PHILIP GOES FORTH tells the story of a young man who rebels against his father and a career in the family business and ventures to New York to write plays. He leaves home without his father’s support or blessing, but with this warning: “Don’t imagine, whenever you get tired floating around up there in the clouds that you can drop right back into your place down here;—that isn’t the way things go—”

PHILIP GOES FORTH made its debut at the Biltmore Theater on Broadway in January of 1931. George Kelly’s comedy has some discouraging words for its title character—and this rubbed a few critics the wrong way. The Times’ Brooks Atkinson was especially disgruntled. “To discourage the neophytes about coming to New York and trying their fortune with the arts is to accept considerable responsibility,” Atkinson proclaimed, while missing the point of the play. Kelly was so disappointed by the lack of critical perception that he gave up writing for the theater for the next five years.

Our production—the play’s first in 82 years—finally garnered the critical perception it deserves. “It’s a gem,” hailed Terry Teachout in The Wall Street Journal, “mounted with the company’s accustomed skill and resourcefulness.”1 Joe Dziemianowicz of The New York Daily News wrote “PHILIP GOES FORTHisn’t about shattering dreams of aspiring writers, but about knowing who you are, what you’re not and what really matters. All three of those themes are worth writing home about.”2

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CAST

  • Mr. Eldridge Cliff Bemis
  • Mr. Shronk Teddy Bergman
  • Philip Bernardo Cubría
  • Mrs. Ferris Jennifer Harmon / Kathryn Kates
  • Mrs. Oliver Carole Healey
  • Mrs. Randolph Christine Toy Johnson
  • Cynthia Natalie Kuhn
  • Haines Brian Keith MacDonald
  • Edna/Hazel Jennifer McVey
  • Miss Krail Rachel Moulton

CREATIVES

  • Sets Steven C. Kemp
  • Costumes Carisa Kelly
  • Lights Christian DeAngelis
  • Sound Toby Algya
  • Props Joshua Yocom
  • Casting Judy Bowman
  • Production Manager Sherri Kotimsky
  • Production Stage Manager Michael Block
  • Assistant Stage Manager Laura Kathryne Gomez
  • Illustration Stefano Imbert
  • Graphics Hey Jude Design, Inc.
  • Advertising The Pekoe Group
  • Press David Gersten & Associates
  • Assistant Production Manager Wayne Yeager
  • Assistant Costume Designer Begonia Berges
  • Assistant Lighting Designer/Light Board Programmer Chris D’Angelo
  • Board Operator Adam Schofield-Bodt
  • Wardrobe Supervisor Ryan Hanson / Ray Kiely
  • Production Assistant Aldora Neal
  • Deck Crew Nicole Madar / Kathryn Armstrong /
    Andrew Hendrick
  • Set Construction Carlo Adinolfi

FOSTER HIRSCH
AUTHOR OF GEORGE KELLY—A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY PUBLISHED IN TWAYNE'S UNITED STATES AUTHOR SERIES

Foster Hirsch, George Kelly biographer and Professor of Film at Brooklyn College, will discuss the playwright, his life and work. He is the author of sixteen books on subjects related to theatre and movies. A native of California, Hirsch received his B.A. from Stanford University, and holds M.F.A, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. Hirsch joined the English Department of Brooklyn College in 1967, and in 1973 became one of the first professors to join the school’s newly established Film Department.

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DR. MARK CALDWELL
SENIOR PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY

PHILIP GOES FORTH depicts the life of a few young artists living in a rooming house in New York in the 1930’s. Dr. Caldwell will help to put the play into a social and historical context. He is the author ofNew York Night: The Mystique and Its History (2005). Other books by Caldwell include: The Prose of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1987); The Last Crusade: America’s War on Consumption, 1862-1954 (1988), Saranac Lake: Pioneer Health Resort (1993), A Short History of Rudeness: Manners, Morals, and Misbehavior in Modern America (1999)

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JAMES J. KOLB
PROFESSOR OF DRAMA, HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY

The 1920s saw George Kelly’s greatest success as a playwright. His three most popular plays—The Torchbearers (1922), The Show-Off (1924) and the Pulitzer Prize winning Craig’s Wife (1925) were all financial and critical triumphs of the era. Professor Kolb will discuss Kelly’s signifi cant place in the American theater at this time. A teacher of theatre history and dramatic literature since 1969, Kolb is co-editor (with Arthur Gewirtz) of Experimenters, Rebels, and Disparate Voices: The Theatre of the 1920s Celebrates American Diversity (2003) and Art, Glitter, and Glitz: Mainstream Playwrights and Popular Theatre in 1920s America (2004).

TRAV S.D.
AUTHOR OF NO APPLAUSE—JUST THROW MONEY: THE BOOK THAT MADE VAUDEVILLE FAMOUS

George Kelly began his career in vaudeville as an actor and sketch writer. His brother—Walter C. Kelly—was also famous on the circuit for his dialect comedy as “The Virginia Judge.” Trav S.D. will discuss the Kelly brothers’ place in the famous American tradition of vaudeville. Performer, writer and producer Trav S.D. is the author of over 100 plays, 300 published articles, and two books. He has contributed to The New York Times, American Theater, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, The Villager, Downtown Express, Chelsea Now, and many others. He has also presented many of New York’s top variety acts through his American Vaudeville Theatre.

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