Welcome to the Metro Philadelphia region of LMDA! The region covers the city of Philadelphia, as well as the surrounding suburbs. The Philly theater scene features a mix of bigger companies with full-time dramaturgs and literary managers on staff, such as the Wilma Theater, the Philadelphia Theatre Company, and the Arden Theatre Company, and medium size to smaller companies that regularly use dramaturgs. In recent years, two LMDA members from Philadelphia have been awarded residency grants to develop dramaturg-in-residence positions with area theaters. In 2012, Sarah Ollove was awarded the grant to work with Azuka Theatre. Sarah Totora received the grant in 2015 to work with Simpatico Theatre.
New play development is a central focus of many theaters in the area. Philly is home to PlayPenn, a new play development conference held every summer. The conference gives playwrights the opportunity to work on their scripts in a workshop setting. It also provides opportunities to dramaturgs to form connections with playwrights and others in the local theater community. Another project that focuses on new play development is the just launched Orbiter 3, a producing playwright collective that aims to make accessible theater over the course of three years.
Philadelphia is also an excellent area for people just beginning their theater careers. Colleges and universities throughout the area offer excellent theater programs, some of which offer courses in dramaturgy or allow students to specialize in dramaturgy. Temple University and the University of the Arts are just two of the schools that offer theater degrees.
The Metro Philly LMDA region is a fairly active one. Events, open to LMDA member dramaturgs and those interested in becoming members, are held several times a year, giving dramaturgs a chance to mix and mingle or to network with others in the community. Past events have included happy hours, bowling, and speed dating for dramaturgs and directors. Philly LMDA has also held some exciting panel discussions, covering topics such as using dramaturgical skills in other fields and choosing between a freelance career or full-time position.
Information about events and activities:
LMDA Metro Philadelphia Facebook Group