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February 05, 2019

What to see during Philly Theatre Week: A guide to the fresh and standout performances

Shows run from Feb. 7-17 and many are are free or cheap to see

Theater Performances
Theatre Week Contributed image/Theatre in the X

Theatre in the X will put on "The Colored Museum" as part of 2019 Philly Theatre Week – 10 days of free, cheap, workshopped, grassroots and legacy performances in the city starting Feb. 7 and organized by Theatre Philadelphia.

While there is always important theater on stage in the city, Philly Theatre Week is the showcase that we — and lots of local theater artists — wait for every year.

It's 10 days of free, cheap, workshopped, grassroots and legacy performances in the city starting on Feb. 7, organized by Theatre Philadelphia. 

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There are more than 100 performances happening during this overwhelming showcase this year. From the Arden to Philly Improv Theater, there's bound to be something for you and a friend to support.


Philly Theatre Week was created to bring opportunity for both artists and audiences. So, most of the events are free, $15, or $30. That's a far cry from the $150 you'll spend per ticket in New York to see anything on the main stages.

Even in Philly, a ticket for a Saturday 8 p.m. show on the main stage at Walnut Street will run you at least $77. Trust me: Attend Theatre Week.

Philly Improv Theater is offering a slew of free events — including two improv nights open to all experience levels and ages; comedy from the theater's improv artists who unpack your dreams; and two performances from its veteran house team Overlook.

Here are a few more free shows.

• A workshop reading of "Good Cuban Girls" from Teatro Del Sol on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
• A panel discussion at Performance Garage called "Dance Theatre: A Panel Discussion" to address the spaces and opportunities for dancers within theatre on Monday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m.
• "The Little Mermaid" will be read at the Arden Theatre Company. Tickets currently are sold out but you can get on the waitlist by setting a "ticket alert" here.


We love ways to support our local playwrights, so a few things on our radar:

The Philadelphia Dramatists Center is hosting a night of short plays on Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. called "Heartbreak Hotel" by Philly playwrights. Tickets are $15. 

Juniper Productions' "Best of Cocktail Plays" is set right in Philadelphia Distilling. This one has got four nights  — Feb. 11, 12, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. 

And "Clown Sex Ed" by Tribe of Fools is one to look out for during any one of its eight Philly Theatre Week shows.


Curio Theatre Company is premiering “Three Sisters, By Rashdash, After Chekhov," as well as the Philly opening of "An Oak Tree" at Theatre Exile, the American premiere of "Box Clever" at Inis Nua and another local opening of "Dream Girl by Elmer Rice" from Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium. 

Follow those links for tickets and dates.


There also are a ton of Black History Month-themed events, like Theatre in the X’s “The Colored Museum at the African American Museum of Philadelphia" which is currently sold-out, but you can get on the waiting list here. 

Here are a few more:

• Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Collective,  “Detroit '67" on Sat. Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
• Passage Theatre's “To My Unborn Child: A Love Letter from Fred Hampton” on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.
• Arden Theatre's “74 Seconds ... to Judgement" with post-show talkbacks on multiple dates and times

Follow those links for tickets and dates.

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