The Wilma Theater
Philadelphia’s most thought-provoking mid-size theater
The Wilma is serious about theater as art. Think poetic vision. Think metaphor. Think philosophical interpretation of contemporary life. The Wilma was created by Blanka and Jiri Zizka, its Czech co-artistic directors who formerly lived and directed theater in Eastern and Western Europe.
Performances have ranged from the international drama of Bertolt Brecht and Tom Stoppard to American plays by Tina Howe, Romulus Linney and Quincy Long. Innovative collaborations have included Every Good Boy Deserves Favor — working with the Philadelphia Orchestra to fuse the theater of Tom Stoppard and the music of Andre Previn. It also hosts the successful Danceboom! series in January. All this happens in theater architect Hugh Hardy’s 1996 space on Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts — Broad Street — just south of City Hall.
Established in 1973 as the temporary Wilma “Project,” it quickly became known for presenting local artists and original, avant-garde work. Later, the Zizkas helped put it on a permanent footing with their fresh adaptation of Animal Farm. In 1981, the Wilma found a small Sansom Street theater that it quickly outgrew, so in 1996 it moved to its current 302-seat home, where its shows still sell out.
Know a wannabe? The Wilma offers fellowships to young professionals looking for substantial real-world industry experience.
In the neighborhood
200 S. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19102
- The Independent Hotel Philadelphia
- DoubleTree By Hilton Philadelphia Center City
- Residence Inn Philadelphia Center City
- Inn at the Union League
- The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia
- Alexander Inn
- Le Méridien Philadelphia
- Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown
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Museums & Attractions
1166 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
- Philly POPS! On Independence 2015
- Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
- Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Adolph and Rose Levis Sports Museum
- Pennsylvania Ballet Presents
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
- Pennsylvania Ballet
- Art on City Hall
- Center City District Sips
- Merriam Theater
- Arch Street United Methodist Church
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Restaurants & Dining
South Street and South 16th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
- The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company
- Bistro La Baia
- Concerts in the Park – Rittenhouse Square Summer Concert Series
- Phoebe’s Bar-B-Q
- Pub & Kitchen
- The Corner Foodery
- PHS Pop Up Garden
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