Join us for an intimate musical experience as we explore the life and legacy of the Founding Fathers’ founding father, William Penn. Hip-hop meets alt-rock meets jazz-funk meets 18th-century Quaker ideology.
$20 / 60 minutes
Brotherly Love Theatre Company (BLTC) is tackling its largest production to date. With light partnership from the authority on all-things-PENN, Pennsbury Manor: William Penn’s Country Estate, located on the Delaware River in Bucks County, BLTC hopes to expand upon and further develop this new musical.
Former productions include 13 to 30: The Lost Years of Christ, HOME: A Philly Family Musical, and COSMOS: A One Act Musical Tribute to Carl Sagan.
To further contextualize our oft-celebrated revolutionary era, we must explore the life and legacy of the Founding Fathers’ Founding Father, William Penn, and his Holy Experiment, the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA – The William Penn Story, Brotherly Love Theatre Company explores the origin of its namesake and hometown’s founder through musical theatre. An amalgamation of jazz, funk, hip-hop, rock, and 17th Century Quaker ideology, The William Penn Story, inspired by productions like 1776, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Hamilton: An American Musical, recounts the history of the civil disobedient, rebellious, faith-driven, utopian dreamer, and founder of Philadelphia. The show features a five-part band of musicians and a commanding team of actors who bring William Penn, his family, friends, and contemporaries to life. Piano, bass, guitar, mandolin, percussion, and powerful vocals come together in the concert version of this blossoming new musical. “Our city was founded as a haven of tolerance and amnesty for persecuted peoples from around the world. At a time when ‘the other’ is being vilified in the minds of our countrymen, it is important we remember that this nation stems, in part, from the seeds of peace planted by a man who was often violently persecuted for his perceived role as a member of ‘the other’ in his day,” says Artistic Director David Henry Wrigley. “So many people know about Ben Franklin and the influence he had on our young nation, but know little about the city’s originator, whose 37ft. tall statue stands at the center of our city!”
Artistic Director David Henry Wrigley, trained at Muhlenberg College, Touchstone Theatre, Second City Chicago, iO, and Pig Iron Theatre is a prolific theatre maker whose short 20-30 minute science based plays can be seen nearly every month as part of The Franklin Institute’s Science After Hours programming. Musical Director Adam Grode is an accomplished ethnomusicologist, art historian, linguist, and a concert-lecturer. A Watson Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, Adam embarked upon several independent wanderjahrs along the Silk Road studying a family of long-necked lutes with local masters in Central Asia. At present, Adam is completing a Master’s at the University of Pennsylvania focusing on Silk Road Archaeomusicology during the Early Middle Ages.