Off-Broadway Playwright Peter Fenton Partners with Local Community Theater to Stage Teen Comedy

Reported on Thursday, July 11, 2024. 

Pictured Above: The show poster of Coronation, the latest premiere by playwright, Peter Fenton.  Photo Credit: Contributed.


Peter Fenton’s CORONATION, a Teen Comedy to Premiere at Newtown Arts Company August 3rd and 4th

New Hope, PA – Following his Off-Broadway debut with last summer’s Abandon All Hope premiering at Theatre Row, Philly-area playwright Peter Fenton has partnered with Newtown Arts Company, a community theater in Bucks County where Fenton resides, to stage the world premiere production of his new teen comedy, Coronation. Coronation is a play blending the cutting humor of Mean Girls and the 1999 film Election with the emotional undercurrent of Dear Evan Hansen as it explores manipulation, high school politics, and authenticity with an ensemble cast. The play will see two matinee performances at 2pm on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4 in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

When cornered by the no-nonsense guidance counselor, a charming but slimy high school senior tells the story of how he crafted a scheme to manipulate the vote for Homecoming Queen in favor of his kind-hearted but unpopular friend to settle a deep-seated score. His plan went horribly right.


Coronation is directed by Mary Liz Ivins and produced by Lisa Reiser, starring an intergenerational cast of teens and adults, including Alex Axselrad, Julia Rodriguez, Blue Colacchio, Charlotte Walker, Nancy Reeves, and Nick Landes. The play also features Penny Garonski, Lucy Bogansky, Penny Duchnowski, Bob Abrahamson, Aymed Rodriguez Ortiz, and Alyssa Bonachea in supporting roles.


Fenton got acquainted with Newtown Arts Company through his work adjudicating for Bucks County Playhouse’s annual Student Theatre Festival. Lisa Reiser, President of Newtown Arts Company, was impressed with the way Fenton connected with the students in his masterclass workshop. Reiser and Fenton hatched a plan where Fenton would write a new play involving teenagers and use the drafting process as an educational workshop series.

“Everyone really learned a lot through the process!” Fenton reports. “Over the spring, we had four students regularly meet with Lisa, Mary Liz, and me. Every couple weeks, when I’d finish a new draft, we’d read it through, take turns reading all the different parts, and then discuss. Given the play is set in a high school in the year 2024, I had the challenge of creating a teen story that felt authentic to the students (who are in high school now), me as the writer (who graduated in 2013), and to the director, producer, and audience (who potentially graduated much earlier than I did!). We came up with something incredibly fun. This play really has potential for intergenerational appeal. I’m so excited to see the full production in August!”


Coronation will be performed at 2pm on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4 at the Wright Meeting Room in Chandler Hall in Newtown, Pennsylvania. The play is expected to run about 90 minutes. This play is generally family-friendly (recommended for audiences aged 10 and up), but targeted at teens. It contains teenage pettiness, light innuendo, and some mature themes. Tickets are available here on BookTixfor $21 before fees.

Pictured Above: Playwright, Peter Fenton.  Photo Credit: Contributed.

About Peter Fenton:

Peter Fenton is a writer and producer for both theater and film best known for ABANDON ALL HOPE, his dark comedy/drama play that premiered Off-Broadway in 2023. He holds a BA from Wheaton College and completed an apprenticeship at Walnut Street Theatre. His cinematic work has been seen on the international film festival circuit, producing award-winning shorts NIGHT VOICES, co-written with Bradley Hawkins, and INHERENTLY SPECIAL, which Fenton wrote and directed himself. Based in New Hope, PA, Fenton works in Marketing for Passage Theatre Company in Trenton, NJ, and freelances for various clients and film/theater projects. @peterfent

About Newtown Arts Company:

Newtown Arts Company is dedicated to supporting the theatre arts in the heart of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This mission is accomplished through the production of family-friendly live theatre, the granting of scholarships and the development of theatre arts education for area residents. Newtown Arts Company is committed to entertaining and moving audiences, as well as to offering an inclusive and inspiring creative experience to volunteers, both on stage and behind the scenes.

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