Front Row Theatre Company is the student-run social impact theatre group of the University of Pennsylvania. Check out our upcoming season here.
FTC Presents: Speech & Debate
Written by Stephen Karam
Directed by Elizabeth Martinez
Produced by Adam Mansell
Mackenzie Holmes as Diwata
Blake London as Howie
Luke Clements as Solomon
Stephanie Acquaye as Teacher/Reporter
Speech & Debate is a dark comedy with music that follows three Oregon high school students who are linked by a teacher’s sex scandal. They learn to barter secrets and experiences while hesitantly forming their Speech & Debate team in a town run by hypocrites. By age Howie, Diwata, and Solomon are children, but their experiences are more than adult. What does that make them in the eyes of their society?
Front Row Theatre Company (FTC) is the University of Pennsylvania’s only student group dedicated to performing socially relevant theatre. As a member of the Theatre Arts Council (TAC-e), the Executive Board and Members work within a vibrant community of artists and performers committed to putting on high quality shows with a purpose. We choose shows and student directors dedicated to starting a conversation about social issues, and then mobilize the production staff and membership to have a real impact on the issues through focused community service projects.
We produce four student-directed shows each academic year: NSO, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Directors and shows are chosen by our Executive Board.
Since 2003, Front Row has been Harrison College House‘s in-house theatre company. We stage two of our annual performances in the Harrison Rooftop Lounge, an incredibly intimate space that gives FTC the freedom to explore different types of theatre experiences. We also help run a residential program that lets FTC members live in Harrison, creating a true community.
Front Row’s Executive Board is at the heart of every company production, choosing each season’s shows and directors, assembling the entire production staff, and more. Each board member assumes a set of responsibilities to help run the company and works on all Front Row productions during their tenure.
Anyone who acts in an FTC show or works on the production can become a member. Members are eligible to run for Board and vote in board elections each spring.
Tess Speranza has the name of a princess, and the personality of a princess. She actually is a princess.
David deLacoste-Azizi will fix your computer, your refrigerator, and your broken heart.
Interested in acting in one of our productions? We offer performance opportunities for both musical theatre and straight plays, comedies and tragedies and everything in between! Auditions are generally held in September, November, and February for our Fall, Winter, and Spring productions, respectively.
Auditions for the Fall of 2017 will be held on September 3rd and 4th. Keep an eye on our blog and on our Facebook page for details!
Calling all techies! For each production, we need lighting, sound, props, costumes, make-up, protections, graphics, and a set — and a lot of creative people to make them all happen. We’re always looking for people interested in production design, gaffing, carpentry, and stage-management! No experience is necessary, we’re happy to teach you!
Tech interviews are typically held the week after auditions. Check out our blog and Facebook page for updates!
FTC is dedicated to performing socially relevant student-directed theatre in intimate settings, fulfilling our unwavering desire to have fun, and bringing high-quality production values to everything we do. We accept director proposals and hold director interviews for our entire season at the end of each academic year, in April. If you’re interested, look out for our call for proposals next spring!
For Front Row, the show community doesn’t end when we strike the set. After every production, everyone on the production staff is invited to become a member of the company. Members are eligible to run for and vote on the executive board each year, and they receive invitations to regular social and community service events. Members are also eligible to live in Harrison with Front Row’s residential program. The only requirement to remain an active member is working on at least one Front Row show each academic year!