The history of Beacon Theatre Productions (BTP) began in 2011 with Georgina Bard, a Philadelphia theatre artist, who saw the need for theatre that not only educates, inspires, and challenges; but also is accessible to communities and individuals who may not have the means to experience it otherwise.
Our shows are free to the public or offered at affordable and pay what you can tickets. We have traveled throughout the greater Philadelphia area bringing our unique plays to schools, community centers, historical sites, senior living communities, churches and other indoor and outdoor locations. We follow the performances with an engaging, relevant discussions with our multi-generational audiences.
Our plays are about important historical figures and social issues that still affect us today. We have brought to life the characters of: Jo Ann Robinson, Edmonia Lewis, Harriet Forten Purvis, Charlotte Forten Grimké, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia and James Mott, Frederick Douglass, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, Signund Freud, Arthur Conan Doyle, and O. Henry. We have also supported and hosted other artists' work in portraying: Mrs. Deborah Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Richard Allen, Dorothy Day, Sojourner Truth and more.
In our 10 year history we produced: Bonhoeffer's Cost by Mary Ruth Clark, Young Frederick Douglass by Walt Vail, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure by Steven Dietz, and Freud's Last Session by Mark St. Germain. We presented I Will Speak for Myself created by Kimberley Fairbanks and Valerie Joyce; and we produced festivals, showcases and new play readings created by Philadelphia theatre artists. We formed relationships with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Men of C.O.U.R.A.G.E and VetTix and offered free tickets for our Mentor Matinees and select shows.
We premiered the one act plays: Mr. President, I'm Frederick Douglass by Georgina Bard and Richard Hadley; Mary Todd Lincoln: the Woman You Thought You Knew by Georgina Bard; O. Henry Live! Ransoms and Gifts! by Jen Jaynes; The Red Letter Locker by Randy Petersen; Buried Truths by Jen Jaynes; Letters to Aunt Hattie by Gigi McGraw and Under the Bonnet by Shelli Pentimall-Bookler. Each was workshopped and developed by BTP and was performed at various locations in the Philadelphia area.
During the recent shut down of live theatre due to the Pandemic we were able to create virtual offerings. We brought important Black History individuals to life portrayed by local Philadelphia actors. Sojourner Truth, Fanny Lou Hamer, Jo Ann Robinson, Frederick Douglass, and Edmonia Lewis appeared in our offerings: "Truth and Hamer," "History Theatre Time Travel Experience" and "Edmonia" by Barry Putt, Jr.
And now, in 2021 -
We are completing a 2 year project with members of the Fairhill community in Philadelphia with a live play scheduled for August on the back patio of Taller Puertorriqueño in the heart of the community.
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Join us as we continue to tell stories of that inspire compassion, understanding, and hope for a better, more equitable future.
Let's do it together!