To arrange for interviews and/or photos, to reserve complimentary tickets for reviewers, or for more information, please contact director Larry Anderson at (610) 731-4278. To confirm ticket prices, please visit www.kofpplayers.org.

Please use the contact information above to set up photo shoots. If you call ahead of time, actors will be ready in costume.

Photographers are welcome to attend the following rehearsals at the Shannondell Performing Arts Theater: July 3 and July 10 at 1pm; and July 11 and 13 at 7:30pm. Note: If these dates are not convenient for you, please let us know and we will arrange another time for you to attend.

Critics are invited to attend the dress rehearsals on July 11 and 13 at 7:30pm. Critics may also attend any performance during the first weekend. Please let us know you are coming, so that we may set aside tickets for you.

ARTICLE 1: A short blurb for calendars and events listings.

The King of Prussia Players present the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I" July 15, 16, 22, 23 and 29 at 7:30pm and July 17, 24 and 30 at 2pm at the Shannondell Performing Arts Theater, 10000 Shannondell Drive in Audubon. Advance discount tickets are available at www.kofpplayers.org. Reservations are not necessary for tickets at the door, which are $17 for adults, $12 for children and students under 18 or seniors 65 and older. Group rates (20 or more people) are available for all performances.

ARTICLE 2: A description of the show.

THE KING OF PRUSSIA PLAYERS OFFER "SOMETHING WONDERFUL" WITH A NEW PRODUCTION OF "THE KING AND I"

The King of Prussia Players offer a trip to an exotic land and a world of the past with the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "The King and I." The musical was inspired by the real-life adventures of Anna (Diane Carman), a proper British schoolteacher who travels in 1862 to Siam (now Thailand) to teach the children of the King (Clark Van Hekken). Though she is repelled at times by a way of living so foreign to her own, Anna finds herself entangled in the dramas of the royal court---and drawn to the charismatic King.

Not only does "The King and I" explore the culture clash between East and West, but it also delves into the contrast between mature emotions and the all-consuming rush of first love. A forbidden romance develops between emissary Lun Tha (Steven Burke) and the slave girl Tuptim (Heather McConnell), who is destined to become one of the King's many wives. The stakes are raised for everyone when the debate between love and tradition becomes a matter of life and death.

With such signature tunes as "Hello, Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance?" and "Getting to Know You," "The King and I" is truly, in the words of Head Wife Lady Thiang (Catherine Ard), "Something Wonderful."

ARTICLE 3: The director revisits a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic after 30 years.

THE KING OF PRUSSIA PLAYERS OFFER "SOMETHING WONDERFUL" WITH A NEW PRODUCTION OF "THE KING AND I"

It has been 30 years since the King of Prussia Players last performed the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "The King and I." The musical was inspired by the real-life adventures of Anna (Diane Carman), a proper British schoolteacher who travels in 1862 to exotic Siam (now Thailand) to teach the children of the King (Clark van Hekken). Though she is repelled at times by a way of living so foreign to her own, Anna finds herself entangled in the intrigues of the royal court---and drawn to the charismatic King.

In 1981, Larry Anderson was music director for the show. "In my mind," he says, "I never wanted to attempt 'The King and I' again. If we did, I wanted to direct and I needed to feel I was ready to present something spectacular. I also wanted a staff around me that could create a show better than what we did before."

It took three decades for all of the pieces to fall into place. Anderson notes, "This past winter I felt ready and the show was selected for our summer 2011 production. However, I made clear to everyone, if we did not get the talent, we would cancel the show."

Part of the difference between then and now is in the portrayal of the leads. "In this production, we had a chance to make several characterizations and relationships different. We were able to cast closer to the actual age of the real-life King and Anna this time, and it has given a very different feel to the show," Anderson explains. "The characters of Anna and the King have a depth of emotion that comes from drawing on a longer period of life experience. We can feel the intellectual attraction they have for each other in the beginning, and, as the show progresses, watch it develop into something more. Clark and Diane show us the mountains and valleys of personal interaction between two such different people."

Not only does "The King and I" explore the culture clash between East and West, but also delves into the contrast between mature emotions and the all-consuming rush of first love. A forbidden romance develops between emissary Lun Tha (Steven Burke) and the slave girl Tuptim (Heather McConnell), who is destined to become one of the King's many wives. According to the director, "Steven and Heather are both high-school students. They fill the stage with a passion and longing that can only be expressed by two young lovers who see their whole world being ripped from them, before they even have a chance to live it." The stakes are raised for everyone when the debate between love and tradition becomes a matter of life and death.

As a still point amid the drama and conflict, Anderson has placed Lady Thiang (Catherine Ard), the head wife of the King. "We understand how proud she is of her son, the Prince (Liam McClure), and how respectful and understanding she is of both the King and Anna. Lady Thiang may well be the only character who truly understands the internal conflict both of these people are going through. Catherine's creativeness lets us experience that."

With such signature tunes as "Hello, Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance?" and "Getting to Know You," "The King and I" is truly, in the words of Lady Thiang, "Something Wonderful."

 
 

THE KING OF PRUSSIA PLAYERS
publicity@kofpplayers.org
www.kofpplayers.org
 
 
 

Last updated - June 24, 2011