’Tis the season for great theater

Keith Conallen and Charlotte Ford star in “Gruesome Playground Injuries.”

There may be 14 different productions of “A Christmas Carol” coming to stages near you this holiday season, but don’t be dismayed. During the blustery months ahead, Philadelphia theater offers plenty of non-holiday fare, from recent off-Broadway hits to exciting DIY experiments to rarely seen 19th-century classics. Here are four of the most promising upcoming productions from all corners of the Philly scene (and one unusual holiday play, just for good measure).

‘The Whipping Man’

After a New York production starring Andre Braugher, “Whipping Man” has moved on to regional theaters around the country. Written by newcomer Matthew Lopez, it’s a Civil War tale of a Jewish man returning from the battlefield to confront two former slaves.
Through Dec. 18
Arden Theatre Co.
40 N. Second St.
$34-$48, 215-922-1122
www.ardentheatre.org

‘Hershel & The Hanukkah Goblins’
Director Lisa Jo Epstein has teamed up with local playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger to adapt this popular 1994 children’s book by Eric A. Kimmel.
Dec. 20-31
Gas & Electric Arts
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine St.
$16-$25, 215-925-9914
www.gasandelectricarts.org

‘Marriage’
For over six years, Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium has been celebrating absurdity, along with some of history’s most distinguished writers. This time up it’s Nikolai Gogol’s 1833 farce, featuring a bachelor who desperately wants to marry, then even more desperately wants to call it off.
Feb. 8-26
Idiopathic Ridiculopathy
Consortium, Walnut Street Studio 5, 825 Walnut St.
$15-$20, 215-285-0472
www.idiopathicridiculopathyconsortium.org

‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’
A Pulitzer Prize finalist last year, this new play by New York writer Rajiv Joseph features an unusually intimate lifelong relationship between a pair of career misfits. Time bends when the friends reunite, allowing them to relive past traumas and passions.
Through Dec. 4.
Theatre Exile
Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre
2111 Sansom St.
$18-$25, 215-218-4022
www.theatreexile.org



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