Mission & History

Mission

11th Hour’s mission is to have an enduring impact on our community by producing musical works of theatre. We use the expertise of industry leaders and up-and-coming artists to create an intimate and lasting experience with our audience.


History

11th Hour has emerged as Philadelphia’s premier boutique musical theatre company. Our work focuses on presenting intimate, character-driven stories rather than flashy, budget-busting spectacles. Our hope is that these stories prove the relevance of musical theatre in the contemporary world, engaging audiences and inspiring the next generation of musical theatre artists for years to come.

We produce a broad spectrum of musicals that fill a niche in the diverse Philadelphia theatre landscape: musicals that spark the creativity of our artists and the imaginations of our audience. In the 2014-2015 season, we produced our first world premiere, Michael Ogborn’s Field Hockey Hot, which was a smashing success, and motivated us to create one of the first original cast albums to come out of Philadelphia in years. Over the past eleven seasons, we have produced seventeen full-scale musicals, nine of which were Philadelphia premieres. Our hugely popular Next Step Concert Series is a staged-reading series that showcases musicals seldom seen in Philadelphia. In addition to Field Hockey Hot, the company has contributed to the development of several new musicals beginning with Angst, a ten-minute musical that premiered in the Spark Festival of 2005. We produced the American premiere of Austentatious that went on to success at the New York Musical Theatre Festival; and a 29-hour reading of Fantasy Football, the Musical? before its production at New York University. Both Austentatious and Fantasy Football have since been published and are now professionally licensed. In the fall of 2014, we partnered with University of the Arts to workshop Persephone Unplugged, a new twist on the classic Greek myth.

11th Hour’s devotion to strong narratives and virtuosic music has earned a generous amount of critical acclaim. Philadelphia Magazine critic David Fox hailed the company as “the most significant force for new musical theatre in the city.” Theatre critic Howard Shapiro has described 11th Hour as “an inventive, bold and thoughtful producer that offers something special.” Mark Cofta celebrated our recent production of See What I Wanna See as showcasing our “great commitment to rich musical performance and dynamic design and staging.” The world premiere of Field Hockey Hot was hailed as “100 minutes of sublime lunacy in music that no theatergoer can afford to miss” (City Paper). The audience response to our Next Step Concert Series has been remarkable, with numerous audience members regularly attending talkbacks after each performance to engage in discussion about new and seldom seen musicals.

11th Hour has received a total of forty-three Barrymore Award nominations. Our work has been recognized with nine awards, including two consecutive awards for “Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical” (The Bomb-itty of Errors, The World Goes ‘Round), several individual awards for our artists. Founding member Steve Pacek was also the proud recipient of the 2012 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist. In 2013, 11th Hour became the first-ever recipients of the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theater.