play 6

The Brownings

by Sam Henderson
directed by Harriet Power

Sam Henderson, playwright

Sam Henderson, playwright

NOV. 29 - DEC. 9

Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning write, love, hate, fight, slam dope, and have weird sex in an immoderate re-telling of the great love of the 19th century. The Brownings is an unconventional, rudely comic exploration of the purpose of art and the nature of love.




Charlotte Northeast*
as Elizabeth Barrett Browning

David Ingram*
as Robert Browning

James Ijames*
as Schumann

*Appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association


Apollo Mark Weaver Set Design
Jerold Forsyth Lighting Design
Chris Sannino Sound Design
Marie Chiment Costume Design
Emily Schuman Props Design
Terry Mittelman Stage Manager
Maura Krause Producer
Erin Washburn Line Producer


"As I wrote, I noticed I didn’t really care about the historical Brownings at all. I much preferred these other characters: two great artists, inextricable from each other and in permanent conflict, yearning for a reconciliation that’ll never come."



Praise for The Brownings



A remarkably auspicious start for Sam Henderson

"Henderson’s script displays a keen ear for dialog, which the actors (ably directed by Harriet Powers) deliver skillfully. . . . This is Henderson’s first produced play. It’s a remarkably auspicious start . . .. [T]he smart, funny play marks the sixth world premiere from playwright collective Orbiter 3. The company has pledged to disband after seven (originally six) new works. I’d hope the artistic success of this, and last season’s Peaceable Kingdom, would encourage them to reconsider, or at least spur the individual members onto similar collaborations and self-producing freedoms."


Philadelphia Inquirer

Crazy, smart portrait of crazy art, crazy marriage

"How did I love this show? Let me count the ways . . . it’s smart and funny, more than worth the 80 minutes you spend watching it."


DC Metro Theatre Arts

Dynamic, outrageous -- something very special

"Sam Henderson’s script is fast-moving and exciting. He tackles Barrett Browning’s bipolar disorder with grace, Robert Browning’s conflicts with humility, and the humor of a third notable, the composer Robert Schumann, with ease. . . . With three of Philadelphia’s top actors and an offbeat sensibility, The Brownings is dynamic, outrageous – and something very special."


Philadelphia Magazine

There's lovely writing here

". . . The entire production, under Harriet Power’s sleek and steady directorial hand, really could not be bettered. . . . [T]he adoring opening night audience ate up the anachronistic overlay (“Dude” is Elizabeth’s favored nickname for her husband) and sense of naughty shock in Henderson’s script . . . .[T]here’s lovely writing here . . . ."



Unraveling Codependency with Ariana Zeno
Ariana Zeno of the Mazzoni Center discusses codependency and mental illness in intimate relationships. Facilitated by playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger.


Orbiter 3 in Conversation
Orbiter 3 company members discuss the collective's mission, practices, productions, and future, and the state of new local plays in Philadelphia. Moderated by playwright Quinn D. Eli.