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October 23, 2015

In the cult-favorite odyssey WATERSHIP DOWN, two rabbits lead a scrappy band of refugees on a quest for a new home, unfolding a magnificent celebration of adventure, perseverance and community. In co-production with Mandell Professionals in Residence Simpatico Theatre Project, Drexel’s Co-Op Theatre Company will present a puppetry-infused rendition of WATERSHIP DOWN, November 4 through November 22 in the Mandell Theater (33rd & Chestnut Streets). Adapted from Richard Adams’ classic children’s tale, this epic production will feature a cast and crew comprised of students and professionals, set against the work of top-notch designers from our region.

Simpatico Artistic Director Allen Radway directs this production of John Hildreth’s adaptation. When all is not well in the Sandleford Warren, rabbits Hazel and Fiver lead their group of evacuees on a journey from imminent danger. With challenges at every turn, they must learn to live on their wits, make new allies and confront their deepest fears in order to survive.

WATERSHIP DOWN will feature puppet designs by internationally-acclaimed puppet and mask maker Aaron Cromie, animal-researched choreography by Tribe of Fools collaborator Colleen Hughes, lapine-chic costumes by Jillian Rose Keys, an original live score by Josh Totora, and the sprawling illustrated landscapes of comic book artist Robert Berry (UlyssesSeen), all brought to life by Janelle Kauffman’s projection design and Andrew J. Cowles’ lighting design.

Click here to purchase tickets, which are $10-$25 General Admission and $5 for Drexel students with ID. Half-price previews of the show will take place November 4, 5 and 6 at 8:00pm, with Opening Night on Saturday, November 7 at 8:00pm, followed by evening and matinee performances through November 22.

Each year our theatre program taps Philadelphia’s innovative theatre and dance communities to establish a unique collaboration with a local company. Through this partnership, the Mandell Professionals in Residence Project (MPiRP), Drexel students work and learn alongside established professionals. Founded in Philadelphia in 2005, Simpatico Theatre Project believes theatre to be a force for positive social change and produces classic, contemporary, and new theater that encourages dialogue about issues facing the Philadelphia community. Through 19 full-scale productions, Simpatico has successfully raised awareness for such causes as victims’ rights, citizen action, environmental racism, substance abuse and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

WATERSHIP DOWN also marks the launch of The Philly Bridge Project, a new initiative Simpatico has launched to make the arts more accessible for underserved Philadelphia public school students. Each school participating in the Bridge Project receives an on-site residency along with transportation and tickets to a student matinee.

Published in England in 1972, WATERSHIP DOWN was Richard Adams’ first novel. The story began as a creative way to entertain his daughters on long car rides, and was later adapted into a popular animated movie and a television series. Playwright John Hildreth is a Chicago theatre artist who has written award-winning adaptations of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS and TREASURE ISLAND in addition to adapting WATERSHIP DOWN for the stage, originally at Lifeline Theatre.

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Wednesday, Nov. 4th, 8pm       Half-priced PREVIEW

Thursday, Nov. 5th, 8pm          Half-priced PREVIEW

Friday, Nov. 6th, 8pm               Half-priced PREVIEW

Saturday, Nov. 7th, 8pm           OPENING NIGHT

Sunday, Nov. 8th, 2pm


Wednesday, Nov. 11th 8pm      $5 Student Rush Wednesday

Thursday, Nov. 12th, 8pm       

Friday, Nov. 13th, 10am           Student Matinee          

Friday, Nov. 13th, 8pm                                                                                                

Saturday, Nov, 14th, 8pm                                

Sunday, Nov. 15th, 2pm                            


Wednesday, Nov. 18th, 8pm     $5 Student Rush Wednesday

Thursday, Nov 19th, 8pm

Friday, Nov. 20th, 10am           Student Matinee                      

Friday, Nov. 20th, 8pm

Saturday, Nov. 21st, 8pm                                 

Sunday, Nov. 22nd, 2pm           Closing