Tony Award-winning actor and clown Bill Irwin opens Philadelphia Theatre Company’s new Theatre Masters Series on February 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Broad and Lombard Streets). Irwin will be joined in his conversation by arts consultant and former Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing Howard Sherman.
Launched as part of PTC’s celebration of its 40th Anniversary season, Theatre Masters will offer an array of Monday night on-stage interviews with major theatre artists with whom PTC has worked, each sharing their personal journey of transformation and creative growth over time and how it has impacted both their art and their lives. This season’s schedule also features Billy Porter on March 23 and Anna Deavere Smith on May 11.
“We are really happy and privileged to be continuing our relationship with Bill Irwin, with whom we first worked on our production of Trumbo, which earned Bill a Barrymore Award for Best Actor, and then again our commissioned world premiere of The Happiness Lecture. In this interview, audiences will get a rare glimpse into the creative process and personal evolution of of this brilliant and versatile artist,” said PTC’s Executive Producing Director Sara Garonzik.
An actor, film and television star, world-renowned clown, playwright, director and choreographer, Irwin is one of the most versatile performers on the American stage today. The recipient of a Barrymore Award for his performance in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s production of Trumbo, Irwin won a Tony Award for his lead role in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opposite Kathleen Turner and appeared in the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of Waiting for Godot which earned him a Drama Desk nomination.
The creator and star of the productions Regard of Flight, Fool Moon, for which he also won a Tony Award, and more recently, Old Hats with David Shiner at Signature Theater, Irwin starred opposite Sally Field in the 2002 Tony Award-winning play Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? The Signature Theatre’s 2003/04 Season was dedicated entirely to his original work for which he served as writer, director, and star. Other Broadway work includes his original work, Largely New York, which received five Tony Award nominations and won Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle and New York Dance and Performance Awards.
In the fall of 2000, Irwin directed and performed his own adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s prose work Texts for Nothing at the Classic Stage Company, for which he received a nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance by the Outer Critics Circle. His feature films include: Interstellar with Matthew McConaughey, Rachel Getting Married with Anne Hathaway, Love Conquers All!, Igby Goes Down, The Laramie Project for HBO, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey, John Turturro’s Illuminata, Scalpers with Andy Garcia and Mike Hoffman’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Klein and Rupert Everett.
PTC’s 40th Anniversary season continues with Tony Award-nominated Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally (February 6-March 8) featuring Michael Learned; brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee (May 1-May 31), co-produced with the Long Wharf Theatre; and the Off-Broadway hit musical comedy Murder for Two with book and music by Joe Kinosian and book and lyrics by Kellen Blair (June 6-June 28).
Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company is a leading regional theater company that produces, develops and presents entertaining and imaginative contemporary theater focused on the American experience.
Tickets are available at philatheatreco.org or by phone at 215.985.0420 and range from $5 for enrolled college students to $25 for the general public.