3 new shows by Theatre Exile

Theatre Exile. photo by Google Maps
Theatre Exile. photo by Google Maps

Theatre Exile’s 2023-24 season will include three new shows including a pair of local premieres. 

The South Philly company located at 1340 S. 13th St. is celebrating 26 years of producing provocative plays that explore the complexities of the human condition and contain a sense of the Philadelphia grit and passion. 

Year No. 27 will include selections of compelling stories about characters choosing to embrace love, even as they are confronted by harsh realities and impossible odds.

“Theatre Exile seeks scripts that trigger timely discussions that dig into the true nature of the human journey, while offering hope to those of us who are struggling to find the light in our dark times,” said Deborah Block, Producing Artistic Director at Theatre Exile. “This year we are exploring the different types of love and the people who are actively trying to destroy the obstacles keeping them from that love.”

The season kicks off with the Philadelphia premiere of Camp Siegfried by critically acclaimed Brooklyn playwright, screenwriter and actress Bess Wohl. Inspired by the real Camp Siegfried in Long Island, the tragically timely story follows two teens as they fall in love while away at a summer camp in 1938, which is also indoctrinating them with Nazi ideology. The show runs from Oct. 26 through Nov. 12.

As the calendar flips to 2024, Theatre Exile presents the Philadelphia debut of A Case for the Existence of God by MacArthur Fellow and Obie award-winning playwright and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter. The 2022 drama takes place in an office cubicle in Idaho, where Keith, a mortgage broker, is trying to help Ryan put together a loan to buy property lost a generation ago by an irresponsible ancestor. As they struggle with balancing the loan, the two men open up to each other about the chokehold of financial insecurity while bonding over their experiences as fathers. It runs from Jan. 4-21.

The season closes with the 2011 dark comedy Gruesome Playground Injuries by Obie Award-winning playwright Rajiv Joseph. In school, elementary student Kayleen is in the nurse’s office with a painful stomach ache when she meets Doug, who is battered from taking a running dive off the roof of the school. For the next 30 years, the two star-crossed lovers meet again and again, brought together by injury, heartbreak and their own self-destructive tendencies. The show runs May 2-19.

“In Bess Wohl’s Camp Siegfried, the teens are falling for each other while physically working to create a bright tomorrow, all the while unaware of the darkness they are facing,” Block said. “In Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph, we see a lifetime of friendship and a lifetime of pain, begging the question, would you rather have a broken heart or a broken bone. Ultimately, Samuel D. Hunter’s A Case for the Existence of God teaches us that even when we can’t see it, the love that we put out into the world is what survives, when all of the dust has settled.”

A variety of three-show Flex Pass Subscriptions for Theatre Exile’s season are available, with packages starting at $45. Single tickets for each of Theatre Exile’s upcoming productions are also available.

In addition to the Flex Pass Subscriptions, Theatre Exile has developed the Young Exiles Membership, a new initiative for patrons 35 years or younger that offers special perks and tickets. For $65, members receive a preview-level Flex Pass Subscription for the season and an invitation to attend exclusive pre-show happy hours hosted by Theatre Exile. The membership also comes with tickets to attend Theatre Exile’s educational workshops and readings of new plays presented through its new play development program, Studio X-hibition. 

You can also purchase tickets online or by calling the Theatre Exile box office at 215-218-4022 or by visiting theatreexile.org.