How We Got Here

During the run of How We Got On we displayed a timeline of how our production came together. We've decided to share it with you, here, along with some photos from our journey! Enjoy!


March 2012
How We Got On has its World Premiere at the Humana Festival in Louisville, KY. Associate Artistic Director Allison Heishman and Artistic Associate Emily Acker both see this production and love it. They don’t even know each other yet.

April 2012
How We Got On is put in the script rotation by Allison and kept on file for future seasons. The script will be read by the staff including Producing Artistic Director Kevin Glaccum and later Resident Dramaturg Sally Ollove. Once a script is embraced by the Artistic team it can remain on a list for season consideration for years before it feels like the right fit for a season, the right time for THIS voice to be heard.


February 2014
Emily officially joins the Azuka family as an intern. We love her so much that we never let her leave. She becomes an asset to the company in many ways, and an advocate of playwright Idris Goodwin’s work in Philadelphia.


January 2015
Artistic discussions continue as the 2016-2017 Season begins to take shape. The list of plays in consideration gets shorter.  How We Got On rises to the top as well as two plays by Azuka playwrights in residence.

July 2015
Board Vice President Natalie Diener Cosenza brings an article from The Guardian about Pay What You Decide to Azuka’s attention. The Board and Staff are immediately excited by this idea and research begins on how we would implement such a program here in Philadelphia.

November 2015
We send a Letter of Inquiry to the Barra Foundation asking for support for a full season of Pay What You Decide programming. We are invited to submit a full grant application due January 7th, 2016… their Board will review applications in March, so until then, we wait… patiently….


March 2016
We apply for the rights to produce How We Got On. Kevin reaches out to Raelle Myrick-Hodges, founding Artistic Director of Azuka to return as Director. Our season is ready to go, we will announce on Opening Night of our May production of Moth.

April - May 2016
BARRA Grant Received and PWYD becomes a reality! We test run the program during the first week of our Spring 2016 production of Moth and it is a great success!

May 2016
Auditions are held for How We Got On. Kevin and Raelle audition over 50 actors through three rounds of auditions and callbacks. Castings decisions are made and offers are accepted for the four actors you see today. The cast is comprised of recent college graduates and young professionals, for some this will be their first professional theater production. The cast is led by acting mentor, and former New Professional, Zoe Richards.

June 2016
Producing Artistic Director Kevin Glaccum and Marketing Director Mark Andrews travel to England for research on Pay What You Decide. There they visit with Porl Cooper of Slung Low in Leeds and with Annabel Turpin and Daniel Mitchelson of ARC Stockton. It’s an inspiring trip for both the potential of Pay What You Decide and the work other folks are doing across the pond!

June - July 2016
The design team is assembled, a series of interviews, portfolio submissions, in person and video meetings are held with Production Manager Ben Levan, Raelle and Kevin. Together they work to put together an artistic team of new professionals that will work with design mentors to bring the play to life. This team of collaborators won’t meet each other for a couple months, but some will begin working on the play the day they are hired.

July 26 - 29, 2016
Scout locations for promotional photo shoot - we decide to focus on the murals that define Philly - the Keith Haring Mural on 22nd and Ellsworth entitled We The Youth is our final choice!

August 2, 2016
Photographer Johanna Austin meets with the cast and costume designer, Shelby Kay along with Azuka Marketing Staff for a photo shoot at the Haring mural, the cast meets each other for the first time! First rehearsal is 3 weeks away...

August 2016
Audience Engagement Programming is created. Collaborators are contacted and events are set on the production calendar. Details still need to be finalized, but the pre- and post-show events are coming together. We reach out to Apiary Magazine and Anthony Martinez-Briggs of Ill-DOOTS fame - both are excited to team up on our show.

The first production meeting takes place and the technical design process is started.

August 2016
Season Sponsors - Two Roads Brewing Company and Fairmount Bicycles are confirmed! We love them and so should you!

Anna Szapiro.JPG

August 30, 2016
First Rehearsal: The creative team assembles for the first time - Stage Manager Maya Neville takes care of contracts and any business and then we dive in with design presentations and a first read-through of the play. Director Raelle leads the discussion as we jump in feet first into our first show of the season.

September 2016
Production Meetings and Build: While the cast rehearses the production and design team are hard at work in discussions with the director to make final adjustments to the design concept and artwork. Technical Director Joe Daniels will begin building the set off-site and all equipment and furniture will be sourced for load-in.

Vocal Coach Matthew Hultgren comes in to work with cast.

September 2016
PWYD Open Houses and Press Circuit! We are working our butts off to get the word out about this show! Did you see us on NBC, in the Metro or the Inky? Did you hear Kevin on KYW or stop by the theater one Saturday afternoon to chat with Mark and Allison? #NoSleepTilOpening

September 12, 2016
Load-in begins at The Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake! Our Production Team comes together to hang lights, wire sound, load the set from the shop into the space and begin painting, props arrive and are treated and some are discarded! Costumes will arrive in the space and actors will be met for final fittings this week! It’s all coming together.

September 16, 2016
Technical Rehearsals span the weekend of September 16th-20th, these rehearsals are called “10 out of 12s” as the artistic team becomes a true collaborative unit putting all of the technical elements of a production together and rehearsals will run from 10:00am to 10:00pm with a two hour dinner/work call break in the middle.

September 21, 2016
First Audience! Our final dress rehearsal is open to the public, the audience is the final piece of any production’s puzzle - we learn a lot when we bring new bodies into the space to see where we are in the process.

September 22 - 23, 2016
Preview Performances: the artistic team continues to work and refine the production before and after preview performances, they take what they learn from the audience and each other each night and continue to dig deeper and grow their work over this preview process.

September 24, 2016
OPENING NIGHT!!! We made it. Now we party.

Pay What You Decide has its first full run… this is happening in the future. This is happening NOW. You get to help determine this part of the story, how will this piece of history be written?