Philadelphia Theatre Company will present the gripping and timely play Exit Strategy by “Chicagoan of the Year” Ike Holter January 29-February 28. Directed by Kip Fagan, the production features an ensemble cast with Michael Cullen, Aimé Donna Kelly, Rey Lucas, Deidre Madigan, Christina Nieves, Brandon Pierce, and Ray Spahn. Exit Strategy is the first of several new American plays and presentations at PTC in 2016 which also includes an evening of excerpts from Anna Deavere Smith’s new work, Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, the Philadelphia premiere of Sex with Strangers by Laura Eason, and the East Coast premiere of Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath.
Previews begin Friday, January 29 with Opening Night on Wednesday, February 3. Performances run Tuesdays through Sundays until February 28. Tickets starting at $15 are available by calling the PTC Box Office at 215-985-0420 or visiting PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org. Exit Strategy is a co-production with New York’s Primary Stages and moves to the Cherry Lane Theatre in March. This production is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
In this vital and important play, Ike Holter turns his piercing eye to a dilapidated public school in Chicago targeted for closure and the power struggles that ensue among the faculty and students desperate to keep it open.
Ike Holter is the author of Hit the Wall, dealing with the Stonewall riots in New York, which premiered in Chicago before moving Off-Broadway. The 31-year old, political, playwright has new commissions from Chicago’s Writers Theatre and Teatro Vista.
“We are proud to partner with Primary Stages to introduce the work of Ike Holter, a fresh new voice in American theatre, to East Coast audiences. He brings sharp insight and a terrific sense of theatre to one of our most urgent social issues today. Exit Strategy has uncanny relevance to what is occurring in Philadelphia and other cities at this very moment.”
Kip Fagan (Director) was last seen at PTC directing Venus in Fur. He most recently directed the world premieres of Erin Courtney’s I Will Be Gone at the Humana Festival and Heidi Schreck’s Grand Concourse at Playwrights Horizons. Off-Broadway he directed The Revisionist starring Vanessa Redgrave and playwright Jesse Eisenberg. Other credits include the world premiere of Christopher Durang’s Not a Creature Was Stirring at The Flea as well as and Asuncion at Cherry Lane Theatre, The Young Left by Greg Keller at Cherry Lane Theatre and the new musical Caravan Man by Tommy Smith and Gabriel Kahane at Williamstown Theatre Festival. He has also directed productions at Long Wharf Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Seattle’s Empty Space Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Playwright’s Center in Minnesota.
Michael Cullen (Arnold) appeared on Broadway in the Circle In the Square production of Bus Stop and Off-Broadway in Mr. Cobb at Lucille Lortel Theatre, for which he won a Drama Desk Award, Len Asleep in Vinyl at Second Stage Theater, Bug at Barrow Street Theater, Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow at Altantic Theater, and Four Beers and Dark Matters, both at Rattlestick Theater. Regionally he has been seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, Dallas Center Theatre, Denver Theatre Center, and Long Wharf Theatre. On television he has recurring roles in Flesh and Bone and Law & Order.
Aimé Donna Kelly (Sadie) appeared at PTC earlier this season in the critically acclaimed production of Disgraced. A 2014 finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, she has appeared locally in five iterations of This is the Week That Is at 1812 Productions, where she received the Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Residency, and at Arden Theatre Company, People’s Light & Theatre Company, and Flashpoint Theater Company. She received a 2015 Barrymore Award nomination for Leading Actress for her work in The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane at InterAct Theatre Company.
Rey Lucas (Luce) appeared on Broadway in The Rainmaker. He has appeared at Old Globe in Water by the Spoonful, which earned him a Critics Pick by the LA Times, and at Long Wharf Theatre in Our Town and The Old Man and the Sea, for which he was nominated for Best Debut by Connecticut Critics Circle. He has also been featured in several productions at Williamstown Theatre Festival. On television he has had recurring role in Believe and Blue Bloods, and co-starred on Orange is the New Black, The Blacklist, and Elementary.
Deidre Madigan (Pam) returns to PTC where she appeared in Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, earning a Barrymore Award nomination and reprising the role at Bucks County Playhouse opposite Christopher Durang. She has appeared on Broadway in A Delicate Balance and in the Tony Award-winning revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Off-Broadway in Barbra’s Wedding, Major Crimes, and Jigsaws. Regionally she has appeared at Cincinnati Playhouse in Clybourne Park and Red Corners, and Pittsburgh Public Theatre in God of Carnage, Little Foxes, and Mary Stuart, as well as at City Theatre, Intiman Theatre, George Street Playhouse, and Two Rivers Theatre.
Christina Nieves (Jania) has been a frequent guest at the Goodman Theatre, appearing in the world premiere of The Upstairs Concierge, and The Sins of Sor Juana, Boleros for the Disenchanted, and Esperanza Rising. She has also been featured at Steppenwolf Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare, as well as multiple productions at Drury Lane Theatre and Teatro Luna.
Brandon Pierce (Donnie), a recent graduate of the University of the Arts, has appeared locally in Dutch Masters at Azuka Theatre, Charlotte’s Web at Arden Theatre Company, Two Gentlemen of Verona at Delaware Shakespeare Festival, and Romeo and Juliet and The Comedy of Errors, both at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Ray Spahn (Ricky) has appeared Off-Broadway in Gloria at Vineyard Theatre. His regional credits include productions at Vineyard Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Berkshire Festival. He has guest starred on Ugly Betty and Star Trek: Voyager.
Exit Strategy reunites some of PTC favorite designers: lighting designer Thom Weaver (PTC’s Disgraced, 4000 Miles and Venus in Fur, seven Barrymore Award nominations and one Barrymore Award) and sound designer Daniel Perelstein (PTC’s Detroit and the upcoming Hillary and Clinton, a Barrymore Award for Outstanding Sound Design for Knives in Hens and an F. Otto Haas Semi-Finalist Award) and introduces set designer Andrew Boyce and costume designer Jessica Pabst.
PTC’s 2015-2016 season continues with the Philadelphia premiere of Sex with Strangers by Laura Eason, a co-production with George Street Playhouse (April 8 – May 8) and the East Coast premiere of Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath (May 27 – June 26). PTC will also present two special, one-night engagements: On February 8, Anna Deavere Smith will perform excerpts from Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, her latest project which PTC has developed along with Berkeley Rep and Centerstage in Baltimore. On February 29, PTC’s 2016 Theatre Masters interview series will kick off with actress and director Kathleen Turner.
Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company is a leading regional theatre company that produces, develops and presents entertaining and imaginative contemporary theatre focused on the American experience. By developing new work through commissions, readings and workshops, PTC generates a national impact and reaches broad regional audiences. Under the guidance of PTC’s Executive Producing Director, Sara Garonzik, since 1982 and Executive Managing Director Priscilla M. Luce, who joined the leadership team in early April of 2013, PTC supports the work of a growing body of diverse dramatists and takes pride in being a home to many nationally recognized artists who have participated in more than 140 world and Philadelphia premieres. PTC has received 57 Barrymore Awards and 180 nominations. PTC’s home on the Avenue of the Arts, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre which opened in October 2007, has helped revitalize of Center City Philadelphia’s thriving arts district.
For further information, please call 215-735-7356.