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See ‘The Light Princess’ at the Arden Theatre

The Arden's latest show for kids is a musical based on the classic "Sleeping Beauty." It opens April 5.

Based on an enchanting Scottish legend, The Light Princess comes to life on stage at Old City’s Arden Theatre Co. beginning April 5, and tells the whimsical tale of a teenage girl who floats through the air.


The Light Princess, inspired by Sleeping Beauty, was originally published by George MacDonald in 1864, and is brought to the modern stage with a musical twist. The Arden’s rendition of the story debuted as a musical workshop reading at the 2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and is accompanied by an engaging score that’s best for kids ages 6 and older.


Members of the cast play multidimensional roles to create the musical. Tony Lawton (book and lyrics) and Alex Bechtel (music), also act as the narrator and Prince/Witch, respectively, and each member of the cast plays an instrument to contribute to the musical accompaniment.


The show will be in previews starting April 5; the official opening night is April 14. Directed by Steve Pacek, the musical was originally scheduled to run until May 28, but has been extended to June 2 due to popular demand. Ticket prices range from $18-36 depending on age and showtime, including weekday matinees and weekend performances. A question-and-answer session follows each performance, along with a cast meet-and-greet in the lobby of the theater.


Founded in 1988, the Arden produces two shows per season as part of the Arden Children’s Theatre, which is Philadelphia’s first resident professional children’s theater program. The nonprofit also serves the community by creating educational theater opportunities for Philadelphia’s school children, and runs a popular drama school.


“The goal of Arden Children’s Theatre is to give families and children a world-class theatrical experience that speaks to them,” said Terrence J. Nolen, the company’s producing artistic director. “How proud we are to offer a world premiere musical by local home-grown talent that is, in our opinion, equal to any of the best work out there for children and families.”


As a nonprofit, Arden Theatre Company is able to produce seven shows per season through contributions and grant funding. The Light Princess is supported by the Independence Foundation’s New Theatre Works Initiative, which provides three three-year grants each year to nonprofit Philadelphia theater companies to support new artistic theatrical performances. This not only provides the theater with funding to produce performances, but also create programs for summer camps, after school programs, and educational opportunities for underserved youth in Philadelphia.


Tickets and information on showtimes for The Light Princess are available on the Arden’s website.



Artwork courtesy of the Arden Theatre Co. 





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