A Philadelphia-area family summer tradition begins its 38th year as Upper Darby Summer Stage opens on July 10!

35,000 ticket-holders prepare for one of the country’s most revered youth theater programs!

The cast of "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" prepare to kick off the 38th season of Upper Darby Summer Stage!
The cast of “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” prepare to kick off the 38th season of Upper Darby Summer Stage!

July 9, 2013 – Drexel Hill, PA – Upper Darby Summer Stage, one of the country’s most successful youth theater programs and a Philadelphia-area summer tradition, opens its 38th season July 10. Since 1976, the Delaware County institution has nurtured young people, encouraging them to learn more than theater skills, but life-long skills to embrace their responsibility in the community.

Over 35,000 ticket-holders will walk through the doors to enjoy professionally directed performances and countless young people will develop an appreciation for live theater, seeing their very first live musical! Tickets for the 38th season of Upper Darby Summer Stage are now on sale.

The 2013 summer season includes six one-hour Children’s Theater musicals, and “Fiddler on the Roof” the Mainstage production, appropriate for theatergoers of all ages. Performances take place at Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA. The air conditioned, stadium-style theater offers wheel-chair access and free parking. Tickets may be purchased online at www.udpac.org or by calling the box office at 610.622.1189.

Children’s theater shows begin on July 10 and run every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through August 16. Specific dates and show times can be found online at www.udpac.org. All the children’s theater shows are based on popular children’s books: “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr.!,” the book for which countless children have reported about the travel adventures of Stanley Lampchop; Disney’s “My Son Pinocchio, Jr.,” the new musical by the composer of “Wicked;” Disney’s “Little Mermaid, Jr.” the magical adventure under the sea; “Freckleface Strawberry,” based on the best-selling book by actress Julianne Moore; “A Year with Frog and Toad,” featuring the well-loved characters from Arnold Lobel’s  children’s book series; and Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka, Jr.,” featuring songs from the classic film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

The children’s theater performances are musicals 70 minutes in length, without intermission, and are geared toward children four and up. Tickets for the children’s theater shows are affordably priced for the entire family to enjoy, from $6 – $9. Ticket-holders are encouraged to come early to enjoy pre-show activities and stay after the show for autographs and photographs with cast members. Free baby-sitting is available for younger family members.

The Mainstage show is the beloved “Fiddler on the Roof” and is professionally directed and choreographed, featuring professionally designed costumes, set and technical design, with professional musicians in the live orchestra pit. Young adults, up to the age of 28, make up the cast and the Mainstage production appeals to serious musical theatergoers because of the high-caliber talent and production value.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is co-directed by professional playwright and actor Marcus Stevens, who was recently featured in the New York’s “Forbidden Broadway” and Rachel Stevens who is a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in directing at the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. Marcus Stevens directed the 2007 Summer Stage season production of “Ragtime,” the 2011 season’s “Titanic, the Musical,” called “the best show I’ve seen all year” by the News of Delaware County, and both Marcus and Rachel Stevens directed the sell-out “Hairspray,” the 2012 Mainstage production.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is presented on August 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7:30pm with a matinee on August 10 at 1:30pm.  Tickets are $10 – $13.

The New York Daily News proclaimed “Fiddler on the Roof…a universal story of hope, love, and acceptance, a stunning, joyful, and jubilant musical masterpiece.”  Winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, this Mainstage show is a production musical theater-lovers won’t want to miss.

Since 1976, the Upper Darby Summer Stage program has introduced thousands of families from throughout the Delaware Valley to live musical theater.  Each summer over 35,000 ticket-holders walk through the doors of the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center to experience performances at a price the entire family can enjoy.

Over 750 registrants from throughout the Delaware Valley will participate in the program, a model throughout the country for youth theater programs. At least 30 performances will be presented in the short span of six exciting weeks including Children’s Theater shows, Mainstage shows, One-Act Play performances, and a Dance Troupe-Cabaret production. The staff of 100 professional directors, choreographers, costumers, and technicians is committed to providing excellent musical theater training and high-quality performances for families and the entire community.

Founder and Executive Director, Harry Dietzler established the Summer Stage program in 1976. He received the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award at the 17th Annual Barrymore Awards for Excellence for his positive contribution to the regional Philadelphia theater community.  The program has been recognized as “Philadelphia’s Best Theater Group” for five consecutive years by Philly Hot List.

The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center is jointly sponsored by Upper Darby Township Mayor and Council and the Upper Darby School District Board of School Directors through the Department of Recreation and Leisure Services.

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