Theatrical licensor Concord Theatricals has acquired worldwide licensing rights to Noah Haidle's Birthday Candles, with the title now available for performance by both professional and amateur theatres. The company is adding the work to its Samuel French imprint, making a print version of the acting edition script now available for purchase as well.
The work tracks the life of Ernestine Ashworth from age 17 to 101, investigating what makes a lifetime into a life. The title is derived from one of the few constants over Ashworth's long life, the birthday cake she bakes for herself every year. Birthday Candles debuted on Broadway last season via Roundabout Theatre Company, with film and TV star Debra Messing leading the cast as Ernestine. The play was originally commissioned by Detroit Public Theatre, where it premiered in 2018.
“Birthday Candles is my first play published with Concord Theatricals and I can't imagine a better steward,” says Haidle in a statement. “I designed it to be easily producible (one set, six actors of any age and ethnicity) and with their assured guidance, I hope [it] takes off everywhere, from high schools to regional theatres to cruise ships, from the Teatro Municipal in Rio De Janeiro to the New National Theatre in Tokyo. I'm so proud to be become the newest member of the Concord family.”
“We are honored to make a home for Noah and his work as part of the Samuel French catalog,” adds Concord Vice President of Acquisitions and Artistic Development Amy Rose Marsh. “Birthday Candles is a rich and heartfelt work with wisdom that evokes great dramatists like Thornton Wilder. We hope to see theatres around the world stage it and many exceptional actresses step into the role of Ernestine.”