters on the cusp of adulthood are chafing at their father’s religious strictures. Their big dreams for the future are encouraged by their lively, fearless, free-thinking, communist Aunt Lily. This dramatic gem from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage gently reveals the funny and touching struggles of a family trying to make a new start in a strange world full of temptations and surprises.
FAITH HEALER by Brian Friel; Directed by Peter DeLaurier. February 1 – March 3, 2024. From the rich imagination of the great Irish playwright Brian Friel, Faith Healer is a deep dive into the psyche of an inspired performer – but is he really a shaman, an artist, or a con man? This story of a village set on edge by his machinations is at times comical and at times startling. Friel’s masterpiece shines a light on the dark places of the human soul, but its mysteries endure.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS by William Shakespeare; Directed by Charles McMahon. May 16 – June 16, 2024. Come see how the story of a bereaved merchant searching for his lost son in a hostile city turns into an unrivaled comedy of mistaken identities, twins separated at birth, and love lost and won. When all of Ephesus is thrown into chaos, only the genius of Shakespeare can put it right again.
2023-24 Special Holiday Production
CHARLES DICKENS' A CHRISTMAS CAROL an Original Adaptation by Anthony Lawton In Collaboration with Christopher Colucci and Thom Weaver; In Association with Mirror Theatre Company. December 2 - 27, 2023. In this wonderfully clear and direct telling of Charles Dickens’ beloved novella, acclaimed playwright and actor Anthony Lawton brings the story vividly to life as only theater can. Come rediscover Dickens’ timeless story of a miser’s miraculous redemption from a life of bitterness, greed, and isolation. Hailed by the late Terry Teachout in The Wall Street Journal as “electrifying” and by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “a 95-minute masterpiece…brilliantly performed and staged,” Lawton’s heartwarming adaptation has captured the hearts of theater critics and audiences alike, inspiring a new Philadelphia holiday tradition now in its sixth year.
Founded in 1994 and launching its 30th anniversary season in September 2023, the mission of Lantern Theater Company is to produce plays that investigate and illuminate what is essential in the human spirit and the spirit of the times. The Lantern serves audiences and students in Greater Philadelphia with award-winning productions and education programming, notably partnering with middle schools and high schools in the Philadelphia School District to provide in-classroom residencies in support of curricular learning. The Lantern became a national leader in streaming theater during the Covid-19 health crisis, producing ten films of fully designed plays that were created in the company’s resident home at St. Stephen’s Theater, garnering coverage in national media including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and reaching more than 30,000 patrons in 15 countries and all 50 states.
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