Front Row Theatre Company is the student-run social impact theatre group of the University of Pennsylvania. Check out our upcoming season here.
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Written by David Henry Hwang
Produced by Siani Woods
Assistant Produced by Hannah Paquet
Directed by Susanna Jaramillo
Louis Lin as DHH
Sean Begane as Marcus
Philip Chen as HYH/Others
Lauren Payton as Jane Krakowski/Others
Stephanie Zhong as Leah/Others
Annabel Berney as NWOAOC/The Announcer
Dennis Ronel as Stuart/Others
David Henry Hwang accidentally casts a white man, Marcus G. Dahlman, as an Asian in one of the leading roles of Face Value. Comedy ensues as Hwang is first convinced and then tries to convince other people that Marcus has Asian ancestry as a Jew from Siberia. Hwang realizes that Marcus has no Asian blood, but by then, Face Value has cost $2 million and Hwang tries to cover up his mistake. Marcus, however, continues playing his role as an Asian in all parts of his life, becoming an activist for Asian rights, angering Hwang, who views him as an “ethnic tourist.”
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.
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!