America's Oldest · Founded 1808

The Walnut Presents the World Premiere of The Eclectic Society!

December 15, 2009

Members of The Eclectic Society. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Philadelphia, PA: The Walnut Street Theatre continues its landmark 201st season with the World Premiere of Eric Conger's THE ECLECTIC SOCIETY. In the course of its history, the Walnut has played host to an untold number of world premieres. Among the most well known of these are A Streetcar Named Desire, A Raisin in the Sun and The Diary of Anne Frank. Now, as the Walnut enters its third century of producing live theatre, that tradition continues with THE ECLECTIC SOCIETY. Directed by Ed Herendeen, this all-new production begins previews on January 19th, opens on January 27th and runs through March 7th on the WST Mainstage.

It is early November, 1963. On a University campus somewhere in New England, the members of THE ECLECTIC SOCIETY are caught up in a whirlwind of social change. Sure, there are still Homecoming games to be won and pranks to be pulled on the incoming pledges, but things start to change with the arrival of Darrell Freeman (J. Alex Brinson). A scholarship winner from the ghettos of Cleveland, Darrell doesn't exactly fit the mold of membership. In other words: he comes from the wrong side of the tracks, and he's black. As the second African-American admitted to the Society (after three-sport athlete Floyd Wiggins, played by Carl Clemons-Hopkins), Darrell has his own hurdles to clear as he is welcomed by some with open arms"