New Philadelphia Playwrights Group Offers Three Years of Theater for $30

The members of Orbiter 3.

The members of Orbiter 3.

It’s possibly the best-kept secret (and best value) in all of Philadelphia theater: Imagine getting access to three years of new plays by awarding-winning local artists, plus invites to special events, all for $30.

That’s exactly what Orbiter 3, a new playwrights collective, is offering to theater lovers throughout the Philadelphia region. This isn’t some ramshackle community theater, either: The collective features the talents of James Ijames, Douglas Williams, Emily Acker, Emma Goidel, Maura Krause and Mary Tuomanen, all highly esteemed theater artists both locally and nationally. In short, it’s an explosive gang.

“We want to bring in audiences that don’t come to new plays,” says Orbiter 3 founding member and Barrymore winner James Ijames. “We believe the next step in Philadelphia’s growth as a theater community lies in fostering new work by local artists, and that a playwrights producing collective is integral to that effort. With a burgeoning population of young playwrights committed to the city, Philadelphia is uniquely poised to become a hub for new plays.”

The group’s unconventional name is inspired by inventor Bertrand Piccard, who was the first person to sail non-stop around the globe via balloon (the Breitling Orbiter 3). When he and his crew landed, they found they only had two hours worth of fuel remaining in their balloon, so, in essence, they barely made it. Piccard will attempt to fly around the world via a solar-powered flight in 2015, the first in history. The group calls Piccard “an inspiration to those of us who aspire to great feats of imagination and sustainability.”

In order to “take flight” with Orbiter 3, theater goers must buy a membership, which will offer full access to all company activities for the entire life of the company (they’ll conclude the project in 2018 by releasing their plays and other documents as a tool for theater artists.) The membership price varies depending on how quickly you sign up: right now, the group is offering a series of memberships for $30. Once they receive 150 members, the price will bump up to $50. The company will stop selling memberships when they get to 200 subscribers, so there is a bit of exclusivity.

The first production, Moon Man Walk by Ijames, will premiere summer 2015; more details will be provided in the following months.

For more information on joining this unique project, click here. You can also “like” them on Facebook.