productions / seasons / 2021 - 2022 / The Kitchen Sink

The Kitchen Sink

The cast of the Kitchen Sink in a production photo
Tom Wells
costume design:
lighting design:
scene design:
photo credit:
Glass Canary Photography

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets: $5 w/ Penn ID, $8 General

What do Dolly PartonJiu-Jitsu,and a pot-smoking granny have in common?  They all play a role in The Kitchen Sink, a tender comedy about family, class, and dreaming of better things - even when there’s no running water. Martin the milkman’s customers are dropping his services, Kath is making ends meet as an elementary school lunch lady, Billy dreams of painting and Sophie teaches little girls the martial arts...but despite their best efforts, the family is sliding down the economic ladder, on their way to a watery reckoning. Why this play now? As we creep out of our pandemic shells, we look back with gratitude towards the people and places that saw us through. Families became our anchors and domestic spaces became our world. The Kitchen Sink reminds us of the haven and the humor that friends and families provide us in times of stress. Welcome to the world of The Kitchen Sink, where we are reminded, in this (hopefully) post-pandemic moment, to laugh when we want to cry (over spilt milk). 

Thursday, Feb. 17th at 7pm
Friday, Feb. 18th at 7pm
Saturday, Feb. 19th at 7pm
Sunday, Feb. 20th at 2pm


Kath: Emily Wallace
Billy: Rahul Variar
Sophie: Rose McDonald
Pete: Nicholas Peile
Martin: Adam Ritter
Female Role Understudy: Yuting Zhu
Male Role Understudy: Rahan “Ray” Siddiqi

Artistic and Production Staff

Director: Marcia Ferguson
Technical and Production Coordinator: Cat Johnson
Stage Manager: Juliet Dempsey
Assistant Stage Manager: Rahan “Ray” Siddiqi
Costume Designer: Millie Hiibel
Lighting Designer: Michael Lambui
Sound Designer: Marcia Ferguson
Set Designer: Cat Johnson
Dramaturg: Sophie Nadel
Prop Director: Kaitlin Rowan
Publicity: Noah Levine
Program Designer: Kevin Chun
Wardrobe/Backstage Tech: Julia Ongchoco
Scenic Build: Ari Fromm
Scenic/Costume Build: Makena Deveraux

Director’s Note

     There is gentle humor and empathy at the heart of The Kitchen Sink, even as the play describes the real social and economic struggles of a Yorkshire family as they try simply to “manage.” The past two years have been an education in managing for all of us, and the location of our private pandemic dramas has been our domestic spaces – literally, our kitchens. This pre-pandemic play (2011) offers us a place to warm our hands at the hearth of live performance, sweetly inviting us back into community as we inch out of our hiding places. Responding with sly gentleness to a (mainly British) genre famous for rebellion, Tom Wells interrogates “kitchen sink realism” by acknowledging that things may not have gotten all that much better since its heyday (the 1950’s), but his characters nonetheless bravely face the future with ordinary hope. 

     It has been a real pleasure to work with this wonderful group of students and collaborators on a play that has rewarded our pleasant labors with hopeful laughter. The true ensemble nature of this play brought about a close-knit community among us; it has been an honor to watch the growth of this artistic company both on and off the stage.  

Marcia Ferguson