Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) produces, develops, and presents contemporary theater work focused on the American experience. Since its founding in 1974, PTC has presented more than 200 world and Philadelphia premieres, with more than half of its world premieres touring to other major cities. These include Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning Golden Age, Bill Irwin’s The Happiness Lecture, and Being Alive, conceived and directed by Billy Porter with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The company has received more than 50 Barrymore Awards from Theatre Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Theatre Company commissioned Tony Award-winning actor/clown Bill Irwin to create, develop, and perform The Happiness Lecture, a new work combining movement, music, and puppets resembling the actor himself. Among Mr. Irwin's inspirations for the piece was theater critic John Lahr's claim that "Frivolity is the species's refusal to suffer." The project was developed with Philadelphia-based actors and dancers during a series of workshops and premiered in 2008 during the company's inaugural season in their new permanent performance home, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.
Photo by Mark Garvin.