Though Philly Theatre Week is something that seems as if it should have been around forever – a designated period focused on all that local theater, performance art, audience interactive events and staged readings – PTW2020, February 6 to the 16th, is only the third iteration of Theatre Philadelphia’s 10-day ‘week’ of work.
Having spoken to Theatre Philadelphia’s Executive Director Leigh Goldenberg and several participating companies (Curio Theatre, Philly Improv Theatre, the team behind Ruth and Estelle’s A Sequins of Fortunate Events), each artist and organizer is thoroughly behind Theatre Philadelphia in its efforts to gain more attention for an already briskly attended and respected scene.
Nobody stops Philadelphia Restaurant Week from happening just because our culinary scene is thriving, and Lord knows that foodie week is tired.
PTW2020, from over 80 participating companies hosting 300 plus events, is a show of community and a comes from a position of strength.
There’s confidence in a theater scene that can offer shows for free (James Ijames’ Fat Ham through Azuka Theatre at the Drake), or for $15 (such as Ruth and Estelle’s A Sequins of Fortunate Events at 4th Street’s The Bagel Place in Queen Village) or mainstage theater productions for up to half their usual price (e.g. Describe the Night at Wilma Theater and Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance at the Walnut Street Theatre).
There’s something audacious about companies willing to show off their pimp hand with premiers in a week such as this, with shows such as playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger’s Babel at Theatre Exile, and the Palestinian Grey Rock at the SEI Innovation Studio at the Kimmel.
I’m proud to see that the banner of Theatre Philadelphia made this all happen, not only at local theaters but in bars, bookstores and more.